Posts Tagged ‘conference’

FUSION 2011 Desire2Learn Conference

Friday, July 15th, 2011

I’ve been fortunate to be able to attend the Desire2Learn (D2L) annual conference FUSION 2011 in Denver, Colorado this week and have enjoyed a great atmosphere, met lots of people, and learned more about D2L and how it can support teaching. I’ve still got two days of workshops to attend and look forward to some more in-depth best practice sessions on how D2L can support authentic teaching practice through assessment, analytics, learning design and ePortfolio.

Denver thunderstorm

There’s been spectacular thunderstorms each evening this week and the thunder & lighting generally announce a good downpour. The days have been warm but I haven’t been outside all that much as the conference has kept us busy from 8-4:30. There have been lots of sessions to choose from, including hands-on workshops to help people learn more about particular tools. Plenty of D2L staff have been available to discuss issues and I liked the triage desk (with staff dressed in white coats & stethoscopes) where you could go and chat about feature requests or other things that are of concern/need fixing. Nice.

I usually find conferences are a good litmus test of how we are travelling with regard to our practice and use of technology for learning and teaching. It’s been good here at D2L, to be confirmed in a way that indicates that we ‘up there’ with regard to best practice and robust implementation. Great to talk to other educators though, and hear about alternative ways of doing things and I’ll be reviewing all this as I debrief after the conference.

the storm before the calm (has passed)

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

The last few weeks have been the storm before the calm. My university has chosen D2L to replace our Blackboard LMS (WebCT Vista) and we’ve been busy implementing for Trimester 2. As usual lots to sort out, configuration, training, educational development, meetings, negotiations, hand holding, requesting, testing and trialling. This week we went live with a limited number of units/subjects and for my Faculty this means around 100 staff and nearly 4,000 students – we’re all set for when teaching starts next week. There’ll be some evaluation of the processes and how it’s all gone once things have settled down and teaching’s well underway. All good and exciting work, but it’s been a wild ride that’s been a storm at times, and now I’m ready for some calm.

Storm in Colorado
Storms in Colorado (photo credit Jerry W. Lewis)

So, for some calm I’m heading over to Denver, Colorado on Friday where I’ll be attending the Fusion 2011 Desire2Learn users conference. I’m looking forward to it as it will be the first D2L conference I’ve attended, I’ve never been to Denver before, and the weather’s going to be much warmer than I’ve been experiencing lately (and I hope it’s calmer than the photo I found to illustrate this post).

I’m also looking forward to meeting other D2L users and having an opportunity to share our stories while doing some networking. The D2L staff will also have my attention as we get to know each other and establish our partnership as client and vendor. Amongst other things, I’ll be learning as much as I can about the ePortfolio tool and how others are using D2L for blended learning.  I’ll also be giving a presentation with a colleague in which we will provide two perspectives (learning systems and an academic) of the implementation process so far. I’ll be sharing some insights via twitter of course (@colwar) and intend to supplement them here with some blog posts.

Now to pack my bags – I hope there’s some good company & movies on the plane.