eLearning Supports Faculty Teaching Online/Hybrid Courses at GVSU

This post is brought to you by the Online Education Council, eLearning and Emerging Technologies, University Libraries, the Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center, and the Office of the Provost.

Welcome back faculty! Teaching an online or hybrid course this semester? We have you covered… check out the following resources available at GVSU!

Online/Hybrid Orientation Available to Students

Faculty teaching online and hybrid courses, along with their students, have been automatically be enrolled in an “Online/Hybrid Orientation” via Blackboard. This resource, which takes 20-30 minutes to complete, features activities and videos to help students get in the mindset to succeed in a distance education course.

orientcertificateUpon completing the orientation, students take a brief quiz and are issued a Certificate of Completion; thus, there is a built-in way for you to confirm students completed the orientation, if you’d like to require it as an assignment early in the term.

As a faculty member, to locate the orientation in your My Courses list in Blackboard, scroll down to the bottom.

Online Proctoring Solution Available for Online/Hybrid Courses

Over the summer, faculty teaching online courses piloted Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, that enable online proctoring of exams. We determined the software was a good tool and have purchased a site license!

Our official roll-out of the software campus-wide will happen this winter, but if you think the technology is needed in your class this fall, let the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team know by filling out the Respondus LockDown/Monitor participation form.

Please be aware that using the technology will require you to participate in an orientation, both so that you can navigate the technology effectively and learn some best practices faculty discovered during the pilot. You can read more about Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor here: https://www.gvsu.edu/elearn/help/respondus

Collaborative Learning in an Online Environment

Are you planning to have students work in teams this semester? Will there be smaller collaborative assignments or larger projects? In either case, setting students up for success in working with their peers involves solid assignment design, support for developing collaboration skills, and employment/deployment of technologies to facilitate collaborative work. Here is a sampling of scholarship of teaching and learning on the subject from the past year or so:

For additional resources, please review Pew FTLC’s Collaborative Learning Teaching Resources, eLearning and Emerging Technologies IDeL Tips and Best Practice Handouts,  Blackboard Collaborate for Groups, Using Blackboard Collaborate for Online Group Work, Building Community in Online Courses video, and the Google G Suite web page.

Want More Info? Need Help? Try These Resources!

  • Consult with the instructional designers from the IDeL group in eLearning and Emerging Technologies for online/hybrid course design support, streamlining your course menu/navigation, and to learn how to increase your teaching, social, cognitive presence through the Community of Inquiry.
  • Access tips, tutorials, and information for effectively using Blackboard and creating accessible content with Ally.
  • Attend an eLearning and Emerging Technologies Fall Seminar to learn more about teaching with technology.
  • Join an Online/Hybrid Faculty Learning Community to connect with peers teaching at a distance.
  • Contact the Digital Studio for assistance in creating a welcome video, course tour, or leveraging interactive media in your courses with Panopto.
  • Review the one-stop Faculty Resources for Online Education.
  • Review University Library resources for distance learning.

Best wishes for a successful semester!


The eLearning Team welcomes New Faculty at GVSU!



On, Wednesday, August 7, New Faculty Orientation kicks off with over 100 faculty participating in 2 days of sessions focused on equipping and preparing new faculty at Grand Valley State University.

From 1 to 3pm, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team will share a wealth of tips and strategies to leverage technology in teaching through break out sessions,  #EDTECH demonstrations, and consultations.

Specific sessions by the eLearning team include:

This post features a variety of technologies and resources that are available to faculty at GVSU.

Who is the eLearning team and what do they do?

Our eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is on mission to supporting faculty pursuing innovation in teaching an learning.

Our team provides a wide array of services and resources designed to facilitate digital learning at GVSU through supporting faculty in delivering high quality, innovative teaching.

We support faculty, contribute to teaching excellence, and enhance student success through:

What enterprise technologies are available at GVSU?

Look no further then our Teaching and Learning with Technology Guide!


New to Blackboard?

Here are a few resources to help you get started!

  1. Checklist for getting started with Blackboard
  2. Tips for teaching and learning with Blackboard
  3. Facilitating live office hours and video conferencing with Collaborate
  4. Checking accessibility of your course content with Ally



Interested in kicking-it-up-a-notch with video?

Check out the Digital Studio, Lightboard, and get help with using Panopto, our streaming video solution at GVSU!

Need instructional design support in teaching online?

Join a growing movement in higher education by learning to teach an online or hybrid course. The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team includes instructional designers in IDeL focused on providing expert guidance in designing high quality courses.

We’re here to help!

Visit our eLearning and Emerging Technologies web page to connect with a plethora of possibilities in teaching and learning with technology at GVSU!


Highlighting Trends in EdTech in Education Technology Insights

Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies, recently authored an article in Education Technology Insights magazine.

In this article, Eric places focus on those technology trends that seem to “bubble to the top”, including the pedagogical possibilities and data-informed practices that provide opportunities to support student success in higher education.

Read the full article here:
Technology as a Catalyst Shaping the Educational Experience
via Education Technology Insights Magazine


GVSU attends ETOM Summer Retreat & connects eLearning to Online Learning Accreditation


Recently, on June 10 and 11, Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies attended the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) Summer Retreat. This event was held at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan.

Bringing together distance learning administrators, staff, faculty, and instructional designers, this retreat focused on online learning as it meets the Higher Learning Commission accreditation from the view of 2 reviewers, Dr. Karen Solomon, Vice President for Accreditation Relations of the Higher Learning Commission and Dr. Marius Boboc, Professor of Education and Vice Provost for Academic Planning at Cleveland State University. Dr. Solomon and Dr. Boboc presented HLC/C-RAC distance learning guidelines and what reviewers look for from an evidence perspective.

The ETOM Summer Retreat is always a great opportunity to meet with other institutions around the topic of distance education, compare notes around the campfire and share best practices.

IMG_3001[Photo by Carl Weckerle, Director, Instructional Technology & Online Learning, Macomb Community College]

This year, Eric was elected ETOM President of the Executive Board with the passing of the ETOM hat and Kettunen Center “bell”.


Eric also captured some highlights on his #EdTech with Eric blog post entitled: “#ETOM19 – Evaluating Distance Education: Are you ready?”

Connected most directly to the work of the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team at GVSU are the following C-RAC Distance Education Guidelines:


See you next year for another amazing retreat!

Can’t wait that long?
Join us at the ETOM Fall Conference, hosted by GVSU on November 8, 2019!

2019 Horizon Report meets eLearning and Emerging Technologies at GVSU

horizonreport2019The 2019 Horizon Report has recently been released by EDUCAUSE, highlighting innovative trends and technologies in higher education.

This report has always been an excellent #edtech radar so to speak, but also it raises some QUESTIONS:

  • So where does GVSU, and specifically the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team fit into this report?
  • What are the key areas that align with projects or initiatives that are occurring here at the university?
  • How can we use this report in eLearning to provide insights and to gain better understanding so that we can better support faculty and the university in continuing to be innovative and distinctive?

This post, similar to last year’s review, will attempt to provide links to various activities and work happening among the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team that focuses on the current trends, challenges, and developments in this report.

#1 – Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education

Short-TermDriving technology adoption in higher education for the next one to two years

  • Redesigning Learning Spaces – At GVSU, the most noteworthy example of an innovative learning space is none other than the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons. This space was built, from the ground up, to be a different kind of library. Infused into the space are resources that have not been “typical” library features, such as: the Technology Showcase, IT Help Desk, Knowledge Market (tutoring, writing, research, speech, data inquiry lab), Exhibition Space, and an active learning classroom.
  • Blended Learning Designs – The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team provides a wide array of resources and services to equip faculty in both the design and the use of technologies to transform learning. The question is no longer should I use technology to enhance my teaching, rather, how can I most effectively integrate technology effectively into my courses to increase engagement and student success. Further, the eLearning team assists in the support of the growth in distance education and the future of online and hybrid learning at GVSU.

Mid-TermDriving technology adoption in higher education for the next three to five years

18th Annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium


  • Growing Focus on Measuring Learning – Predictive analytics is an opportunity to explore more deeply at GVSU. Products like Starfish by Hobson’s would provide value in leveraging large data sets, combined with activity of students and faculty in Blackboard to help inform and improve retention efforts. The Blackboard LMS at GVSU includes a Retention Center, Performance Dashboard, and Course Reports providing faculty with just-in-time student data whereby they can engage with students through nudges, reminders, and proactive communication.

#2 – Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Higher Education

SolvableThose that we understand and know how to solve

  • Improving Digital Fluency – With a digital studies minor, and high levels of faculty adoption of educational technology, eLearning’s Digital Studio and lightboard, and the Technology Showcase, GVSU is well on it’s way to engaging in new ways with student to improve their digital literacy skills. Campus discussions have also included the creation of a new space where students can access and use a variety of digital resources in a “digital media center”.
  • Increasing Demand for Digital Learning Experience and Instructional Design Expertise – The eLearning team’s group of instructional designers make up “IDeL” who is on mission to: “…develop confident and competent faculty, prepared to teach in blended and fully online learning environments, who are able to integrate technology in a way that is learner-centered and pedagogically sound.”

DifficultThose that we understand but for which solutions are elusive & Wicked—Those that are complex to even define, much less address

#3 – Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

Time to Adoption: One Year or Less

  • Mobile Learning
  • Analytics Technologies

Time to Adoption: Two to Three Years

  • Mixed Reality
  • Artificial Intelligence

Time to Adoption: Four to Five Years

  • Blockchain
  • Virtual Assistants

At GVSU, through the eLearning and Emerging Technologies “Technology Showcase“, these #edtech trends are closely monitored. Most notable are exhibits and work being done around: virtual assistants with a custom app for the showcase that works with the Echo Show, mixed reality whereby one of the digital media developers on the eLearning team is working to explore virtual reality and augmented reality applications that are integrated into the curriculum, and mobile learning where a variety of technologies support BYOD along with tablet and smartphone integration.

Technology Showcase at GVSU


As we look further into the future, GVSU is focused on advancing education in a variety of ways. Specifically for the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team, we align most directly under the following 2021 Strategic Outcomes:

GVSU 2016-2021 Strategic Outcomes

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

 Objective 1.D.2: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching. Baseline: 89% of faculty indicated either daily or weekly use of Blackboard in their teaching according to a GVSU faculty survey conducted winter 2016.

Objective 2.E.1: At least 75% of faculty and 75% of staff participate in professional development to expand, enhance or extend their competencies and capabilities within the context of the responsibilities of their positions. Baseline for faculty will be determined via Digital Measures in summer 2015. Baseline for Fall 2014 for staff is 50-55%.

Objective 3.D.2: At least 30% of undergraduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and formats, such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for undergraduate courses for Fall 2014 is 6%.

Objective 3.D.3: At least 30% of graduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for graduate courses for Fall 2014 is 25%.

Objective 4.D.1: Effective technologies are integrated into every function and structure across the institution. Baseline: In 2013, IT implementation was above the median on 24 of 49 indicators across 7 functional domains.

eLearning Team Mission and Strategies

eLearning and Emerging Technologies is on mission and dedicated to supporting faculty, contributing to teaching excellence, and enhancing student success through: exemplary instructional design, effective application and integration of instructional technologies, interactive digital media development, administration and enhancement of the university’s enterprise learning management system (Blackboard), and the deployment of innovative emerging technologies.

Our team has been centered on executing the following strategies:

  • Leverage exemplary instructional design and instructional technologies to: create pedagogically sound and learner centered instruction, improve and ensure course quality, enhance faculty effectiveness, and to increase student success and retention.
  • Accelerate the evaluation, implementation, and application of educational technologies by coordinating resources, assisting, equipping, and empowering faculty and students.
  • Partner with faculty, staff, and students, to showcase, advocate, and increase awareness of the effective application of innovative instructional technologies through sharing best practices.
  • Develop interactive digital media courseware and resources to enhance teaching and improve student learning.
  • Advance the capabilities and adoption of the university’s enterprise course management system (Blackboard) to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of content delivery, assessment, and communication to support innovative teaching and learner engagement.
  • Build institutional capacity to: integrate and implement technologies into teaching and learning practices, generate economies of scale, and increase their deployment across the institution.
  • Investigate, acquire, test, prototype, pilot, research, and evaluate cutting-edge emerging technologies that have the potential to transform education, enhance teaching, and improve student learning.
  • Survey, collect data, analyze, and evaluate the effectiveness of instructional technologies, services, and support.

The eLearning team provides a wide array of support and services designed to empower faculty and contribute to student success.


Are you a professor at GVSU? Contact the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team, we’re here to help at the intersection of teaching, learning, and technology!

18th Annual Symposium a Success!

The 18th Annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium, held on May 1, was the largest symposium held at GVSU with over 160 attendees, a keynote by Provost Cimitile, recognition of the Julia VanderMolen who received the Pew FTLC Teaching with Technology Award, 5 Technology Test Kitchen “recipes”, and 25 ePoster sessions.

The Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium was sponsored by eLearning and Emerging Technologies, Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, and University Libraries.

If you missed attending this year, here are a few highlights:

  • WATCH the Symposium Keynote by Provost Cimitile

Save-the-date and see you next year in Allendale on Wednesday, April 29 for the 19th Annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium!

The SPRING TECH EXPO Seminars are here!

springtechexpologoAll month long in May, GVSU’s eLearning and Emerging Technologies team will be highlighting a variety of tools and pedagogical approaches to support online/hybrid and in-seat courses in our SPRING TECH EXPO Seminars.

Our faculty professional development seminars are the perfect opportunity to get some new ideas, tips, and insights on key issues related to teaching.

Workshop subjects include: everything Blackboard, getting started with using interactive rubrics and the Grade Center, formative assessment strategies, assessing and creating student video assignments with Panopto, discussion board best practices, improving the ADA accessibility of your courses with Ally, integrating Google into Blackboard, live videoconferencing with Collaborate, and much more!

Please register in Sprout at GVSU for seminars and visit the SPRING TECH EXPO Calendar to learn about what sessions are offered!