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Brightspace (D2L) FUSION 2017

Where the Brightest Minds Meet

The Brightspace global eLearning conference is a chance for educators from around the world to come together and share ideas that will shape the future of learning.

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For more information about the Brightspace by D2L platform or FUSION 2017, visit

University of Central Oklahoma EXCEL awards 2017


Finalists for the 2017 UCO EXCEL Awards have been selected. Some excellent nominations were submitted to this year's awards and the winners were selected after careful review by a panel of judges including faculty members and representatives from the Technology Resource Center (TRC) and the Center for eLearning and Connected Environments (CeCE). 

Grand Prize Winner: Tara Dalinger

Project Title: IME 5863 School Library Technology

headshot of tara dalingerSubmission Overview: 

IME 5863 School Library Technology serves students seeking certification as school library media specialists. School Library Technology facilitates students’ expertise in the area of educational technology in order to develop future school leaders of creative and innovative technology integration. In order to achieve this goal, students learn to explore new, unfamiliar technology and conceive innovative methods of integrating this technology into instructional and professional practice to impact student learning. This course utilizes D2L to promote a collaborative class climate of mutual respect which allows for exploration, learning through making mistakes, and sharing supportive feedback. School Library Technology takes advantage of the existing functions provided through D2L, such as discussion boards, chat rooms, and news feeds, as well as STLR’s model of transformative learning. Together, these tools provide a platform upon which students grow into the roles of technology integration leaders through their exploration of effective design, creation, and application of teaching and learning innovations. 

Finalist: Jeri Jones

Project Title: Gamification—Building Up to the Desired Grade in an Online Class

Submission Overview: 

headshot of jeri jonesThis application discusses the use of an "additive-points model" in my online class section of International Marketing. The idea stems from a method called "Gamification" whereby students pick their grade by earning points trying to get to the next level as one would do in a video game. Student’s progress towards levels of mastery similar to video games where each assignment and test is rewarded with points. Little research has been done in the area of gamification as a means to increase student engagement, motivation, and promote learning. Literature on gamification being used in the educational environment has been described as cautiously optimistic but further suggests that further research is needed to better understand the nuances of this new model. Some studies have found that individuals that are extraverted and oriented toward more active and global learning styles have a positive impression of gamification however conscientious individuals are less motivated (Seixas, Gomes, and Filho (2015). Other research suggests students that receive more “rewards” from the process tend to have higher performance in the class and have the potential to have a positive impact in terms of immediacy of assessment (Buckley and Doyle 2017).

The idea behind this model came to me when I was pondering alternative ways which students might be able to demonstrate to me what they have learned in my class without imposing my own personal restrictions on their ability to either accomplish the learning objective or demonstrate their learning. I was going back and forth between different styles of assessment when I finally decided to let the student choose which model they wanted to use to learn and show me what they learned. In this format, students can choose from a variety of activities designed to help them learn and then demonstrate their knowledge through a variety of formats. I came to the realization it was my job to assess what students knew and not just assess what they could express to me within the limited time I gave them through limited assessment opportunities using the format I chose. This led me to further consider the pace at which students learn and the number of times or the amount of practice they might need to master something before they are assessed. With this in mind I set out to design a course where the student could choose how they wanted to learn, the amount of practice it took for them to accomplish that learning objective and how they wanted to demonstrate what they learned.

I designed a course where there are mostly voluntary assignments in which to earn points each week with nothing specifically required. The assignments varied in length, time needed to complete, difficulty, and format allowing students the choice of assignment and pace that best fits with how they want to demonstrate their learning. All assignments are voluntary except the final essay exam. No points are awarded for failing performance below 60% preventing subpar work from contributing to grade progression. Results are positive.