ITS Administrative Computing



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Teaching & Learning Team

The ITS Teaching & Learning Team provides a world-class academic technology environment to the University of Michigan community.

The T&L Team's many activities include developing and implementing systems for learning management and collaboration, developing applications that can be integrated with learning management systems and other technology, and collaborating on education technology efforts with other units on campus and elsewhere.

LMS (Learning Management Systems)

CTools is an advanced web-based collaboration and learning management system that is used by most U-M instructors, researchers and staff, and nearly all students. CTools supports a variety of tools and features to supplement and enhance teaching and learning, and to help organize and manage research and other projects, both on campus and around the world.

Canvas by Instructure is an LMS that the Teaching & Learning Team is presently piloting, as part of its membership with Unizin. The pilot is focused on validating how U-M will adopt it for widespread use. The Teaching & Learning Team is also refining methods for migrating learning materials from CTools into Canvas.

IMS standards and integrations

LTI (Learning Tools Interoperabililty)
IMS LTI is a standard for integrating applications with learning management systems, such as CTools and Canvas, in such a way that supports single signon, and preserves the learning context and user roles within both systems. The T&L Team develops LTI tools to work with CTools, Canvas and other technologies.

The following LTI tools are now being piloted:

GDrive provides an easy way to share Google Drive folders, subfolders, documents, drawings and other Google items with all members of a course or project site. It automatically accesses the roster of students or the participant list in the site.

The CTools-Qualtrics integration enables users to send non-anonymous Qualtrics surveys to CTools site members and allows site members to take the survey from a link within CTools.

At present, the following LTI tools and integrations are available in CTools and/or Canvas:

  • Kaltura Media Gallery
  • i>Clicker
  • Lecture Tools
  • Piazza
  • Blue Review Lecture Recordings
  • Library Research Guide
  • CAEN Lecture Recording
  • M+Box
  • Google Calendar

IMS Caliper
The Teaching & Learning Team is collaborating on the development of the Caliper Analytics standard. With Caliper, analytic events can be pulled out of various entities, such as Canvas, CTools and LTI integrations, and deposited into a single repository for comparison and reporting purposes. Integrations that the T&L Team is working on include Caliper integration with GradeCraft and with the School of Engineering's Lecture Capture.

Partnerships and Collaboration

The Teaching and Learning Team actively collaborates with other units, both on and off campus, including the following:

Office of Digital Education & Innovation (DEI)
DEI is partnering with schools and academic units across U-M to create new digital programs, experiment with digital tools and platforms and assess their academic impact. DEI enables teaching and learning innovation at U-M through targeted financial support, consultative services and aligning community interests and expertise.

Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT)
CRLT works with faculty, graduate student instructors (GSIs) and academic administrators on an array of curricular and instructional development activities.

The ITS T&L Team collaborates with the University of Michigan Library's Academic Technology Team, which offers technology support and instruction, and includes the Faculty Exploratory, Knowledge Navigation Center, and TechDec.

ITS Collaboration Team (Google+ Team collaboration forum)
The ITS Collaboration Team is a Google+ discussion Team for questions, information exchange, and showcasing interesting uses of collaboration tools including M+Google, M+Box, CTools, and Canvas.

Enriching Scholarship
Enriching Scholarship is a week of free workshops, discussions, and seminars each May for instructional faculty and staff. Over 120 sessions address the role technology plays in fostering engaging and effective teaching, learning, and research.

Student Outreach
The T&L team values student input and uses a variety of communication channels to engage with students and encourage them to provide feedback on their needs for an LMS. We reach out through surveys, face to face engagements, student forums, events on campus, and posting on department and social network websites. We strive to offer students a space for collaboration, while assisting them with the demands of their academic life.

ITS Internship Program
ITS internships are focused on giving students hands-on experience working on a high-performing team in ITS. This program has been designed to develop the participants' technical, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills while they complete interesting and valuable work.

Once each year the T&L Team sponsors MHacks, which brings top University hackers from across the U.S. to build web and mobile applications, with top hacks being rewarded great prizes.

Unizin is a new consortium that enables institutions of higher education to draw upon an evolving set of digital tools to improve the way content is curated and delivered to students, while capturing academic analytics. Unizin will offer several services to consortium members, the first of which is the Canvas LMS.

Other Projects

ECAR Survey
The EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR) survey is administered yearly to freshman and seniors at the U-M and at universities and colleges around the country. It provides information about student use of technology that administrators and faculty use in planning and prioritizing technical infrastructure and services. The survey ensures that the student voice is well-represented in IT-related decisions. The survey is sent to 25% of freshmen and senior undergraduate classes.

UM-Developed Learning and Collaboration Applications
These applications have been in use for many years.

UM.Sitemaker enables the creation of custom web sites and web databases without special web development expertise.

UM.Lessons is a web-based assessment tool that features automated grading, report generation, branching, and the integration of media elements into assessments.