Program & Schedule


Technology Survey

The University of Virginia Teaching and Learning Technologies Committee is collecting information on what technology tools are in use by departments across the university. If you’re a UVA employee, please take a few minutes to complete a short online survey, or scan the QR code with your mobile device:


TWT 2017: Brief Schedule

11:00 AM-2:00 PM Part I (Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library)
10:30-11:00 AM Check-In
11:00 AM-12:00 PM Welcome; Keynote Address

Technology Enhanced Education: Pearls & Perils

12:00-12:45 PM Lunch
12:45-1:45 PM Short Story Presentations

2:00-3:30 PM Part II (Robertson Media Center, Clemons Library)
2:00-3:30 PM Poster Sessions; Reception

TWT 2017: Detailed Schedule

TWT 2017 will be held in the Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library and the Robertson Media Center, Clemons Library. These two outstanding facilities are adjacent to one another in the Central Grounds area of UVA. Locate the Small Special Collections Library and Clemons Library.

Back to brief schedule

10:30 AM-11:00 AM: Check-In (Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library)

Check in at the TWT reception desk outside the auditorium.

Back to brief schedule

11:00 AM-12:00 PM: Keynote Address (Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library)

Technology Enhanced Education: Pearls & Perils

Elizabeth McAlpin, Assistant Director of Learning and Curricular Development Global Innovation & Learning, New York University

Elizabeth McAlpin

How can we cultivate pearls in technology enhanced education and navigate the perils? We are a culture of innovation but innovation without scientific research to guide our practices may lead to focusing on technology and not our learners. Research can inform us if the innovative solution is working or not to solve the educational problem. It can also provide clues to foster new innovation solutions. What is important to focus on the educational problems, refer to any prior research aimed at solving the problem, devise multiple solutions that may or may not require technology, and test them. Our first questions are always, “who are the learners?” and “what are the educational challenges faced by educators and learners?”

This presentation will explore examples of pearls and perils in technology enhanced education. It will also provide some challenges to enhancing courses with technology and media as well as provide some new directions in the learning sciences.

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12:00-12:45 PM: Lunch

Enjoy lunch compliments of Information Technology Services.

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12:45-1:45 PM: Short Story Presentations (Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library)


Teaching Accessibility: Assistive Technology as a Transformative Medium

Gaelyn Foster, Graduate Student, Department of English 

When I was nine, I was diagnosed with a stem cell deterioration disease called macular degeneration, which caused me to become legally blind by the age of ten. I cannot see anything but shapes and movement without assistive technology. This is how I see a computer screen (image), this is how I see my phone (image), this is how I see my books (image), and this is how I see people directly in front of me (image). Thankfully, technology has progressed to an era in which individuals like me, who otherwise would be blind for all intents and purposes, can not only function in society but actively contribute to it. However, this does not make coping with a serious physical disability any less complex. When I was 12, I was an excellent student of Latin, constantly bringing home perfect scores in translation and vocabulary. One day, I was sitting in class working, and my teacher called me back to ask me about my last test. I had failed. Curiously enough, all of my vocab was correct, but the second half of the test, which was comprised of map identification, was a mess. The teacher asked me, “Gaelyn, what happened here?” We both knew what happened there-this is how I see maps (image). She waited for my honest answer, but it never came. “I didn’t study,” I told her. She had given me an opportunity to own up to my visual restrictions, and I, an extremely grade-oriented kid, had preferred to take an F than admit the limitations of my visual abilities. Ten years later, as a graduate student and a teacher to undergraduates, I always feel a modicum of discomfort when I inform my peers and students of my condition. But, as a teacher of media, I realize that the significance my media of accommodation is as essential to consider as a computer or an iPhone. Each semester, when my students do their day without screens assignment, I also show them just how important technology is in our society through my own experience. For me, a day without screens is a day without sight….

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Tools for Engagement: Creating a Sense of Presence in the Online Classroom

Celeste Greene, Professor, School of Continuing and Professional Studies

The online teaching experience has evolved extensively in the last 20 years. This story involves three faculty members each sharing their experiences for engaging students in the online classroom. At the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the majority of the classes are delivered online. Each faculty member incorporates a different style of teaching, using the tools available in the online setting. These tools include those available in UVa Collab, social media, and other audio/video software. The first story, by Celeste Greene, will discuss how her online classroom and teaching style has evolved in the 20 years, since she first started teaching online in 1997. The tools used to engage students have changed to create a more interactive online learning experience. These tools include small group discussions in online breakout rooms, live online student presentation, and live online guest speakers. All of these tools are available in UVa Collab and Blackboard Collaborate and have helped enrich the online courses taught by Professor Greene. The second story, by Ana Abad-Jorge, will discuss the use of Camtasia lecture recording software to develop my pre-recorded lectures for specific units. Students engage with the content through completion of an “interactive” handout. The Discussion Forum in UVa Collab is used by students to establish their collaborative assignment groups for the class projects, i.e. Social Media. The third story, by Mary Dunaway, will discuss how ubiquitous technology in social media can engage students online learning environment. The YouTube social media platform serves as the focal technology to help create a sense of “being there” in the virtual classroom space. Students develop and post to YouTube a presentation related to a course topic and electronic peer and instructor critiques are provided as feedback. This interactive online environment is greatly enriched by the use of social media.

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A Paradigm Shift in Required Language Classes

Matthew Street, Lecturer, Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese 

As many of you know, a lot of students who take lower level Spanish grammar classes are, for the most part, attempting to fulfill a foreign language requirement set by their chosen field of study and not for personal enrichment, majoring, or minoring in Spanish. With a hypersensitivity to grades, averages, and points, students tend to focus on the numerical value of assessments, assignments, and finally the letter grade that will satisfy the generic foreign language requirement for the particular field of study. As a result of this focus, student feedback becomes reduced to isolated comments on activities, rubrics, or a bien hecho on an exam. Working with the Foreign Language E-portfolio Grant Project at the University of Virginia, I was able to develop and carryout an e-portfolio project for Accelerated Beginning Spanish which aims to assess student progress during one semester by providing a virtual space, using Digication, for students to collect work (i.e. monologue videos, a variety of low stakes multi-modal activities, voice recordings, concept map and a video project) through which students reflect on their progress in the course. Wanting to provide ways in which students could not only see their progress but also chart and reflect on it, I began with the big picture question: What can increase student motivation and inspire them to study Spanish for personal enrichment reasons while satisfying their foreign language requirement? And, if students see their progress and reflect on it during the course of a semester will this help them learn about themselves as language learners. As a result, students now maintain their work through the entirety of the foreign language requirement and have tangible evidence to their development as language learners through their reflection, interaction in the virtual community, development of multiple ePortfolios across several semesters.

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2:00-3:30 PM: Poster Sessions; Reception (Robertson Media Center, Clemons Library)

d-A2yraNBrowse a selection of interactive presentations on advanced technologies and support resources available throughout the university, and learn more about how you can use them in your teaching and research.

As you browse, enjoy coffee and desserts compliments of Information Technology Services.

  • Ask me about… accessibility across the ages: Digital accessibility for people with disabilities has adapted through the years. By showing examples of inaccessible course content, we will briefly revisit the beginnings of digital course content, and demonstrate how we can bring this content into the digital age to foster an equitable learning environment using universal design principles. (Tiffany Stull, UVACollab)
  • Ask me about… the effect of online group projects on student interaction and satisfaction: As learning moves online aided by technology, access to learning has been reaching a wider audience no longer constrained by distance, age, and backgrounds; easier access to learning makes like-long learning a reality.  Literature reports that nontraditional adult learners fuel much of the growth in online learning. Adult learners perceive the flexibility and convenience of online learning as the major benefit as they are coming back to school with a purpose of professional and personal growth. However, online learning environments often do not provide adequate student interaction that is essential to student learning and satisfaction. Studies have found a lack of social interaction to be the single most important barrier to online learning, and there existed a strongest association between online learning enjoyment and social interaction. Research shows that online group work can be used to enhance student experience and facilitate development of necessary skills. In Intermediate Accounting II class I teach, I use online group projects to promote online collaboration and learning. Students are asked to complete Accounting Research Projects in video presentations and post them in the media gallery in class Collab site. They are asked to view other group’s videos and provide constructive feedback. They submit final papers based on research and others’ feedback. Although having to complete the group projects entirely online was cited as a major challenge, student experience and response have been generally positive: being able to network and interact with others, learning multiple perspectives, pushing each other to stay on track, improving presentation skills, and learning more about specific companies. I am continuing to improve group projects and student experience by following up with students after class ends for their feedback. I’m told they are finding the research experience helpful in their work; they are also connecting with classmates past the classroom. (Nammy Lee, School of Continuing and Professional Studies)
  • Ask me about… effective teamwork in a language classroom: In my classroom, I have always had students do group work, such as designing their ideal dorm buildings or rooms and drawing a stereotype map of the US in Chinese. It is always a challenge as to how to form teams that will be effective and productive. In particular, students do not want to work in a group with more than 2 of them since working out a time that works for more than 2 of them is extremely difficult. So the moment came when CTE sent this notice for a CATME workshop presented by Lindsay Wheeler and Brian Helmke, the online tool for effective teamwork, I registered for it instantly. I am using it on my CHIN3010 this Fall. Half of the students in that class were my CHIN2020 students last Spring. They will notice the differences this tool has made for forming teams that work for them. Besides properly forming a 3-4 student team with different criteria, this software also allows for self evaluation and peer evaluation. This will help students see the value of their work in their group. I will also dissolve and form new teams using this online tool for each aspect of the semester theme: starting up a business. Students will play a role each time they enter a new team. By Oct. 3rd, I should be able to report on the impact on my teaching and student experience and response. Once this works well, I will use it in my second year Chinese class as well. (Shu-chen Chen, Department of East Asian Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
  • Ask me about… engaging students with technology: In alignment with AAC&U High Impact Practices (HIP), we integrated more problem-based learning into Stat 2120 to enhance student learning and engagement. We flipped the classroom this summer to move the lecture portion outside of class time and use class time for problem-based activities. We will show the technology used (Explain Everything, EDpuzzle, online applets) to enhance student learning and engagement. We will also show how we are using these ideas this fall and where we are headed. (Jeffrey Woo, Department of Statistics)
  • Ask me about… engineering global connections for cross-cultural understanding: Many students will work across distances and cultures and can benefit from knowing how to forge bonds with global partners. Still, most have never established a conversational connection with someone abroad. This program: 1) enabled students to experience the fun of global activity, 2) fostered interest in other countries, cultures, and peoples, 3) developed comfort in the use of real-time audio / video collaboration tools, and 4) motivated students to consider study abroad. (James Groves, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)
  • Ask me about… ePortfolios in the College of Arts and Sciences at UVA: This poster session will provide information about how ePortfolios are being used in the College of Arts and Sciences at UVa. (Yitna Firdyiwek, Learning Design & Technology)
  • Ask me about… exciting new features in UVACollab: This interactive session will allow users to explore the latest version of UVACollab, the university’s primary learning management system. Users can see and test a number of new features and workflows—including the system’s sleek, fully responsive design; simple, spreadsheet-style grading in the Gradebook tool; custom navigation, layouts, and color schemes in the Lessons tool; and much more. Learn more about how UVACollab can help you take your courses to the next level! (Matt Burgess, UVACollab)
  • Ask me about… expanding the classroom with COLLAB Resources like Kultura, and WordPress: Learn more about how tools available in UVACollab can supplement and enhance your teaching. (Stephen Macko, Department of Environmental Sciences)
  • Ask me about… the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities: UVa has a 25-year history of institutional investment and faculty success in the Digital Humanities. Spearheaded by John Unsworth, the graduate DH certificate is a practical initiative that takes advantage of resources already in place in order to encourage and reward student involvement in the Digital Humanities. I’ll bring a poster, hand out proposal descriptions, and discuss the opportunities a DH certificate will open up for students, faculty, and staff. (Rennie Mapp, Office of the Vice President for Information Technology)
  • Ask me about… how to create and use short videos to teach about culture: During summer break I created different videos about some cultural aspects that could interest student of Italian 1010. I’m planning to use them as warm up activity, showing the students how an Italian market works, how we make pizza, and other things. I think this will interest them in learning more about “real culture”, and maybe also in visiting Italy with our Study Abroad programs. (Stella Mattioli, Department of Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese)
  • Ask me about… the latest software titles, technology tools, and service improvements for University instructors and staff: Swing by the ITS table to check out our catalog of downloadable software titles available for UVA faculty via the self-service Software Gateway; learn about improvements made to existing tools; and meet Mary Cook, our usability guru! (Mary Cook, Information Technology Services)
  • Ask me about… the Pedagogy-driven LMS Enhancements Project: This project is supported by the VP for Information Technology and the Director of Learning Design & Technology. It was proposed by Gail Hunger, Learning Design & Technology, and Trisha Gordon, Director, UVaCollab. Our intention is to positively affect a significant number of faculty who use UVaCollab by enhancing the interface to better reflect their teaching and learning methods using pedagogy driven templates using best in class tools. Faculty focus groups will inform our design. (Gail Hunger, Learning Design & Technology)
  • Ask me about… teaching Faulkner via “Digital Yoknapatawpha”: Steve Railton (English Dept) has collaborated with an international team of over thirty Faulkner scholars and with technologists, Robbie Bingler and Worthy Martin (Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities) to create a resource for teaching Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha texts, ( Summit attendees will be able to delve into the novels and short stories that Faulkner set in his fictional county of Yoknapatawpha through the interactive map/timeline display. (W. N. Martin, Department of Computer Science) 
  • Ask me about…technologies and spaces for language learning at UVA: We will introduce the technologies available via the Language Commons, located in New Cabell Hall. The Language Commons & Alcove, Language Lab, and One-Button Studio provide a variety of tools for language learning and teaching, from international TV access to a dynamic, interactive lab space. In addition to these technologies, the LC provides pedagogical support through individual consultation for instructors, and events & activities to facilitate linguistic and cultural exchange. (Hope Fitzgerald, Learning Design & Technology)
  • Ask me about… what you can do at the Scholars’ Lab in Alderman Library: Need support for a digital project? Text analysis and coding not your forte, but you’d love to incorporate it into your class? Wondering how to get 3D printing and electronics into your class? Can humanities use technology for research, teaching, and learning? The Scholars’ Lab staff and the Scholars’ Lab Makerspace in Alderman Library are the resource for you! (Ammon Shepherd, Scholars’ Lab)