DES – Digital Education Strategies



In today's day and age, it's so
important for a faculty member to be able to bring technology
into the classroom, because that's where students
are comfortable, that's where they want
to participate, and that's what I've learned
helps engage students in the classroom process. The flexibility of the online
courses really was what allowed me to finish
a program, a two-year certificate program,
while working full-time. Having the online discussion
boards allowed us to challenge each other
to think differently. Media tools of online delivery
have allowed me the opportunity to engage my students in ways
I have never been able to engage them before
as a developer, as an educator, as a sharer and a facilitator
of knowledge and expertise throughout their
educational endeavors. And although the pedagogy is
moving at a tremendous speed, it does offer us, the instructors,
to actually learn, to introduce all sorts of new technologies,
all sorts of new and innovative teaching methods
into the online format. I was communicating constantly
with students not only in Toronto, but all across the country and
in some cases beyond Canada. That was a really
wonderful experience, getting those kind of insights
from so many different places and so many
different viewpoints. With the
emerging technologies, we have greater opportunity
to provide quality, flexible online learning
for our students. This is very important
because they lead very busy
just-in-time lives. And it is very important to us
here at the Chang School to continuously evaluate
our course development in order to provide the best
possible instructional content. Digital Education Strategies at
The Chang School, Ryerson University, is a leading provider of
online education in Canada. We've received numerous awards
for innovation and creativity. I''m very proud that we're
the first Canadian institution to receive the prestigious
Sloan Consortium Award for Excellence in
Institution-Wide Online Education. We collaborate with industry partners,
experts, and community leaders who contribute their
knowledge and expertise in developing relevant programs. DES develops online courses
in collaboration with faculty, academic coordinators,
and subject matter experts. Our staff includes
instructional designers, web and production editors,
as well as rich-media developers, all of whom are dedicated
to helping instructors develop pedagogically-sound
and innovative digital solutions for use in their online courses. Digital Education
Strategies has created several digital stories
and documentaries that engage
learners in a unique way to better understand
challenging concepts and issues and encourage them
to reflect critically. Narrative is
Exceptionally important. The videos were one way
of getting this narrative across. So, instead of even reading text that's written about
somebody's narrative, you got to hear people
speak for themselves, about themselves,
about their experiences. Combining Google Maps
with a video tour across multiple locations
in High Park, instructor Sam Benvie leads
students on a virtual field trip that they can take from
anywhere in the world or actually follow with
a portable device in the park. Lake Devo is an innovative
application created by DES that allows students
to role-play online. Having the ability
to create an avatar online and having the ability
to create a story, and everybody can
contribute to that story, because it was exciting, it was
something that was innovative, it was something that was
unique, it was something that involved technology,
which all students love nowadays. Emerging technologies
provide endless opportunities and our team is very excited to be a part of the digital
transition in higher education.

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