CCNMTL (1999-2015) pages for archival purposes only. Please visit

News & Updates Archives

This Week at the Center - April 22, 2014

Home > News & Updates > This Week at the Center - April 22, 2014

The importance of design in effective pedagogy and learning materials was one of the major themes of discussions at the Center this week as we welcomed Marcia C. Linn, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and leading researcher in the use of technology for teaching mathematics and science. Linn’s talk on “Innovations in Online Education: What Works?”, part of the Conversations on Online Learning series sponsored by the Office of the Provost and CCNMTL, led the audience in an exploration of how online methods and resources can support more effective face to face pedagogy. A video of her talk is available on CCNMTL YouTube channel.

Linn’s work struck a common chord with Center staff and our Design Research approach to educational technology. Educational Techologist Michael Cennamo’s recent article on flipping the Biochemistry classroom is a recent case in point; Professor Brent Stockwell’s initial partnership with CCNMTL to create some lecture videos led to a set of subsequent changes that have made his face-to-face pedagogy more effective and responsive to students’ learning needs.

Similarly, our work on online courses for the Water and Climate Education Program (WACEP) is leveraging the kinds of visualizations of data that Linn’s research has shown to be most effective in helping students understand scientific processes.

Linn’s talk highlighted several simulation and visualizations in the Web-based Science Inquiry Environment tool developed at UC Berkeley based on her Knowledge Integration Methodology, which encourages classrooms that are focused on instructor-facilitated student inquiry.

While Linn’s examples were from K-12 classrooms, a similar philosophy has informed the Students As Producers movement in higher education that began in the UK and has been growing rapidly in the U.S. Like WISE and Knowledge Integration, Students as Producers projects and programs treat technology as a support for classroom teaching that is more individualized and targeted to student demonstrations of learning through doing.

Most recently, this movement was behind last fall’s “headless” massive open online course, DS106 , based on an original Students as Producers digital storytelling/computer science course at the University of Mary Washington, which featured “helpers not teachers”.

Coming up: Friday, April 25, seven faculty members from Columbia University and affiliates will share their experiences using educational technology at the Spring 2014 rewirED Faculty Showcase, an event that celebrates the work of instructors who have participated in the seminar series sponsored by CCNMTL on the intersection of technology and teaching.