Technology-Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) Classroom

University Hall has a unique new teaching space, the 63-seat Technology-Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) classroom. The physical layout and technological setup of the room are designed to facilitate student-to-student, student-to-teacher, and classroom-wide collaboration.

Designed for team work and class-wide collaboration

  • 7 tables of 9 seats (63 students)
  • Each with whiteboard, PC, 3 monitors
  • Students can plug in laptops
  • Central console for instructor
  • Can project any computer to any/all screens
  • Controls projector to single large screen

    Learn more here.

  • Developing Simulations

    UMass Boston faculty have the opportunity to develop simulations in which up to a 100 students participate in a 2 hour game-like experience, in the role of U.S. Senators, to investigate an issue and construct legislation centered on the issue. Students can debate, give speeches, negotiate with their colleagues and ultimately take a stand during a floor roll call vote.

    Topics are unlimited but examples include: cyber-bullying, political status of Puerto Rico, Farm Bill, minimum wage, Native American issues, health care, education, civil rights, debt limit, assault weapons, homeland security, DREAM Act.

    Faculty Information Session Includes:

  • Listening to presenters from the Edward M. Kennedy Institute as they demonstrate how you can use their kit to develop a simulation
  • Considering ideas for how your course content can play out in a Senate Immersion Module
  • Seeing a sample faculty-developed simulation
  • Learning about the technology used by students during the SIM

    Learn more here.

    Learning Analytics

    Open Data Analytics Initiative
    CIEE’s Open Data Analytics Initiative (ODAI) represents a first step in analytics ‘engine’ design, cross-LMS data management, and curricular study of recorded online learning events. Our research has shown that the mainstream LMS platforms collect analogous data sets regarding the details of learning. With our partners we intend to harness the LMS big data to answer key questions regarding how curricula are actually working, and how each learner best learns.

    The Open Data Analytics Initiative is a consortium movement emanating from the University of Massachusetts Boston, forged to develop an LMS-agnostic learning analytics engine. Online college programs use a variety of LMS (learning management systems), each collecting data on learning and curricula, none offering a cross-platform learning analytics solution. For lack of an agnostic engine, data sharing barriers abound. Individual attempts to compare data are expensive, involve long implementation times, extensive training.

    A consortium-build analytic engine answers many use-case needs:

  • Institutions using a second (or third, or fourth) learning management system, with legacy data from courses and programs of study in a defunct LMS tool are otherwise barred from conducting longitudinal comparisons and analysis of their own data assets.
  • Institutions offering programs of study not offered widely (such as graduate programs in Instructional Design) wish to share and compare data on learning and curricula with sister programs whose data resides in a different (or legacy) LMS platform.
  • Institutions seeking to answer research questions on eLearning best practices must undertake analysis of “big data” contributed by multiple consortium member schools using multiple LMS system in a world where none of the LMS-proprietary reporting tools enabling such study.

    Learn more here.

  • Open Education Initiatives

    Open Education Initiatives: Open Courses
    CIEE has been engaged by academic units of the university in partnership with corporate partners to produce two Online Open Courses, intentionally distinct in delivery modes, intended learning populations, engagement methods, and learning platforms.

    Coasts and Communities
    CIEE currently is producing the second offering of Coasts and Communities in partnership with UMass Boston’s School for the Environment. Coasts and Communities will launch July 14, 2014, and will be hosted in CourseSites — the public Blackboard Learn 9 platform.

    Molecular Dynamics for Discoveries in Computational Science
    The Adaptive MOOC, Molecular Dynamics for Discoveries in Computational Science, a graduate level course, ran for 12 weeks from March to June 2013 and remains available for viewing and self-study within the Adaptive Mobile Online Learning (AMOL) platform. CIEE sponsored this MOOC in partnership with the UMass Boston Physics Department and Synaptic Global Learning, receiving invaluable captioning support through the Liberated Learning Consortium.

    Open Education Initiatives: Collaborative Exploration
    CIEE is exploring a partnership with Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) Graduate Program, which has since April 2013 hosted a series of online Collaborative Explorations (CEs) open to the public. CEs are an extension of Project-Based Learning (PBL) in which participants shape their own directions of inquiry stimulated by interactions in a small group through live sessions for an hour over 4 weeks and asynchronous exchanges and inquiry in between. The CEs often parallel, but are independent from, equivalent PBL cases in regular CCT courses. In contrast to MOOCs, a CE focuses on establishing effective learning in small online communities then potentially scales up from there. CEs aim to address the needs of online learners who want to: dig deeper; make “thicker” connections with other learners; connect topics with their own interests; participate for shorter periods than a semester-long MOOC; and learn without needing credits or badges given for MOOC completion. In short, online CEs aim to be “moderate-size open online collaborative learning.”

    Learn more here.

    Center for Innovation and Excellence in eLearning

    The Center for innovation and Excellence in eLearning (CIEE), the premier center of its kind, promotes, encourages and sponsors the study of eLearning in the university, corporate, and public sectors.

    Based on the campus of University of Massachusetts Boston, and working hand-in-hand with other campuses in the UMass system, the center serves as a linchpin for research and critical thought on eLearning in its many forms, including online education, mobile learning, and multimedia education. CIEE will publish a peer-reviewed research journal to serve the academic community by disseminating new knowledge related to eLearning.

    CIEE Current Projects
    Open Education
    The Center for Innovation and Excellence in eLearning is engaged in applied research on Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) delivery leading to learning analytics studies and outcomes assessments. (Read more here.)
    Learning Analytics
    CIEE is pursuing a research agenda to identify and develop systems and models to analyze data on student learning gathered from learning management systems (LMS). We seek to establish both a tool set and a consortium of partners interested in taking an instructional design approach to predictive analytics, an approach distinct from the study of the concerns regarding retention, progression and completing, focused instead on the moments of learning. (Read more here.)

    About the Director
    Alan Girelli earned his PhD in Composition and Rhetoric from UMass Amherst. His research area is synchronous networked communications. He began teaching collaboration on LANS at Emerson College in 1986, pioneered use of ASPECTS at Brandeis University in 1991, and Netmeeting, Timbuktu, and CUSeeMe at UMass Boston in 1997, before the advent of learning management systems and online education.