Student as Producer, Technology

Experts in Their Own Learning (Data)

One of the events that I’ve been involved with over the past few years is UBC’s Learning Analytics Hackathons. These events usually involve around 100+ students cramming into the very cool, but windowless, Sauder Learning Labs for a full day or weekend. They dig into data from educational technologies and explore by doing the ways that the data supports (or doesn’t) their learning.  It’s a very hands-on maker pedagogy approach.

One of the reasons I like being involved in these events is that they provide real transparency for students – learning technology collects data so giving students the opportunity to work with that data brings it out of the black box and into the sunlight. The goal for the most recent hackathon was to use anonymized data from a Canvas course to help an instructor answer real questions about their course.  As I mention in the below article, I’m always impressed by participants’ enthusiasm and dedication. Students have real expertise in their own learning experiences and a real nuanced perspective around data and its use for learning – being able to engage with them in this space is always a fun and informative experience.

Read the full article.


Examples of Teaching with WordPress at UBC

Here’s a quick (well not that quick) screencast I put together as part of the Teaching with WordPress course. In the video, I highlight some of the different approaches and use cases of how WP is being used for teaching and learning at UBC. Here’s the specific courses and plugs-in that I mention:

Video Game Law:
Arts One Open:
Arts One Seminar:

Gravity Forms:
Wiki Embed Plug in:…

Apologies for all of the scrolling!


Some Quick Numbers on WordPress & MediaWiki at UBC

The three main platforms that support open education at UBC are UBC Blogs (WordPress), UBC Wiki (MediaWiki), and UBC CMS (WordPress). They are used in a lot of different ways but on the start of Open Education Week, I thought I’d post some quick stats Scott helped me pull for a recent presentation. All numbers are current to the beginning of March.

UBC Blogs

  • unique users: 28,777
  • unique blogs: 21,207

UBC Wiki

  • unique users: 16,658
  • pages/files: 56,436


Since September 2014, there have been almost 10,000 new users across the platforms. The team that helps develop these platforms not only do a fantastic job supporting set of a robust, always up tools that underpin a lot of UBC’s open education efforts but they are also involved in numerous innovative projects that push our understanding of how these technologies support teaching and learning, such as UBC’s Open Badge Pilot.