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Learner Engagement Summit 2023

The Summit has passed, but the opportunity to learn hasn't! We have recordings of the sessions available to registrants and those who request it. 

If you registered for the conference, you should have the recordings in your inbox. Let us know if not!

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What was the Summit?

This no-cost conference had have many great opportunities for you to learn from your peers and discuss the future of education. Below are some highlights of what happened at the event.

We kicked off the first day with a short introduction from Yellowdig's Founder and CEO, Shaunak Roy. Then, he will turn it over to Mark Milliron, President and CEO of National University. 

Throughout the 2 days, there was the opportunity to hear from Yellowdig users innovatively and effectively driving engagement in their courses across many subjects, including Philosophy, Business, Language Learning, and Clinical/fieldwork. 

There was options to attend roundtable discussions featuring leaders, designers, and faculty members from institutions including Arizona State University, Boston University, Babson College, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Central Florida, and others. 

Each day, we concluded with a riveting keynote from a prominent leader in the field. On January 11th, we heard from Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Digital Learning at the University of Central Florida. On January 12th, we concluded the conference with a message from Richard Senese, Ph.D., L.P., President of Capella University

The 2023 Summit Schedule

Take a look at the sessions from 2023's summit to see if you'd like to request a recording.

Day 1 - January 11th

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Join Shaunak Roy, Founder and CEO of Yellowdig, as he gives the opening remarks for the event.

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In this finale to the webinar series hosted by Shaunak Roy, Yellowdig's Founder and CEO, Shaunak Roy will bring together leaders featured in the series along with new perspectives.

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Are you using Yellowdig this semester? Join the Yellowdig team to ensure you're all set! Bring your questions.

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Can one fundamentally change student engagement with content, classmates, and instructors while using traditional tools? Perhaps, through innovative practices and modifications to past practice this is possible, but it is a formidable challenge. Many faculty have sought to meet the pedagogical and technical challenges with various levels of success.
To explore making a paradigm shift in how we engage our students in conversation with one another and instructors about content, we chose to conduct a two phased pilot of Yellowdig, over four semesters. Following an inclusive model for instructional technology piloting, requiring faculty and professional staff to collaborate in course redesign, we explored the use of Yellowdig in varying modalities, disciplines, and class sizes.
This thorough approach which included IRB approval for data collection, has led to many lessons learned and the development of a variety of teaching practices and supports. It has allowed us to make data-based decisions regarding our future use of Yellowdig.

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Hear from ​Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Digital Learning at the University of Central Florida.

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There is no going back to “normal.” We’ve been through too much, learned too much, and are too motivated to help more students learn and live well than ever before. And rather than adopt a “new normal”, this presentation makes the case for the new possible. To begin the journey toward this new possible, we’ll take a needed beat and (1) confront the conflation of emergency remote learning with decades of online and blended-learning practice; (2) explore pandemic-inspired innovations from the pros and those freshly embracing digital tools; and (3) learn together from leaders, innovators, and each other as we contemplate what we want to bring forward in our own education efforts on the road ahead. Finally, we will discuss how we better connect to the aspirations and needs of our students, and figure out how together we can make the new possible far better than normal ever was.

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Join Mika LaVaque-Manty the Director of the LSA Honors Program and Gayle Green the Assistant Director, Advisor, Housing Coordinator at the University of Michigan to hear about how they found success with an online community for their orientation. 

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This session will discuss strategies to increase engagement in fully online courses through the use of Yellowdig. Some of the strategies discussed will be how to create a Yellowdig "theme" for your course, modeling student behaviors, the use of accolades, and incorporating Learning Assistants to maximize Yellowdig's potential. The session will also review lessons learned from the Yellowdig implementation. In addition, we will review engagement data collected in a fully online Introduction to Psychology course.

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Learn from leaders and faculty across business education about engagement. Bring questions!

Meet the panelists:

Dr. Tawnya Means - Assistant Dean for Educational Innovation and Chief Learning Officer at Gies College of Business

Victoria Crittenden - Professor of Marketing | Babson Research Scholar at Babson University

Graceful Beam - Assistant Dean of Business at Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Chris Lee - Assistant Teaching Professor in the Supply Chain Management Department at the W.P. Carey School of Business at

Arizona State University

Day 2 - January 12th

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Join Yellowdig's VP of Product Engagement, Brian Verdine, Ph.D. for a quick welcome for Day 2 of the Learner Engagement Summit.

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Ever wonder why play is a vital learning tool in early childhood education, yet we expect adult students to be serious learners with no time for play? Play doesn't lose its power in the learning process as people age - it's separated out of the adult learning experience because cultural scripts tell us play is trivial. Come explore how a playful pedagogy can better meet students’ learning needs and establishes the right environment for brain-based learning and a more engaged learning experience.

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Engagement, community, sense of connectedness and a humanized learning experience are elements of the larger foundation necessary for success design and development of an online course. The online ‘classroom’ environment is as important as the content that is brought to the learners. The strategies employed to foster an inclusive learning community has secondary benefits in ensuring that learners are sharing their authentic voices. This presentation will discuss two case studies for employing an engagement platform in low and high enrollment online courses. The case studies will include the benefits from a faculty point of view as well as learner voices.

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Tune in to hear from a panel of 4 experienced Instructional Designers on the critical topic of designing engagement into the course experience. 

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Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI) is a key Department of Education requirement in determining financial aid eligibility for distance education programs. In addressing RSI expectations, the requirements are not black and white. While we may prefer a clear standard, a bit of leeway is necessary given the variations in effective and innovative ways in which faculty engage students. 


Join this session to learn more from experts at WCET about how to apply RSI guidelines to real-life circumstances. They will be joined by Yellowdig’s leadership to discuss how the nuances of RSI are being applied to online learning communities. They have insights based on how different institutions are ensuring RSI compliance and documenting that these RSI activities are occurring.

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Join Alison Cardberry & Sue Griffin, two Master Lecturers of Spanish at Boston University to learn how they've successfully driven engagement for language learning.

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Encouraging communication and collaboration amongst students while out on clinical rotation is an integral part of the learning experience. Traditional discussion boards tend to have a ceiling as to how much students can effectively engage with and support one another. Connecting with classmates online while away from home and school is a way for students to strengthen relationships and share common experiences or learn new strategies to succeed. Utilizing a more interactive platform has not only helped supplement the student learning experience and given them a more effective support network amongst their peers, but has encouraged conversations that can be used to demonstrate certain benchmarks are being met within the program for accreditation purposes.

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This session will challenge the attendees to reevaluate how they operate daily through ERAU’s stories, operational changes, and ability to look beyond the norms of higher education to a more inclusive and connected future. In this session, the ERAU team will explore what human-centered learning design truly is and how it influences learner engagement. They’ll share real examples of initiatives within their teams that illustrate the thriving academic innovation at work within their university.

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Join us to hear from a panel of outstanding Yellowdig users. We'll lead them in a discussion to learn what made them so successful and to learn more about their use of Yellowdig.

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