Designing Digital Learning Experiences (2021-2022)

The 2021-2022 Digital Learning Design Working Group supported faculty in developing innovative learning experiences for their students.

Funded by the Academic Technology Advisory Board, the working group brought together eight faculty from a variety of disciplines for 10 working sessions over the course the year.

Participants spent the fall designing and testing their projects before implementing them in their spring courses. The spring semester sessions provided time for group members to reflect on what they were learning from seeing their projects in action.

Image of people on Zoom, 2x8 grid


  • Amey Victory Atkins-Jones, Theology and AADS
  • Kyrah Daniels, Art, Art History, and Film, AADS
  • Jonathan Krones, Engineering
  • Yajun Mo, History
  • Laura O’Dwyer, Education
  • Heather Olins, Biology
  • Dennis Shirley, Education
  • Njoke Thomas, Management & Organization, CSOM

Selected Project Descriptions

Njoke Thomas

Prof. Thomas wanted to offer undergraduate students an insider experience of how an organization’s design and structure evolves over time and in response to environmental changes. She designed a group simulation assignment that in which students had to build and run a fictional company using an online game called The Founder. For more about Prof. Thomas’s project see the following case study: Using Simulations to Teach Organizational Behavior.

Amey Victory Atkins-Jones

Prof. Atkins-Jones wanted to give students in her African and African Diaspora Studies Senior Seminar a chance to explore and document an artistic, embodied practice in their own lives. She designed a documentary film project that had students document one practiced in their lives throughout the semester and then work in a group to theorize the relationships between their intellectual and creative pursuits using what they learned in the course.

View Sample Video Project

Heather Olins: AR for Deep Sea Biology

Prof. Heather Olins (Biology) found that her students’ ability to observe or interact with deep sea creatures was typically limited to passively looking at photographs or watching video footage. She felt that students needed to analyze the connections between form, function, and the environment with interactive models in the online space. In her project, she develop augmented reality 3D models of species that students could interact using an iPad.

Kyra Daniels: AR for Art History

Professor Kyrah Daniels (Art, Art History, and Film Department) had a similar challenge as Heather Olins: In order to help students fully explore the connections between form, function, and the environment in art history, she created a 3D environment for them to interact with course content, in this case African & African Diaspora masks in the content of voodoo rituals.

Example Student AR Project

Dennis Shirley: Collaborative Annotation for Deepening Engagement

In his graduate online course in the Lynch School, Prof. Shirley found it challenging to provide students a high level of interaction around rich academic content without requiring too much writing (either for them or him). It was important that they have rewarding interactions both with each other and the ideas covered in the course, so he experimented with using the Feedback Fruits text annotation tool to help student both practice close and connect with each other in the process.

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