Research and Technology
OISE faculty have researched learning technologies for over two decades...
- Online Research Environments
- Supporting Research Environments at OISE
- Integrating Online Environments with Blackboard
Teaching and learning are core drivers for research conducted at OISE. For over two decades, faculty at OISE have been interested in conducting research to explore the effectiveness of various technologies and the potential of online learning environments for teaching and learning collaborations. OISE has seen the emergence of many new technology innovations to support such investigations.
The Education Commons has always endorsed this type of research. Over the years, we have partnered with investigators to aid them with their innovations, pilot new ideas, develop integrated technology for our institutional needs such as C2C, and use findings to support faculty, students and staff to ensure they are on the forefront of educational findings within an online setting.
Online Research Environments
There are three prime research platforms that are currently being used in classes at OISE:
Practice and research-informed institutional collaborative tool for communities of practice for courses, research and administrative communities.
Knowledge Forum (KF)
Knowledge Forum (KF) is an electronic group workspace designed to support the process of knowledge building. With Knowledge Forum, any number of individuals and groups can share information, launch collaborative investigations, and build networks of new ideas…together. KF has been researched over the last two decades in classrooms from Grades 1 through to University and workplace settings.
Pepper (formerly KeC: Knowledge e-Commons)
Principal Investigator: Jim Hewitt
For more information contact: Jim Hewitt
The Pepper Project is a research initiative dedicated to the design of educational software that fosters 21st century skills. The project’s core technology, called “Pepper”, is a web-based collaborative workspace where students can engage in in-depth inquiry. Pepper offers a variety of specialized knowledge building features and social networking tools that support learners of all ages in their efforts to share information, identify key ideas, and progressively work to improve those ideas.
Supporting Research Environments at OISE
When such research environments are used as part of OISE courses, they are not directly supported by central UofT or OISE’s Education Commons as institutional services. Instead, these environments are supported by the prime investigators or associated team members and researchers.
In order to accommodate research activities and still meet the Provost's expectations for security, stability and stewardship of technological platforms used by students for coursework, OISE has developed an integrated strategy that meets the requirements of the researchers as well as the institution.
Integrating Online Environments with Blackboard
OISE GSA has asked that all courses be available via the Blackboard portal to increase findability and coherence of online course and program components. This process is as simple as placing a link in Blackboard.
Place a link to any research environment or tool (URL) in your Blackboard course shell. Use this for any external link that you wish to attach as part of the learning expereince.
This model, endorsed by the central CIO's office and the OISE administration, is used to support use of research environments for course delivery. Specifically, for required coursework a simple link to the research environment must be provided in the ROSI generated Blackboard course shell.
This acts as a fallback for communicating with students in remote locations in case the research environment becomes unavailable, or data is lost for any reason.
- This model improves the student experience by offering consistency across campus and access to other online instutitional information only available through Blackboard (UT's Portal).