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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Innovation

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/its/academic/innovation.html

Academic Technology Services is committed to supporting a broad range of innovations in and out of the classroom. We look to industry standard models such as the Gartner Hype Cycle and the annual Educause/New Media Consortium Horizon Report to guide our thinking about what opportunities and challenges are emerging for higher education and technology for the future.

Below are some of the innovative projects that we have piloted over the past year, as well as some areas we are interested in exploring in the future.

  • MavTUBE: MavTUBE is like YouTube for the Minnesota State University, Mankato community. 
  • Badging: Badging is a way to credential specific skills and competencies within your course or extra-curricular activities in order to allow learners to showcase those skills in public or semi-public ways: for example, in their D2L profile, in their LinkedIn or Facebook profiles, or as part of a CV, résumé, or ePortfolio.
  • TelePresence: TelePresence is a high-end videoconferencing technology that allows learners across space to connect with one another in real-time with impeccable quality, life-sized audio and video. If you've experienced Skype -- you still haven't come close to experiencing TelePresence!
  • Gaming and Simulation: Games and simulations have the capacity for a number of constructive learning processes, such as allowing learners to leverage an "infinitely patient tutor", enabling them to "level-up" as their skills grow, and enabling them to engage in authentic assessment scenarios in a low-stakes environment.
  • eBooks and iBooks: eBooks and iBooks provide a means of curating content into an interactive, portable format.
  • Advanced eLearning Software: Advanced eLearning Software, such as Articulate, Articulate Storyline, and SoftChalk, allow instructors to create interactive "widgets" and modules that demonstrate concepts and allow learners to explore complex ideas.
  • 2.5-D and 3-D Imaging: Creating 2.5 and 3-D images can help learners explore physical images that they can't touch with their hands. Some very interesting tools, such as Arqball Spin, have made creating simple 2.5-D images that can be manipulated by students as part of a learning environment very accessible.
  • Mobiles and Rapid App Development: Creating customized apps in a rapid development environement has become increasingly normed as mobiles have become preferred computing devices for many learners.
  • MOOCs: Much ink, digital and physical, has been spilled about Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. What do MOOCs mean for Minnesota State Mankato? How should we think about this new entrant into the educational ecosystem?
  • Learner Analytics: As we increasingly teach in blended and online environments, we are collecting incidental data on our learners' activities in our courses. How can we leverage those data to improve student success? What can this tell us about our own teaching and provide us a roadmap to differentiate instruction and better meet our learners' needs?