October 20, 2016

Part 1 in this blog series (http://teaching.berkeley.edu/news/opportunities-digital-pedagogy-part-1) discussed the opportunity digital pedagogy provides to reflect on why you teach the way that you do and to explore current learning theories.  In addition it listed a few books that you might find interesting in further developing your teaching practices.  

Part 2 (http://teaching.berkeley.edu/news/opportunities-digital-pedagogy-part-2) focused on the opportunities digital pedagogy gives us to reflect on how technology has changed learners/learning and to consider how to blend the best of all available learning environments into one cohesive, effective learning experience (Blended Learning) using the strengths and minimizing the limitations of each learning mode.

Now let’s consider two more opportunities that digital pedagogy affords us.

Opportunity #4: In considering Digital Pedagogy we have the opportunity to use technology to enhance learner engagement, information delivery, and/or assessment.

Bowen (2012) points out “technology gives us many more possibilities for learning activities and many more ways and times for stimulating and connecting with our students.”  It’s important to start simplistically in incorporating digital learning strategies. Do you need learners to engage more with their peers, the content and you?  Or, does it make sense for some of the information/content delivery to occur outside classroom time?  Or, would the use of online self-assessments strengthen learning of the content?  Begin by focusing on improving just one of these areas in your course.  After you are comfortable with using technology in that area, move on to another.

On the other hand, many of us would like to improve all these areas at once.  Realize that this option will require extensive planning so you’ll want to begin exploring digital pedagogy options at least 2 semesters before your digitally-enhanced course will be offered.  Also, consider meeting with a CTL pedagogical consultant to brainstorm your course.  Email teaching@berkeley.edu if you wish to schedule a consul

Opportunity #5: In considering Digital Pedagogy we have the opportunity to use an Intentional Design Process.

While the syllabus is an important communication tool to our students, it is not a course design document, particularly when incorporating multiple learning environments and technology tools.  Course design should begin with analyzing the learners, then formulating clear learning outcomes, and then aligning the development of assessments, selection of content, activities, and technology tools, with those outcomes.  If a course syllabus is developed before the actual course is designed, it’s easy for content to be the focus as opposed to learning and the learners.

Some people refer to “backward design” but the term “intentional design” used by Jared and Stein (2014) is more accurate.  We design a course “forward” with “intention” with the outcomes always in mind.  Everything that happens in a course is mapped to an outcome.  Writing an effective outcome is an art.  A good resource for this can be found at http://teaching.berkeley.edu/resources/design/course-level-learning-goalsoutcomes 

The Next Opportunity

These are a few of the opportunities that digital pedagogy affords us.  Where will you start? We can help.  The Center for Teaching and Learning in collaboration with Educational Technology Services and The University Library have developed the Digital Pedagogy Pathways Program. For more information, contact Rita-Marie Conrad in the Center for Teaching and Learning, rmconrad@berkeley.edu or see http://teaching.berkeley.edu/programs/digital-pedagogy-pathways-program.


Bowen, J.A. (2012). Teaching naked: How moving technology out of your college classroom will improve student learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Stein, J. & Graham, C.R. (2014).  Essentials for blended learning: A standards-based guide. New York: Routledge.