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Technology Resources

Effective use of technology can advance learning beyond the limitations of the classroom, and reach learners of various abilities and motivations. Digital Learning promotes a thoughtful approach to technology integration and selection of tools, applications, and software that aim to promote learning.

Below are resources to help you navigate the various technology tools and familiarize yourself with some guiding principles for effective technology integration.

Online Learning Platforms

In partnership with Educational Technology Services (ETS), Digital Learning supports development of online courses on two platforms: Canvas and UC San Diego Online. More information about the platforms are below.

Resource Description
Transition to Canvas Learn about the transition from Blackboard to Canvas, UC San Diego's new Learning Management System for matriculated courses.
UC San Diego Online (in development) UC San Diego's open learning management system for fully online course and programs.
New Online Platforms FAQ Information and facts about Canvas and UC San Diego Online, the new platforms for online learning.

Instructional Multimedia

"People learn more deeply from words and graphics than from words alone. This assertion can be called the multimedia principle, and it forms the basis for using multimedia instruction—that is, instruction containing words (such as spoken text or printed text) and graphics (such as illustrations, charts, photos, animation, or video) that is intended to foster learning" (Mayer, 2009).

Instructional multimedia includes all materials that an instructor may create or use to facilitate learning in an online or digital format. Instructional multimedia includes, but is not limited to digital texts, slide presentations, audio clips, videos, graphics, and images.

When thinking about curation or creation of multimedia, consider the audio, visual, and interactive ways that students will be receiving, processing, and engaging with the content, and how the media will help learners achieve the learning goals.

Resource Description

Multimedia Services
(UC San Diego)

Digital Learning partners with Multimedia Services to help instructors develop engaging microlectures, learning glass videos, and on-site videos to enhance, supplement, and create instructional content for online, hybrid, and flipped classes.

Effective Educational Videos (pdf)

An article by Cynthia Brame, focusing on video and impact on the classroom experience, including recommendations on segmenting, weeding, and matching modality.

Research-Based Principles for Designing Multimedia Instruction (pdf)

Richard E. Mayer (University of California, Santa Barbara)

An overview of multimedia instruction, and research on design principles for multimedia instruction, including spatial contiguity, segmenting, and personalization.
Creating Accessible Videos
(University of Washington)
This video describes key elements to consider when making a video, so that it is accessible to all viewers. This includes captioning, audio description, and pre-production techniques and considerations. (University of Washington, Accessible Technology)
Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia learning (2nd ed). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Instructional Technology Tools

There is an abundance of technology tools that can be utilized to extend the classroom, engage learners, utilize assistive technology, maximize classroom time, and facilitate active learning. How do you know which tools are best equipped to support student learning and help, not hinder, the learning experience? Which tools best support the learning goals, while protecting student privacy?

The resources below provide guidance on the approaches to instructional technology integration, the tools supported at UC San Diego, and considerations to make before choosing the most effective way to integrate technology.

Resource Description
Directory of Instructional Tools
(Educational Technology Services)

This directory provides a summary of the tools that have been reviewed, or are under review, for instructional use at UC San Diego. Educational Technology Services, along with the Instructional Technology Governance Committee, Campus Privacy Officer, Office of Information Assurance, and the Teaching + Learning Commons continues to vet and review the growing list of third party tools through the Instructional Tool Guidance vetting process using a tiered risk approach and an evaluative rubric.

SAMR Model (Ruben Puentedura, PhD)
A model for identifying technology integration tiers: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition.

What the SAMR Model May Be Missing (EdSurge)
An article about the benefits and challenges of technology integration including minimizing complexity, maximizing invidual power, and enhancing human connection.

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)
The TPACK framework attempts to identify the nature of knowledge required by teachers for technology integration in their teaching.

Digital Accessibility

Recognizing learner variability and the uniqueness of your learners is the first step to ensuring digital access. Digital Learning supports utilization of technology to deliver content in multiple modalities that enable access and usability for the universe of learners.

Enabling digital access aims to reach students with a broad spectrum of ability, ranging from physical to cognitive, situational to permanent. Students impacted by inaccessible digital assets can fall into the following categories:

Visual: Blind, low-vision, color-blind, forgotten reading glasses, no screen
Hearing: Deafness, hard-of-hearing, limited range hearing, no earbuds, no speakers
Motor: response time, limited fine motor control, on a bumpy bus, hands are full.
Cognitive:Learning disabilities, distractibility, tired, high functioning, low functioning

Digital access includes enabling Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust (POUR) access to a computer, the learning management system, internet connection, software, and computer hardware. It also includes access to digital text such as documents, pdfs, and power point slides and visual content such as videos and animations.

Some of the resources below provide guidance on the importance of digital access and how to enable access for all learners.

Resource Description
Electronic Accessibility (UCOP) The UC IT Leadership Council formed the Electronic Accessibility Committee (EAC) to facilitate systemwide coordination of and communication about IT accessibility related issues.
Making Your Course More Universally Accessible (OSD Video Tutorial) Steps for creating a course that is universally accessible to all students at UC San Diego, produced by the Office for Students with Disabilities.
Screen Reader Demo (UCSF) A demonstration by UCSF IT of screen reader software.
Considering the User Perspective (WebAIM) Challenges in each category of disability and proposed solutions for better design.

Tools for Ensuring Digital Accessibility


University of California has licensed the SiteImprove platform for automated accessibility testing. Learn about getting access to SiteImprove at UC San Diego.
Resource Description
Accessiblity Tools and Resource List (UC San Diego Library Resource) List of selected testing tools, articles to facilitate conformity with Web Content Accessbility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Color Contrast Checker (WebAIM) Enter a foreground and background color or choose a color using the color picker. WCAG 2.0 level AA requires a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for regular text.
Microsoft Word - Creating Accessible Documents (WebAIM) General principles for increasing accessibility in all versions of Microsoft Word.
Make Your PowerPoint Presentations Accessible (Microsoft) Step-by-step instructions to make your PowerPoint presentations accessible.
Create and Verify PDF Accessibility (Adobe Acrobat Pro) The steps required to make an accessible PDF and how to utilize the Accessibility Toolset in Adobe Acrobat Pro.