A Year in Review

Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement

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About the Team

The Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team partners with faculty members, academic units, and other university stakeholders to advance the culture of teaching and learning at the U.

Our goal is to empower faculty members and others to create innovative, effective, and meaningful learning experiences through learner-centered and active learning pedagogies, differentiated teaching and learning platforms, and emerging educational technologies.

Team Profiles

About This Report

The Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement 2017 Annual Report feature some of the team’s accomplishments and successes across the university during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Since it’s impossible to fully encompass all of the day-to-day achievements that we make alongside faculty members and university partners, we’ve opted to focus on highlights and snapshots that demonstrate our impact at the university. Our hope is that we can share our story with the broader university community so that we can continue to expand our reach to new partners and collaborators.




Teaching and Learning Spaces




Scholarly Engagement

Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement


Faculty Showcase 2017

Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Storytelling

Hosted by Academic Technologies, the Faculty Showcase is an opportunity for faculty to present, share, network, and discover the fascinating and innovative ways fellow colleagues are employing technology and effective teaching strategies in their courses. Funded by the Knight Foundation as part of the Narrative Techniques Study, attendees were introduced to topics including Student Stories, Civic Engagement, 3D Printing, Video Feedback, Active Learning, Online and Hybrid Learning, Student Generated Podcasts, and Virtual Reality.



On May 16th, 108 participants attended the 2017 Faculty Showcase: ‘Transforming Teaching and Learning through Storytelling,’



Each activity was led by one of 24 members of faculty focusing on innovative teaching strategies



Over 22 sessions were held, including 11 learning circles, 9 faculty exhibits, 3 faculty spotlights, and 1 keynote.

Faculty Development Workshops

By request, the Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team provides customized faculty development workshops are on pedagogical and technological strategies. A summary of workshops conducted during 2016-2017 academic year are listed below.


Summer Writing Institute, College of Arts and Sciences

For the third year running, we were invited to present to faculty enrolled in the Summer Writing Institute by Adina Sanchez-Garcia & April Mann. Faculty included RSMAS, Philosophy, Biology, Chemistry, Theatre Arts, History, Civil and Architectural Engineering, Art & Art History, Psychology, Geography.

We presented on Digital Portfolios, Information Design, Blackboard Discussions, StoryMaps and other writing-related technology. Each member of staff was given the opportunity to create a one-page reflective webpage on their work at the SWI using Adobe Spark Page.


Narrative Techniques Bootcamp

Funded by the Knight Foundation, a two-day Narrative Techniques Bootcamp led fifteen faculty members in the use of narrative techniques in online or technology-enhanced courses. Through structured activities, we introduced faculty to six teaching and learning techniques: faculty and student stories, case studies, role-playing activities, student-generated media, open-ended problems, and simple simulations. During and after this bootcamp, faculty members were each paired with an instructional designer to support them in their implementation of a narrative technique and measure the effect of using narrative techniques on student performance.


Flipped Learning Workshops
College of Engineering

Two workshops were attended by sixteen College of Engineering faculty and Dean Jean-Pierre Bardet on the topic of flipped learning strategies. This workshop offered a practical opportunity for faculty to breakdown an existing class according to outcomes, activities, assessments and resources; generate and curate resources; and explore tools to support a flipped learning approach.


Emerging Educational Technologies, Modern Language and Literatures

This hands-on workshop was attended by twenty-eight Modern Languages and Literatures faculty members who wanted to explore emerging technologies and teaching strategies to enhance their on campus classes.

This two hour workshop focused on Adobe Spark Video for digital storytelling, Google Docs for collaborative learning activities, Kahoot! for game-based review exercises, and an introduction to the One Button Studio for video presentations. In groups, participants collaboratively translated a “fable” into a script using Google Docs, used this script to create a short-video using Adobe Spark, employed personal devices to complete a review exercise with Kahoot!, and visited the Faculty Exploratory to test the One Button Studio.

"Thank you for your excellent training session today. It was clear to me that you had put a great deal of thought and planning into creating meaningful, contextualized activities for language instructors. My colleagues were thoroughly engaged and impressed throughout. When Rachel [Varra] and I approached you last semester with some fairly vague ideas for a workshop, I thought that you might struggle to fill two hours: as it turned out, we could easily have spent much more time learning and enjoying ourselves. Thanks again, and I look forward to further collaboration.” 

Kevin Finn, Ph.D., Director, French Basic Language Program, Modern Languages & Literatures

Teaching and Learning


Faculty Exploratory

The Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team supports, in collaboration with the Digital Media Lab, the Faculty Exploratory, located on the third floor of the Richter Library. The Faculty Exploratory is a multipurpose space available for faculty that promotes interactions with technology and stimulates conversations related to technology integration in teaching and learning. The room comes equipped with a One Button Studio, and this year a new Lightboard was added to the space.

One Button Studio

An automated video studio designed for easy video recording


Bring your own devices, plug them into a display, and share screens and media.


Informal Meeting Space

A meeting space for faculty development initiatives, such as the Faculty Learning Communities.

Technology Demonstration Space

Get hands-on experience with new devices.

Lightboard: Made by Faculty for Faculty

Built by Professor James Wilson, he utilizes the Lightboard and One Button Studio to spark creativity and motivation in his Organic Chemistry classroom.

In Summer 2016, Dr. Wilson began creating a series of lecture videos that were to be posted to his Blackboard course, and thus utilizing more time in the classroom for practical and experiential application of the concepts outlined in the video.  Wilson comments - "Students are expected to watch these videos for homework along with short assigned readings and solving basic problems. Then we come to class where we can talk about the interesting stuff.”

Learning Commons

The Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team continues to serve as a satellite partner in the development of the Learning Commons in the library, an effort to co-locate, coordinate and enhance existing academic services.

Partner Meetings

During the year, members of the LIFE team have attended regular Learning Commons partner meetings in anticipation for the launch of the Learning Commons in Spring 2018.

Consultations and Resources

During this time, we have consulted with service partners, aided in the development of materials and resources, as well as supported and advised the initiative to align our work with faculty with the services provided to students.

Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement



The Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team has continued to expand its impact over the 2016-2017 academic year, consulting over 150 faculty members and other university stakeholders through consultations or workshops with faculty and staff located on all three campuses: the Coral Gables campus, the Miller School of Medicine or the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Faculty Learning Community

The Faculty Learning Community (FLC) is a trans-disciplinary community of practice where faculty are actively engaged in collaboration, experimentation with technology, and development of innovative teaching practices. The FLC meets throughout the year to discuss ideas, possible course activities, and technologies to enhance teaching and learning.  These discussions lead to long-lasting bonds and interdisciplinary partnerships, and is foundational to enhancing the teaching and learning environment at the university.



LIFE facilitated three concurrent FLCs during the academic year, involving fourteen faculty members from across academic units.



Participants are currently redesigning components within their existing courses. Upon completion, they will share their story to inspire interested faculty members.

Narrative Techniques Study

The Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team are now in the second year of the "Narrative Techniques” grant from the Knight Foundation, which is helping us to explore and evaluate the effectiveness of using narrative techniques to “humanize” online and technology-enhanced courses. An additional fifteen faculty members were trained during a two-day workshop and have implemented a narrative technique in a course in Spring 2017. Highlights from the cohort are shared below.

This course previously used case studies as key resources throughout the semester, yet in this revision, a role-playing activity was developed based on the case study, ‘Assisted Suicide and the Ethics of Suffering.’

"The reviews of the activity were overwhelmingly positive, and I was pleased with the respect students showed the case and one another...Overall, I feel that this was a successful activity, and I look forward to repeating it in the future!"

Catherine Newell, Assistant Professor, Religious Studies

One of the challenges faced in BIL250 was lack of active participation by students in the original “Milk - Promise or Peril” case study assignment. This term, the case study was transformed into an active learning activity requiring student participation in a town hall meeting. 

“The ten student stakeholder groups did a great job presenting their recommendation and arguments at yesterday's ‘FDA Town Hall’. Dr. Alex Wilson was ‘really impressed by the potential of what I did with students.’ The breadth and the depth of knowledge presented by students at the Town Hall also impressed Dr. Jane Indorf, Dr. Dan DiResta, and Dr. Brain Arwari.”

Yunqiu (Daniel) Wang, Lecturer, Biology

A presentation assignment in course, 'Level 4 Oral Communication' (IEP142) was transformed into a student generated media assignment, 'Culture Shock Video Narratives’. Through developing and sharing personal narratives using Adobe Spark Video, ESL students had the opportunity to explore, correct their errors and receive valuable feedback to prepare for a high-stakes academic speech. Her full Faculty Success Story is published on the Academic Technologies site.

Barbara Barratt, Lecturer, Intensive English Programs

School of Business Administration

Building Expertise in Administration and Management Certificate

The 'Building Expertise in Administration and Management' (BEAM) certificate aims to enhance the business fundamental knowledge and skills of public health professionals. BEAM is being developed to address the critical shortage of business skill in the public health workforce.


  • This program is funded by de Beaumont Foundation and is being developed in collaboration with University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine Division of Public Health. 
  • The Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team supports this cross-disciplinary project and has an integral role in the development and subsequent success of the BEAM certificate program.
  • Senior Instructional Designer Lior Flum has been tasked with building a program that is highly interactive and engaging for the learner. 
  • We are designing and developing the first phase of this certificate which includes three automated core modules. The first cohort of learners will begin in summer 2018. 

Preclinical Medical Education

When supporting preclinical medical education course directors, the Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team designs, implements, and administers blended learning opportunities. 


The ’Cane Academy initiative, housed within UMMSM’s Educational Development Office, currently has some degree of footprint in nine of the 15 preclinical modules. This past year, we maintained solid student satisfaction scores and academic performance. For example, with a 90% student approval rating of the ’Cane Academy approach in the 2017 iteration of the Ophthalmology module, this student said:

“This was a fabulous class and I loved this format. It increased my stamina and I particularly loved the pre and mid course practice exams. It was so cool to see how far we came from day 1 in just 1 week. Thank you for an amazing course. I did not come in expecting to love ophthalmology as much as I ended up enjoying it. Thank you!!!” (Anonymous post-course student feedback)

New Partnerships & Technologies



Since November 2016, the LIFE team has been supporting eleven faculty members in the College of Engineering who are the first to use a newly designed ‘active classroom’ in the College. This partnership formed in alignment with the College of Engineering’s Active Learning Initiative. 

The LIFE team has provided two workshops on flipped and active learning, regular consultations, and attended monthly meetings to support their direction to create a culture of innovation of teaching and learning at the College of Engineering. Academic Technologies have been featured in Veritas, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and the College of Engineering website in recognition of their partnership with the College of Engineering.



In Spring 2017, the Academic Technologies team expanded the use of 3-D technologies in UM courses by running a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on 3-D printing, scanning, and visualization.

Due to the increased demand for 3-D technologies from faculty, students and staff, UMIT funded and delivered three Ultimaker 3 3-D printers and a photogrammetry kit for Richter Libraries’ Digital Media Lab.

Academic Technologies’ support of educational explorations of 3D technologies, UMIT funded an Ultimaker 3+, an EinScan SP Desktop 3D Scanner, a HTC Vive VR Headset, a mobile 360 camera, and an Alienware Laptop.



The Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team prides itself on scholarly engagement with the broader community in the areas of teaching and learning, faculty development, instructional design, learning sciences, and educational technology.

Below are scholarly presentations and publications by members of the LIFE team from the past academic year.

Acevedo, M. & Roque, G. (in press). Resisting the Deprofessionalization of Instructional Design. In Y. Vovides (Ed.), Optimizing Instructional Design Methods in Higher Education. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Acevedo, M., Rodriguez, I. & Roque, G. (in press) [Review of the book Distance Education: Statewide, Institutional, and International Applications: Readings from the Pages of Distance Learning Journal by M. Simonson]. New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Development.

Acevedo, M., Roque, G. & Rodriguez, J. (2017). The Instructional Designer Core Curriculum: A comprehensive professional development program for a large university instructional design team. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Acevedo, M., Rodriguez, J. & Roque, G. (2017). Creating comprehensive professional development for a large instructional design team. Concurrent session presented at the ATD 2017 International Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, GA. May 21-24.

Acevedo, M., Rodriguez, J. & Roque, G. (2017). Creating comprehensive professional development for a large instructional design team. Concurrent session presented at the 2017 UPCEA Annual Conference, Chicago, IL. March 22-24.

Green, D.P.J. (2016). Next Generation medical education: Creating a faculty development infrastructure for technology-enhanced medical education course redesigns. Session presented at Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Information Technology in Academic Medicine Conference, Toronto, Canada. June 1-3.

Green, D.P.J. 2016. Next generation medical education: a conceptual model for blended course redesigns. Session presented at Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Information Technology in Academic Medicine Conference, Toronto, Canada. June 1-3.

Kofoed, M. & Green, D.P.J. (2016). Using on-screen video capture to flip the classroom. Session presented at Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Information Technology in Academic Medicine Conference, Toronto, Canada. June 1-3.

Kofoed, M. & Green, D.P.J. (2016). The role of a medical education student fellow in enhancing tomorrow’s medical school curriculum. Poster presented at Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Information Technology in Academic Medicine Conference, Toronto, Canada. June 1-3.

Green, D.P.J. (2016). Next-generation medical education: Facilitating student-centered learning environments. EDUCAUSE ELI Briefs: 1-6.

Senvisky, J & Green, D.P.J. (2017). Generating an interactive concept map to encourage self-regulation for preclinical learners. Session presented at Innovations in Medical Education Conference at USC-Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA. February 24-25.



As evidenced in this report, the Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team has made a meaningful and lasting impact with our partnerships and collaborations over the past year, and we look forward to building on our successes in the coming year.  As part of our mission to promote a positive and innovative culture of teaching and learning at the University of Miami, we aspire to build our capacity to expand our reach across the institution, enabling us to forge new partnerships with faculty members, academic units, and other university stakeholders. If you’ve worked with us before, attended one of our events, or used one of our teaching and learning spaces, we hope that you will share the stories of your successes with your colleagues and peers.

Contact Us

Interested in working with us? The Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement team is available for one-on-one and small group consultations and workshops on impactful pedagogies and innovative educational technologies.

Please feel free to contact us at life@miami.edu for more information. We look forward to collaborating with you!

Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement: Annual Report 2016 - 2017