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Workshop to explore creating online materials for STEM courses

One of the greatest challenges in developing learning materials for courses in sciences, technology, engineering and maths is working with math and equation-based information. Existing tools are often difficult to work with and not accessible.

A workshop on campus Friday, March 3, will introduce a suite of tools used to develop engaging and accessible online content.

Representatives the University of Waterloo and Maplesoft, a Canadian software company based in Waterloo that specializes in working with math content, will discuss Maplesoft tools and how they are being used across a range of disciplines including math, chemistry, nursing, statistics, and engineering.

“The session will cover some of the challenges and opportunities uniquely experienced by authors of online STEM materials irrespective of whether your course is blended, flipped or fully online,” says Trevor Dietrich of Maplesoft.

Presenters will discuss the creation of STEM materials and the automated machine grading of STEM-specific homework, tests, quizzes and assignments.

University of Waterloo and Maplesoft will also demo Möbius, a new online courseware environment that Waterloo has been using to author its online STEM courses for the past year. Möbius was designed with the latest accessibility technologies to enable the use of screen readers as compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) becomes a key consideration. The intuitive Möbius platform is anticipated to save up to 50 per cent of initial course development time, and is set for commercial release in the first half of 2017.

The workshop is jointly sponsored by the Promoters of Experiential and Active, Research-based Learning (PEARL) initiative and the Office of Open Learning. Sign up for the event at http://cleo.uwindsor.ca/openlearning/workshops/17/#wkshp-54.

For more information, contact Mark Lubrick at 519-253-3000, ext. 6867, or Chitra Rangan at ext. 2662.