The seventh annual Academic Technology Expo was held on January 11th and 12th at the University of Oklahoma. Faculty, staff and students gathered to learn about exciting changes in several services offered at OU. They also benefited from interdisciplinary perspectives on how to use technology to provide inclusive and transformative educational experiences.

Click on the topics below to explore some of the highlights of the 2018 ATE:

IRB: What to Know and Where to Go »
OU IT Learning Spaces Overview »
Office of Digital Learning Studio Tour »
Keynote Day 1: Dave King »
Supporting 3D/VR in Academic Research »
Game Design as Pedagogy »
Keynote Day 2: Dr. Chris Gilliard »

IRB: What to Know and Where to Go

The purpose of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to review research proposals for studies that plan to include human participants. The office ensures that proposals meet the federal, state, and institutional standards and regulations for research with human participants.

Sierra Smith, the director of the IRB at OU, reviewed some of the important elements that IRB board members consider during the review process. Sierra also highlighted the federal changes to Common Rule. Finally, questions from attendees yielded discussions on some of the tools and techniques, such as Qualtrics and voice altering software, that researchers can use to protect participant privacy and confidentiality.

For more information, view this PowerPoint.

OU IT Learning Spaces Overview

OU IT Learning Spaces is the division of OU IT that focuses on implementing new and convenient educational technologies on campus.

Kevin Buck, the associate director of OU IT Learning Spaces, gave an overview of the services offered by this office. These include providing access to instructional tools (such as Canvas and Lynda), maintaining technology in classrooms and learning spaces, and providing IT training for faculty.

View this PowerPoint to see some of the changes that OU IT is implementing this semester.

Office of Digital Learning Studio Tour

The mission of the Office of Digital Learning (ODL) is to promote and facilitate the meaningful integration of digital technologies into courses and programs at the University of Oklahoma.

Biff Farrell, ODL’s Media Production Specialist, provided a tour of the video production studio at 5 Partners Place. He gave attendees a presentation on the services offered at the studio, such as photography, and motion graphic design. Finally, he showed examples of how instructors have used the studio to produce instructional media.

Office of Digital Learning Video Studio

Keynote Day 1: Dave King

Dave King

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Dave King, the founder of Exaptive, used the idea of exaptation to support the need for intentional, and productive interdisciplinary collaboration.

According to evolutionary Biology, Exaptation occurs when an adaptation for a specific purpose is applicable to, or even better suited for another purpose. Cognitive exaptation can happen in other areas; when people are inspired to use innovations from other fields to improve or significantly advance operations in their own fields. Dave shared an anecdote on the serendipitous birth of the Astronomical Medicine project at Harvard (see video below), and how this encounter spearheaded new ways of looking at data in astronomy.

Dave urged attendees to seek interdisciplinary interactions and to be open to other ways of looking at things.

Supporting 3D/VR in Academic Research and Instruction at OU Libraries: Challenges and Future Directions

Zach Lischer-Katz from OU Libraries talked about some of the VR and 3D services offered by OU Libraries. He showed examples of several projects that have utilized VR and 3D imaging/printing to engage students or to conduct research at the University of Oklahoma. Since these are emerging fields, there are no consistent national standards for cataloging for 3D and VR models for universal use and posterity. OU Libraries is working on researching and implementing best practices for cataloging and referencing 3D and VR models and scholarly work.

At the end of this session, attendees had an opportunity to visit the Virtual Reality Lab at the Innovation Hub and experience an immersive VR game or program.

 View this PowerPoint to learn more about OU Libraries 3D/VR services.

Game Design as Pedagogy

John Stewart (Office of Digital Learning) an Keegan Long-Wheeler (CTE) gave an interactive presentation on game design as pedagogy. They contrasted game design, which requires students to actively construct instruction, from game based learning and gamification, where students are end-users of instruction that uses game elements.

game based pedagogy

Instructors can equip students with game design skills to create games that teach course concepts. No matter what form the games take (digital or analog), the process of thinking through course concepts to design a game can promote transference and deeper information processing in students.

View their presentation here.

Keynote Day 2: Digital Redlining with Dr. Gilliard

Chris Gilliard

View Bio »

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “the term redlining came about in reference to the use of red marks on maps that loan corporations would use to outline mixed-race or African American neighborhoods” which they classified as high risk areas unsuitable for loans (see also Encyclopedia of Chicago, & The Racist Housing Policy That Made Your Neighborhood).


Although federal and state laws have tried to attack this practice, redlining has survived and undergone many iterations. Dr. Chris Gilliard from Macomb Community College delivered an intriguing keynote speech on what he considers to be the latest iteration: digital redlining. Digital Redlining is more pervasive,  and it reaches beyond physical boundaries; it involves programming and data mining to either restrict the kind of information that we have access to, or to predict our ethnicity and capitalize on trends in our browsing habits.

In the following video, Dr. Gilliard explores the impact that digital redlining has on educational settings.

After watching this video, do you see any potential for redlining in your occupation? How can you actively counter digital redlining in your occupation?