Webcourses@UCF Mobile Course Check

New Service!

The CDL Mobile Initiative team now offers a mobile course check for all courses using Webcourses@UCF. This mobile course check will evaluate ten elements of your course and suggest how to make your course, content, and activities mobile friendly for the Canvas (Webcourses) Mobile apps.

If you would like for our team to evaluate your course, please use the following form:

Please Note: Requests generally take 5 business days, with possible delay during the first week of the semester, so please plan ahead.

Posted in UCF Updates

Presentation: Promoting Innovation Through Blended Learning and Fully Online Courses

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Conference: 2015 Special Operations Forces (SOF) Education Conference

Sue Bauer, Instructional Designer, University of Central Florida

This session will assist faculty in developing an implementation plan for innovative technologies, such as Mobile learning, in a blended or online course.

Presentation Materials:

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Posted in Mobile Presentations

Exploring Students’ E-Textbook Practices in Higher Education

This article published in EDUCAUSE Review Online explores eTextbook use at UCF, comparing two years of survey data. Generally, it was found that eTextbook use has increased 18%. Low cost and convenience remain the most important factors to select an eTextbook. Instructor use remains fairly low.

Exploring Students’ E-Textbook Practices in Higher Education

Posted in Digital Textbooks Publications

Students’ Mobile Learning Practices in Higher Education: A Multi-Year Study

This article published in EDUCAUSE Review Online presents results from the two university-wide surveys about students’ mobile technology ownership and learning practices. They show that mobile device ownership is high and continues to increase among students. Students and instructors need technical, logistical, and pedagogical support for integrating mobile devices and apps in formal and informal learning environments. Continuous support and targeted training resources at the University of Central Florida have produced positive changes in students’ mobile learning practices.

Students’ Mobile Learning Practices in Higher Education: A Multi-Year Study

Posted in Mobile Publications

Online, Yes! But Mobile? Let’s Talk About It.

Conference: InstructureCon 2015

Ryan Seilhamer, Instructional Designer, University of Central Florida
Sandesh Tuladhar, Columbia University

You work hard on your courses so students will have the best educational experience, but what happens when they log in with their mobile device? This session will help you design your courses for Canvas Mobile Apps. This includes tips to optimize content, increase communication, understand compatible features, and more.

Presentation Materials:

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Posted in Mobile Presentations

Facilitating Professional Development of Mobile and eTextbook Technologies: A Special Interest Group Approach

This article from the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education was written by Aimee deNoyelles and Ryan Seilhamer. We explore the creation and development of the Mobile/eTextbook Focus Group at UCF.

Facilitating Professional Development of Mobile and eTextbook Technologies: A Special Interest Group Approach

Posted in Digital Textbooks Publications, Mobile Publications

Mobile Essentials for Faculty: A Course Overview and the Initial Impact on Faculty

UCF Mobile Essentials

Conference: ELI Annual Meeting 2015

Luke Bennett, Instructional Designer, University of Central Florida

This session will discuss UCF’s Mobile Essentials faculty development course. Originally presented at the February 2014 ELI Focus Session , the course was derived from the results of the 2012 mobile/e-textbook survey. Since the initial presentation, the course has been released and the first research phase has been completed. Along with an overall explanation of the course, the results of the first research phase will be discussed. The research represents faculty progression through the course, usefulness of the content to their classroom practice, and implementation of mobile technology in their courses based on their participation in the Mobile Essentials course.

OUTCOMES: Identify the process by which the Mobile Essentials course was developed * Identify important considerations that went into the production of the course * Review the implementation and deployment process of Mobile Essentials * Evaluate the research about the impact of the course

Presentation Materials:


Posted in Mobile Presentations

eTextbook Essentials

eTextbook Essentials Banner

UCF’s eTextbook Team at the Center for Distributed Learning has developed an online professional development course called eTextbook Essentials. It is open to UCF instructors, and will eventually be open to instructors from other universities. The course is modular and allows individuals to work through the experience step-by-step, or pick and choose from the module-specific content that they would like to focus on. The eTextbooks Essentials course provides an overview of eTextbooks, discusses mobile devices and mobile apps that support eTextbooks, addresses common barriers to eTextbook integration, and provides practical guides and examples that will help individuals learn to integrate eTextbooks into their courses. Furthermore, the course provides detail about UCF-specific eTextbook applications, technology availability, and access at UCF. To enroll in the course, visit https://webcourses.ucf.edu/enroll/H4YK6W

Posted in Digital Textbooks Publications

Faculty Spotlight: Donna Malvey


Course: HSA6128, Healthcare Services Management is a required course that is currently only offered as an “M” (mixed or hybrid) course. In past years, the course was also offered in other formats; that is, completely online or face-to-face. The shift to “M” class format applies across the board to all of our graduate courses and reflects changes in accreditation perspectives as well as the desire of both students and faculty to take advantage of blended learning. The course offers a broad perspective on the conceptualization and development of marketing and customer service in healthcare organizations. The focus is on the links between theory and practical applications. Representative state-of-the-art methods from the best customer service organizations (inside and outside of healthcare) are examined. In addition, this course also considers the impact of social media and mobile technologies on marketing practices and strategies By the end of the course, the student is familiar with a variety of approaches to marketing and enhancing customer service and has developed the knowledge, understanding and specific skills for use in careers.

Enrollment:  Graduate students, 3-credit hours. Class enrollments for each section are capped at 35 students.

Background of the Class and/or Assignment: Technology is upending healthcare, and not just the clinical components. Marketing and customer service are being called on to integrate social media and all that is new in technology. Unfortunately, university classrooms are often at least 3-5 years behind the curve. When students interview for jobs, they are asked about what is new.  Consequently, faculty must search for ways to update teaching content. This assignment came about as the result of research I was doing for a book on mobile health care technologies. As I was doing the research, I recognized that I had to find a way to let students gain experience about healthcare mobile apps for use in marketing and customer service. Mobile apps are no longer just for games or social media. Healthcare organizations (HCOs) recognize the demand by consumers and the benefits their patients could experience as well as the potential uses for marketing. Hospitals, private practices, urgent care clinics and diagnostic facilities are offering patients apps that provide access to their medical records, appointments, and health information and HCO social media sites.  In doing so, these HCOs are also using the apps to advance branding strategies, collect data, and perform other features essential to successful marketing of the products and services.

Lesson Title: Build Your Own App Assignment

Description/Purpose: To engage the students so that they learn how to use mobile apps in the real world of healthcare. To help them gain confidence in taking on the unknown (building an app). I wanted to give students the opportunity to figure out how to use new technologies as a professional tool.

  1. I would let them complete the assignment as part of a team to reduce the intimidation of the assignment. The assignment would cover most of the semester.
  2. The students were empowered to select the type of app, but they did have to submit it for approval. This was to certify that they weren’t taking on too much work or going in the wrong direction.
  3. The assignment was designed so that students would experience both the conceptual process as well as the technical app construction process – which as it turns out is not the challenging part of the assignment. Apps are fairly simple to construct, but the conceptualization piece, especially identifying the purpose, is the tricky and thought provoking aspect of the assignment.
  4. Students were given instructions on how to construct the app – simple, step-by-step instructions as well as links to examples for of healthcare apps that they might want to use for reference or model.
  5. I developed detailed guidelines as well as a series of questions for students to ask their team during the thinking phase of the process so they would not skip over that phase and make straight for the actual app building.
    • Do you currently utilize “m-Health” or mobile apps?
    • If you do not, would you? Why or why not?
    • If your workplace adopted a mobile app, what do you think would need to be included?
    • From a patient perspective, what would you expect from a healthcare mobile app?
    • What would your app look like?
    • How would you let your patients know about your mobile app?
    • And –What role should mobile apps potentially play in marketing strategies?
  1. Student teams would be required to do a presentation that demonstrated their app and explained the conceptual process. I, again, provided guiding questions.
    • What is the vision for your app? Is it clear and recognizable?
    • For which audiences/users do you think this app would be most useful?
    • How would it be useful to the patient? To the HCO?
    • How would you use this app in your own work environment?
    • What would you add, change, or delete from this app? Why?
    • How would you brand this app?
    • What are the challenges for achieving marketing success with this app?
    • How would you measure the success of this app as a marketing tool?
  1. Finally, throughout the term I would post or share information from blogs, journal and news articles, as well as continue class discussions.  I wanted this assignment to be alive in the class and always on their mind.
  2. Students were reminded that of key goals relative to their app, including to link the app to the marketing functions and to assure that their vision for the app is clear, complete, and easily recognizable.

Execution/Challenges: Students reported few problems with the instructions and building an app. Some students enthusiastically embraced the assignment and went beyond my expectations. One student even used what she learned in the assignment to introduce mobile healthcare apps at her internship facility. Some students waited until the last minute thinking that the assignment was no big deal. As a result, they created apps that made no sense. Our students are expected to be headed for executive level positions, and they need to learn to manage their work and assess time needed to complete assignments. I intend to share with future classes samples of student presentations to give them insight into the level of work that is expected to successfully complete the assignment.

Results Presentation example — I believe this student group presentation reflects what the students accomplished in this assignment.

Reflection: All of the students in class have mobile technologies ranging from tablets, iPhones, iPods, to other assorted technologies. What I discovered was that most students use their technology for entertainment or for convenience. They order takeout, make movie reservations, chat with friends, stream their favorite television shows, share photos and the like, but most don’t know how to use the technology to do real work beyond typing up an assignment or collecting information from a website. I think that too often faculty assume that the millennials are technological wizards and while they may be super technicians, they need guidance in how to use the technology beyond entertaining themselves or ordering a pizza and then later completing a satisfaction survey.

Posted in Faculty Spotlight

2014 UCF Mobile & eTextbook Survey Report

2014 Survey Report

Click Image to Download Report

Mobile technologies are playing an increasingly important role in college students’ academic lives. The New Media Consortium’s 2014 Horizon Report listed mobile apps and mobile learning as key emerging technologies that have potential relevance to teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education (Johnson, Adams, Estrada, & Freeman, 2014). 

To appreciate the landscape of this emerging technology on campus, a comparative study on adoption of mobile learning and eTextbooks at the University of Central Florida (UCF) was conducted. In 2012, UCF’s Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) distributed the first survey to students and 933 completed the survey. The 2012 survey report can be downloaded at: http://mobile.cdl.ucf.edu/?p=60 

A follow-up survey was distributed in Spring 2014. A total of 1181 students completed the survey. These students were enrolled in 83 online, mixed-mode and face-to-face classes in Spring 2014 at UCF. The participants surveyed represented 12 different colleges with 91% being undergraduate and 68% being female. 

The survey includes both closed and open-ended questions which are based on existing research and surveys previously distributed by the university. It was structured in two main categories: mobile learning (devices and apps) and eTextbooks. Topics include device ownership, access, and beliefs towards the technologies concerning areas such as learning, sense of community, and engagement. Student responses to this survey will allow us to gauge a baseline for usage and beliefs at UCF, compare the results with the 2012 survey, and shape the next course of action.

Key findings of this report include:

  • Ownership of mobile devices is high and continues to increase among students.
  • Student level, sex and age were demographic factors relating to ownership of mobile devices.
  • There is still a large difference between instructors requiring the use of mobile devices in coursework and students reporting the use of mobile devices on their own for learning.
  • Age, student classification, and race emerged as demographic factors relating to student-reported use of mobile devices, tablets, and e-book readers for learning purposes.
  • 66% of students (n=781) indicated that they had used a mobile app for learning at least once each week.
  • Students reported limited instructor support for using mobile apps/devices in coursework.
  • 60% of students (n=707) reported using an eTextbook at least once in their college studies.
  • Student level and sex emerged as demographic factors relating to eTextbook usage.
  • Most students believed they possess the technical and study skills to use an eTextbook but were mixed about learning effectiveness, engagement, and sense of community.

This report is structured in three sections: mobile device general ownership and usage; mobile app usage and beliefs; and eTextbook usage and beliefs. Recommendations for future action are proposed in the conclusion.

Download the full report:

Infographic comparing 2012 and 2014 survey results:

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Posted in Digital Textbooks Publications, Digital Textbooks Research, Mobile Presentations, Mobile Publications