Year In Progress

Tracking our progress for 2019-20. For 2018-2019, see our most recent Annual Report. To read more about our priorities for 2018-2020, visit the About page

Highlights – May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Duke, like so many other institutions, to suspend classes on campus and move to remote instruction. Duke faculty are now connecting with students using technologies like Zoom and Sakai, while they themselves are adjusting to the isolation of social distancing, the loss of childcare and school for kids, and concerns about health and financial well being.  

Learning Innovation has been working hard to respond to the crisis. Over 1,200 faculty have attended a virtual workshop or meeting with our staff in just the past two weeks. On one day last month we received more emailed questions than we get in a typical month. But we are responding to each and every one of them.

We are also providing timely resources and information to faculty via the Keep Teaching website and newsletter. (If you have not received the Keep Teaching newsletter and want to sign up, you can do so here. Note that a Duke NetID is needed to subscribe.) We’re collaborating with colleagues across the university – in the Provost’s office, school leadership, OIT, undergraduate education, student affairs – to support our teaching and learning community and ensure Duke’s academic continuity.  

Learning Innovation has had the unique experience of helping two institutions move to remote teaching and learning: in February we collaborated with the DKU Center for Teaching and Learning to help Duke Kunshan move to remote teaching. Ithaka S+R documented that experience in a new case study. We recently shared some thoughts on remote learning pivots that we hope will help others as they continue this work. 

  • Duke University Spring Keep Teaching effort (website; newsletter; workshops; support)
  • Duke Kunshan University – Session 3 (completed) and 4 online support and transitions
  • DKU Learning Innovation Fellowship (ongoing)
  • Collaborative Project Courses Faculty Fellows (ongoing)
  • Duke Keep Teaching support for Summer 1 online courses
  • Planning and development for tiered support for Summer 2 and Fall 2020
  • Online program development: 1) Pratt – Blockchain Coursera MasterTrack; 2) Sanford online strategist onboarding; 3) Duke Divinity – Theology and Healthcare Certificate online (design phases); market research for Divinity
  • Kits – presentations and interest from other institutions; continuing to build interest; larger rollout during March-May Keep Teaching effort
  • Pilots continuing: Nudge and Gradescope; new pilot: ThingLink; a team-creation/assignment tool: CATME
  • Sakai upgrade planned – tentative August

Canceled due to COVID19 pandemic:

  • Summer-Fall 2020 Active Learning Fellowship
  • 2020 Course Design Institute
  • April 23 – Learning Innovation and the Future of Higher Education: Fireside Chat and Book Signing with Joshua Kim and Edward Maloney. Discuss Kim and Maloney’s new book; 100 complimentary copies of the book will be available for signing.

Teaching Innovation

Up next:

  • Planning the next DKU Learning Innovation Fellows for DKU cohort #3 in Spring 2020
  • Visit a Classroom sessions of our Active Learning Fellowship Summer-Fall 2019.
  • Partnering with Bass Connections to help faculty design, develop and teach Collaborative Inquiry courses (program runs Dec 2019-Dec 2020).
  • Partnering with Online Duke team to help design and implement 4 hybrid Divinity School courses.
  • Partnering with Online Duke team to help design online four Digital Citizenship modules primarily for Duke students with CoLab/OIT.
  • Partnering with working with English for International Students and OIT to digitize the grading and course placement process for 200+ incoming graduate students in EIS, using an OIT-developed Qualtrics aggregator interface called QUAD.
  • Partner with Pratt faculty on the logistics and marketing for a series of 4 faculty workshops and working sessions on metacognition (first session).
  • Leading a spring 2020 course design program for faculty in NSOE’s Duke Environmental Leadership program.
  • Awarded Jump Start Grant to build active learning components in previously lecture-based Chem 410 course.
  • Working with the Learning Technology Services group to develop better ways to support anonymized grading using existing Duke teaching technologies.


  • Produce and distribute monthly email newsletter to over 2,300 Duke and external readers.
  • The Teaching Collaborative weekly workshop series for faculty and instructors.
  • Digital Education Fellows Program: supporting 7 graduate students with in-depth digital education projects, working with varied campus departments and Coursera.
  • Duke Faculty Development Collaborative: bi-monthly meetings of units at Duke which provide support and development for faculty teaching.
  • Duke Online Learning Collaborative (DOLC)
  • BRITE ideas Teaching and Research series
  • Leading discussion sessions on handling difficult classroom situations for NSOE departments.
  • Leading a pilot of ThingLink multimedia authoring environment.
  • Learning Innovation Office Hours Wednesdays and Thursdays: drop in times for faculty to receive consulting and simple training on teaching techniques and tools.
  • Supporting pilot of Gradescope with faculty consultation and training, and vendor liaison activities.


  • See our list of completed projects for 2018-2019 in our annual report
  • 2019 Course Design Institute
  • A three-workshop series on “Dynamic Lecturing and the Science of Learning,” by Todd Zakrajsek.
  • Learning outcomes workshop for PhD students in the Library’s Archival Expeditions program.
  • Partnered with Online Duke team to design and lead a course design workshop for 12 Divinity School faculty and academic staff.
  • Sent two staff to the POD Network Conference, the leading conference for educational and faculty developers.
  • Conducted three professional development workshops for faculty in English for International Students.
  • Launched “NextEd Labs at the Bullpen” new space for Triangle cluster and Duke students working in educational innovation (at the I&E space in the Imperial building).

Learning Technologies

Up next

  • Begin Sakai 20 upgrade preparations
  • Explore HAX content creation platform as a way to create once and embed them in platforms such as Sakai, Coursera, or WordPress
  • Explore ways to embed Jupyter Notebooks and other code sharing applications into Sakai
  • Explore anonymous grading and other positive pedagogical changes available using Sakai’s new grader interface


  • Kits – the Duke Learning App store – displays to learners a unified interface for accessing the instructional tools used by their learning communities. (First version released January 2019)
  • Gradescope pilot –Gradescope is a grading workflow application that saves faculty time spent in the grading process while creating stronger student assessment through standardized rubrics.
  • Sakai UI/UX development
  • Nudge project: Piloting Learning Boosters concept and technologies; student interns working on a new app based on the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve research


  • See our list of completed projects for 2018-2019 in our annual report
  • Co-sponsored Oct 7-8 – unconference on web components
  • Explored pilot – Sakai implementing a grading interface with annotations
  • Explored Nepris as a tool to support Career Services and Alumni in online mentoring – not moving forward at this time
  • Explored Examity/Sakai integration to increase academic integrity in online courses
  • Welcome Marty Soupcoff – new Learning Management System (LMS) Service Lead
  • Kits presented at EDUCAUSE Annual Conference and published in EDUCAUSE Review.

Online Duke

Up next

  • New specialization w/ SOM – electronic health records
  • Launched Fuqua Specialization: Entrepreneurial Finance: Strategy and Innovation 
  • Digital Citizenship modules with CoLab/OIT
  • Exploring how Learning Innovation can support the School of Medicine’s Office of Physician Scientist Development in the design of a flipped learning model for a master’s program on basic science research
  • Workshops on course design and online learning for Divinity faculty teaching hybrid courses in 2020
  • Exploring potential STEM courses to run as pilots for online summer session at Duke
  • Vetting possible Coursera MasterTracks with several Duke master’s programs including Pratt
  • Planning collaboration with Duke TIP on online learning experiences for high school students
  • Coursera for Campus -announced. Read Matthew Rascoff’s piece about the launch event held in India in October.

Ongoing (in production)

  • Producing a global health research podcast series with Eric Green in the Duke Global Health Institute, which are being used in Eric’s Research Design Methods master’s course
  • Developing online modules with the +Data Science Initiative and the Clinical & Translational Science Institute on foundational biostatistics for medical residents at Duke
  • Designing modules with the +Data Science Initiative on Machine Learning for Medicine
  • Supporting the Department of Anesthesiology in the developing of a year-long online fellowship for private practitioners
  • Conducting market research for the Sanford School of Public Policy on online and hybrid education for public policy professionals
  • Designing online lessons for Pratt MEM’s Marketing course with Kathie Amato; and consulting on the design of Pratt MEM’s Management course with Ted Ryan
  • C Programming marketing experiment w/ Pratt
  • Developing course proof-of-concept on “Sustainable Infrastructure” with the Nicholas Institute
  • With faculty in the Pratt School of Engineering and a Bass Digital Education Fellow, creating online modules on computational thinking and methods that complement Pratt’s engineering undergraduate curriculum
  • Consulting and planning on new Fuqua specialization on entrepreneurial finance and financial technology
  • Developing a Coursera course on Alice programming, a drag-and-drop computer language, and piloting the use of the course in the curriculum of three high school courses.
  • Pilot launch of Coursera for Duke Alumni (now called Forever Learning on Coursera)


  • Completed the design of a Systematic Review Methodology master’s course with Catherine Staton and João Vissoci in the Duke Global Health Institute
  • Supported David Boyd in revisions to his Coursera course, “The Challenges of Global Health”
  • Conducted market research for the Duke Global Health Institute on non-credit online education for professionals in global health
  • Ran the second session of Launch w/ Sanyin for Duke Alumni, with the Duke Alumni Association
  • Piloted online proctoring as part of a for-credit, online summer session course on Medical Neuroscience for undergraduates, in partnership with Len White in the Department Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Launched an additional module on Reinforcement Learning with Lawrence Carin, Vice President for Research, for Duke’s Coursera course, “Introduction to Machine Learning”
  • In partnership with the Duke Alumni Association, launched “Intentional Life Design for Physicians: Tools to Recover Your Calling“, a discussion-based online learning experience for alumni who are practicing physicians

Teaching Innovation R&D Lab

Up next

  • Piloting of a team-creation/assignment tool: CATME
  • Developing a database of outcome measures used in research on teaching and learning
  • Evaluating new approaches to collaborative, project-based teaching models
  • Building on the WALTer Toolkit to provide more templates and resources for instructors engaged in research on their teaching practice
  • Writing literature reviews on innovative teaching and learning research
  • Exploring technologies and pedagogies to reduce implicit bias in student assessment


  • Working with over ten faculty members to design and implement research studies in their classrooms
  • Engaging faculty in quantitative fields through a monthly journal club
  • Evaluating a research-based course experience for undergraduates with Amanda Hargrove
  • Consulting with faculty in the physics department to evaluate hybrid teaching models in introductory classes.
  • Exploring the relationship between goal visualization and course activity (internal LI project)