This March, The University of Toledo’s Angela Paprocki, assistant provost for student success, will present at a conference alongside other well-known speakers and educators, including Bill Gates, chair and co-founder of Microsoft.The SXSWedu conference will take place Monday through Thursday, March 4-7, in Austin, Texas. It is a part of South by Southwest, which seeks to drive meaningful conversation and collaboration around promising practices and tools for improved learning.
Paprocki will present a session titled “More Diplomas: College Supports in the Digital Age” with Dr. Colleen Carmean, assistant chancellor at the University of Washington, and Jill Frankfort, co-founder of Persistence Plus. Persistence Plus is a platform that uses text messages to send academic “nudges” to students to remind them of important deadlines, including exam and project due dates.
“This is a really great way to encourage students to stay focused on their academic goals,” Paprocki said. “I’m exploring the feasibility of integrating it here at UT.”
Paprocki is committed to finding innovative strategies and solutions to engage and retain students by implementing similar platforms. Her goal is to leverage emerging technology to foster academic success, which is a part of what she will present at the conference.
She and her team have developed a virtual adaptive software lab, pioneered the use of a virtual reality platform to create a unique orientation experience, and implemented the use of an innovative software solution for idea management (a virtual suggestion box), all designed with one social media that students can use to communicate with the UT community.
“While I’m excited to be presenting, I’m also very eager to collaborate and learn from other professionals and policy leaders who are all committed to improving education,” Paprocki said.
The sessions at the conference cover a wide array of topics, including assessment, best practices, big data, emerging technology, learner analytics and pedagogy.
Paprocki also is excited to participate in a keynote discussion with the co-founder of Coursera and edX President on massive open online courses, a rapidly growing trend designed to offer large-scale participation through the Web.
“There are so many good things that could be of such value to us,” Paprocki said. “I want to bring back as much as I possibly can so I can share it.”