Shaun Iles

Credentials: Educational Technology Facilitator, School of Liberal Studies, Mohawk College

Shaun Iles headshot

Shaun Iles has been a Professor of Sociology and Environmental Sustainability as-well-as the Educational Technology Facilitator for the School of Liberal Studies at Mohawk College since 2008. Because of Shaun’s innovative use of technology to deliver content, he gained international attention for his use of gamification in the classroom, winning two international awards for online and distance education in 2014-15, as well as being the keynote speaker at ed-tech conferences around the world. In 2015, Shaun and a team of developers and artists founded Flyte Studios Inc. and started building user-friendly, competency-based, classroom activity authoring technology. Flyte Studios has gained attention as a Hamilton-based ed-tech start-up, partnering with D2L, Canvas and Microsoft. Shaun has a passion for online and distance education that engages students and finds new exciting ways to deliver content and empower learners.​

Thinking Outside the LMS: Organizing Communication and Student Collaboration Using Discord

Most learning management systems (LMS) are built around two functions, assignment submission, and gradebooks. This means that many of the other tools and functions that are incorporated into the LMS are second thoughts, and who is kidding who, they don’t necessarily work well all the time. Through my years teaching I have noticed a trend of students coming to college with very weak institutionalized digital communication skills, aka using email. They rarely read it and nearly never use it unless forced to. In 2020 I moved a majority of my communication with students to a platform called Discord which allowed students to instant message me from their phone or computer. In this presentation, we will discuss my logic for making this move, explain the student response, and break down how I built my communication hub in Discord.