DoIT Academic Technology team members presented, networked and explored new developments in teaching and learning with technology at this year’s EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) Annual Meeting. Held in New Orleans from January 29-31, 2018, the meeting featured presentations by Blaire Bundy, Service Leader of Strategic Learning Technology Consulting (SLTC), Linda Jorn, DoIT AT Director and Associate Vice Provost of Learning Technologies, and Sarah Miller, Service Leader Supervisor of Faculty Engagement and SLTC.
“Sharing across institutions can help us understand that we aren’t the only institution grappling with issues around topics such as active learning and curriculum transformations,” explains Sarah who co-presented “Secret Decoder Ring: What Faculty Really Mean When They Say No to Faculty Development” to a full house on January 31. “In addition, it creates a community where we co-generate creative solutions that lead to practical applications on all of our campuses.”
Sarah’s commitment to cross-institutional collaboration shows in her ongoing work with co-presenters Cody Connor from Purdue University and Matthew Aron from Northwestern University. Over the past year, the three participated in the Big Ten Academic Alliance Learning Technologies Liaisons group to share and improve faculty development across institutions. In fact, Cody and Matthew visited our campus in November to share practices across our three institutions and give formal talks. Cody spoke about Centralized Instructional Design & Support at Purdue University, and Matthew presented about Collaboration and Innovation in the Cloud Era.
In addition, the three had many discussions around anthropologist Lauren Herckis’s research on faculty engagement with teaching professional development. This research led to articles such as “Fear of looking stupid” by David Matthews that fostered intense, thoughtful debates in the comments section of the Inside Higher Ed post. The research and articles became the premise of their ELI session and the three adapted the comments section to generate amalgamous but realistic personas in a fictitious faculty-development scenario. The audience engaged with the scenarios through a series of discussion questions before the presenters shared strategies and examples of this type of work such as UW-Madison’s REACH initiative. View the google slides of the presentation for more information. In addition, Inside Higher Ed interviewed the three presenters after the conference for the article “Smashing Faculty Skepticism.”
On the second day of the conference, Linda Jorn joined her peers for the “Collaborating across Consortia” that specifically focused on working with other institutions. Linda, Liv Gjestvang from The Ohio State University, Maggie Jesse from The University of Iowa and Heath Tuttle from University of Nebraska-Lincoln shared their experiences with being members of national consortia such as the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the University Innovation Alliance and Unizin. In addition to presenting outcomes from recent efforts to improve teaching and learning through collaboration, the panel also led an activity for the audience to discuss how to begin, sustain, grow or sunset consortia affiliations.
“Not every participant had direct experience being part of a consortium, but all could draw upon their experience collaborating within their own institution,” states Linda. “Having those strong relationships with your campus colleagues is a necessary component for making the most of consortium membership.”
Through such work as consulting with the School of Medicine and Public Health on curriculum development, Blaire fosters many campus relationships as shown on the final day of the conference when he and Karen Skibba from UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) delivered a hands-on workshop titled “Interactive Scenarios and Microlearning Advance Skill Mastery Using Experiential Learning.”
The workshop drew upon the ELI article that Blaire and Les Howles from DCS wrote titled ”Interactive Case Scenarios: The 7Cs Framework”. The 7Cs framework provides instructors a structure and process for developing compelling scenario narratives. Interactive case scenarios build on the strength of case-based learning by integrating digital learning tools and strategies. Case scenarios are a form of microlearning, which are targeted, condensed learning activities. They are most effective for achieving application-level learning objectives that involve decision making in complex situations.
During the workshop, participants learned about and applied The 7Cs framework to re-envision learning objectives for a particular lesson or unit within a course in order to reframe those objectives into challenges that are situated within a real-world context.
“It is always thrilling to see a collaborative project go from conception to implementation to reflection and then get to share the journey with a wider audience like at the ELI Annual Meeting,” notes Blaire. “It instills a sense of pride and also gives you that extra boost for the next project!”