Applying the Technology Test Kitchen to Your Institution: A Space for Testing, Learning, and Innovation

Concurrent Session 9

Brief Abstract

The Technology Test Kitchen success at the OLC can be reimagined for testing, learning, and innovation beyond the conference. The panel of TTK creators and leaders describe the model and process of development and application as well as translation to your own institution.


Dr. Angela M. Gibson serves as Lecturer in the Higher Education Administration Leadership doctoral certificate program and the Adult Education graduate program at Texas A and M University - Kingsville. Additionally, she serves as faculty for the Online Learning Consortium Institute for Professional Development teaching in the Online Teaching Certificate Program, designing and facilitating professional training, and serving as a mentor to professional educators. She is also a Contributing Faculty and Doctoral Advisor for the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in the Doctor of Education program. She has taught first-year, undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional students, designed and developed curriculum, and created initiatives and strategic planning for student engagement, first-year experience, strategic learning, and innovation. Dr. Gibson has over 25 years experience in higher education, academics, and student affairs at a diverse set of colleges and universities. She made the rank of Professor at American Public University. Angela received a M.A. in Human Performance Systems, with a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design, from Marymount University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, with concentrations in Adult Education and Community College Education, from Texas A and M University - Kingsville. She has been published in various peer reviewed journals, is on journal editorial boards, presents at national and international conferences, and served on the Online Learning Conference Steering Committee and was the 2017 Chair of the Technology Test Kitchen. In 2019, Angela was a Campfire Keynote Speaker for the OLC Innovate Conference. Dr. Gibson is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and volunteers as an informal STEM educator creating learning opportunities at schools and community organizations as well as providing social media outreach for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). She is a recipient of the Online Learning Consortium 2014 Effective Practice Award.
Phylise Banner is an online teaching and learning consultant with extensive experience in planning, designing, developing, delivering, and evaluating online courses, programs, and faculty development initiatives. Her work focuses on aligning institution-wide approaches to program, course, and professional development with teaching and learning effective practices and the Community of Inquiry framework. As an online learning evangelist, she actively seeks out opportunities to experiment with emerging technologies in order to best serve faculty and students, and to create communities of lifelong learners. She is featured regularly at regional, national and international conferences, speaking on the topics of online teaching and learning, faculty development, instructional strategy, experience design, social media, information visualization and GIS technologies. She also teaches Digital Storytelling online for SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and in person for the Academy for Lifelong Learning at Empire State College. She is an Adobe Education Leader, STC Fellow, performance storyteller, avid angler, aviation enthusiast, and currently training to be a private pilot. She is also the proud owner of a 1967 Amphicar.
Clark Shah-Nelson serves as Assistant Dean of Instructional Design and Technology for the University of Maryland School of Social Work and is a doctoral student in Evidence-Based Management/Business Administration. Clark is an eLearning instructional design development professional with 25 years experience in educational technology innovations: teaching, designing leading award-winning online and distance learning teams for learning management platform implementation, training, end user support, professional development and engagement. He has presented at numerous online learning and ed tech conferences, was co-founder of the Blend-Online Educause constituent group, co-founding master chef of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Technology Test Kitchen, and has recently volunteered as Conference Co-Chair for OLC Innovate and Engagement Co-Chair for OLC Accelerate Clark has authored chapters on synchronous tools for teaching and learning support and co-authored a chapter on professional development installations. As a consultant, Clark has worked on several international projects in the realm of blended and online learning.
Ann is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Florida Atlantic University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate course online and F2F. She embraces the philosophy of pedagogy before technology. She has a Certification in Online Learning from the Online Learning Consortium and develops and facilitates workshops including Multimodal Design, Exploring Interactive Videos Tools, New to Online – Introduction to Online Tools, and Converting your Course Content. Dr. Ann Musgrove enjoys working with faculty and administrative teams to create, administer and deliver meaningful and flexible learning environments. She develops and creates curriculum for faculty transitioning to online and blended courses. Ann has developed 2 courses that have been nationally recognized by Quality Matters (QM). She has extensive QM experience serving as an Institution Representative, Active Peer Reviewer in Higher Education, K-12, and Continuing Education, and is an online facilitator for the QM foundation course “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric”.
Kate Sonka is the Executive Director of Teach Access and the Assistant Director of Inclusion & Academic Technology at the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. She holds a Master’s degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and more than 10 years of experience in higher ed. She improves teaching and learning with technology through course design and support, experiential learning, and training and mentorship for faculty members and students. In exploring how accessibility exists in professional and academic spaces, she helped establish the Teach Access Study Away Silicon Valley program, implement the Teach Access Faculty Curriculum Development Grant program, and founded the Accessible Learning Conference at Michigan State University.

Extended Abstract

A 2016 Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice Award winner, the TTK creators and leaders have been recognized for the development of a space at the OLC Conference to explore resources, experiment in applications, have critical conversations, create a safe place for discussing challenges, offer venues for problem solving, and a focus on discovery. Born out of the need to in real-time apply the learning and gathering of information at a conference, the TTK is a physical location where any and all participants can test things out, move beyond our comfort level, and reach for what is beyond. This maker space, initially offered in 2014, has grown to be a spot light for the conference as well as a facet of the conference highly evaluated by conference attendees (Gunder, 2015).

The concept of the Technology Test Kitchen was created from the minds of educational puzzle solvers, innovators, and collaborators.  Breaking down the silos and separations present in much of academia, opportunity was designed to reframe professional development as a hands-on, experiential process, and a community of inquiry.  In spaces where educators purportedly gathered to cogitate, experiment and play, it was noticed the delivery was actually static, one-to-many presentations with little to no interaction.  To bring a more profound kind of professional development into the spotlight, the innovators, formulated an approach for bridging the ever-expanding gap between tried-and-true teaching methods and the unique needs of the current populations of learners.

Known for the innovation of the space at a learning conference, the effectiveness stems from a multifaceted hands-on learning experience to support online teaching and learning efforts. Participants move from station to station or target specific professional develop and growth areas aided by expert Chefs and on site technology. The shared knowledge and expertise of Chefs from all different institutions and educational roles offer ideas, models, trials and testing, exercises, and demonstrations for learning and for experimentation (Musgrove, Tomsic, Knott, Goodrich, and Gunder, 2016).

The panel discussion session will provide a venue to showcase the successful model of and design for the Technology Test Kitchen. The panel, comprised of current and former TTK chairs and master chefs, will share organization, history, evolution, designs, and recipes. Guidance on critical components for an effective exploratory area, components needed for success, and involvement by stake-holders will be described.  Also, challenges posed in different TTK iterations will be shared. Additionally, during the panel discussion possibilities for different frameworks, designs, and purposes for such a hands-on maker space will be explored with the audience.



Bryan, V. C., A. T. Musgrove, & Powers, J. R. (Projected Release Date August 2017). Handbook of research in the human development in the digital age. Retrieved from

Gunder, A. (2015, January 14). All about the Technology Test Kitchen at #ET4OL 2015. [Video file]. Retreived from

Musgrove, A., Tomsic, F., Knott, J., Goodrich, D., and Gunder, G. (2016, September 6). A kitchen for tech. Edtech Digest. Retrieved from