#SquadGoals - Creating Collaborative Professional Networks That Rock
Concurrent Session 1
No higher ed superhero should have to go it alone in conquering the wicked challenges ahead of them. This roundtable will feature colleagues discussing how their initial meeting at conferences allowed them to organically form a connected cohort, engaging in cross-institutional initiatives and research, as well as non-traditional professional development.
Batman had the Justice League. Iron Man had the Avengers. No superhero should have to go it alone in conquering the wicked challenges ahead of them, and online educators are no exception. We work in a time and space where online learning professionals are asked to do more with less, and meet the needs of growing populations of learners with disparate goals. How can individual practitioners, researchers and administrators connect with "partners in crime" who can help to chip away at the issues and challenges that can only be solved with cross-institutional and cross-discipline collaborations?
In this high-energy, engaging discussion, a group of colleagues will share how their initial meeting at the Online Learning Consortium’s conferences allowed them to organically form a connected cohort, engaging in non-traditional professional development opportunities such as creating initiatives spanning across multiple institutions, co-authoring publications and blogs, recording podcasts, and holding open social media gatherings. This session is geared towards any individuals (faculty, designers, administrators, researchers, exhibitors) seeking ways to better collaborate with peers at other organizations as a means of working harder, better, faster, stronger.
This career forum roundtable will open a discussion on the following topics:
What are the benefits and considerations of creating a group of educators to partner with on mutually-beneficial initiatives or projects?
What methods and approaches can professionals in our field take part in as a means of establishing and growing a meaningful professional network?
What are some examples of instances where connecting to a group of colleagues opened doors to new opportunities?
As institutions and departments remain siloed and closed, what groups of stakeholders are needed to support collaborative innovations across departments, institutions and systems?
Ultimately, the session will highlight the benefits that these collaborative professional networks have afforded them, and closes with approaches for establishing one's own network of education superheroes. This informal, collegial roundtable will serve as both an engaging conversation on how professional development and mentorship continues to evolve, particularly in a time where academic budgets are lean and educators are called to make miracles from limited resources both quickly and effectively. Participants will leave with actionable approaches for creating their own connected network of scholarship, and a call to build a circle of colleagues who will further support and mentor each other within the structure and format that best supports their professional and academic goals.