Fusion Summit - Part 3: Collaboratively Planning For Change

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session HBCU

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Brief Abstract

Participants in this session will engage in collaborative action planning, utilizing a modified template designed for and tested with community during June’s OLC Ideate event. Throughout the session, the facilitators will also report on the major findings / takeaways from this event and the OLC Ideate DEI experience as a whole.



Pronouns: she, her, hers Twitter: @MaddieShellgren As the Director of Online Engagement, Madeline (Maddie) Shellgren serves as the lead innovator, designer, and project manager of the OLC's portfolio of online engagement opportunities. Known for her love of storytelling, play, and all things gameful, Maddie thrives on facilitating and designing meaningful ways for people to connect, learn, and grow together. Within the OLC, she has served on steering and operations committees for several of the organization’s conferences (including as Technology Test Kitchen and Innovation Studio lead, as well as Engagement Co-Chair) and has had the distinct honor of being the mastermind behind the OLC Escape Rooms. She looks forward to continuing supporting OLC community building efforts, is committed to sustainable, equitable, and anti-oppressive ecologies within education, and is genuinely excited to leverage her interdisciplinary scholarly and professional backgrounds as she helps lead the OLC towards truly innovative and transformative models for what’s possible for online and digital engagement. Maddie joins the OLC from Michigan State University (MSU), where she has served as the lead on numerous student success initiatives related to instructional design and technology, accessibility, and equity and inclusion. Over the past eleven years, Maddie has dedicated her professional life to teaching and learning related initiatives and has strategically sought out opportunities that give her a multi-dimensional perspective on teaching and learning, including working as a Standardized Patient training medical students, serving as Program Director for Teaching Assistant development, taking lead on a number of cross-institutional educator onboarding and professional development projects, and teaching across online and face-to-face contexts. She most recently worked as an Assistant Rowing Coach for the MSU Varsity Women’s Rowing Program. There she was given the opportunity to help redesign a community from the bottom up, story the team's new journey together in fun and multimodal ways, lead in the co-construction of community expectations and norms, help ensure alignment across a variety of stakeholders and initiatives, and develop and operationalize strategic structures for long-term sustainability (such as entirely new social media, marketing, communications, and content management strategies). She had the privilege of seeing the impact of her human-centered and equity-oriented approach each and every day as the team reimagined what it meant to be a Spartan on the MSU Rowing Team. With her move to the OLC, she will continue on as a volunteer coach, still supporting these efforts and the team, and is excited to get back on the water.
Angela Gunder is the Chief Academic Officer and VP of Learning for the Online Learning Consortium. In this role, she is responsible for gathering, curating, and leveraging the intellectual capital created by and disseminated through OLC. Prior to her position at the OLC, Angela served as the Director of Instructional Design & Curriculum Development for the Office of Digital Learning, managing and mentoring the team that builds the fully-online programs for The University of Arizona. Her over fifteen-year career as a designer for higher education informs her instructional design practice, where she leverages her expertise in web design, usability, visual communication, programming, and standards-based online learning. She is an Associate Editor for the Teacher Education Board of MERLOT, and the recipient of the 2018 MERLOT Distinguished Service Award, the organization’s highest honor. She is also the recipient of two Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice Awards for the creation of a framework for personal learning networks, and for the creation of exploratory installations of education technology, respectively. In 2019, Dr. Gunder was named an OLC Fellow for her dedication to service, innovation, and scholarship in support of student success in online learning. Her research interests include open educational practices, digital literacies, narrative in online course design, and emerging technology for second language acquisition. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Fine Art from Fordham University, a M.Ed. in Education Technology from Arizona State University. Angela completed her Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies at The University of Arizona, where in 2020 she was named an Erasmus Scholar by the College of Education for her commitment to the college, the university and to the community. Pronouns: she/her/hers

Extended Abstract

Marking the third and final session of our multipart Fusion Summit, this interactive session will engage participants in generative and collaborative action planning. The session will begin with a brief overview of what took place during the OLC Ideate DEI experience. OLC Ideate DEI convened two events, in December 2020 and June 2021, committed to identifying critical DEI-centered actions the field of online, digital, and blended learning should take up. In December 2020, the first Ideate OLC DEI welcomed 159 participants, who engaged in a series of live speakers, workshops, asynchronous presentations and discussion forums. Together they created a draft Collaborative Charter to guide our collective actions related to ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion within digital learning environments. 

At the June Action Planning event, a small group of committed OLC community members worked together to generate ideas and actions (based on the community contributions in the Collaborative Charter) to address diversity, equity and inclusion issues within online, digital, and blended learning environments. Over 4 days, groups ideated in 6 distinct areas: Pedagogy, Course Design, Research, Educational Technology, Leadership and Advocacy/Community.  Small groups then created action plans drawing from ideas generated during ideation sessions on the first day. Plans outlined Who, What and How for each potential action and were designed to support the operationalization of these actions across communities and institutional contexts. 

Out of these gatherings we have collectively identified characteristics of online, digital, blended learning environments that center diversity, equity, and inclusion, and have developed a model for developing, facilitating, and sustaining change and action-oriented communities of practice online. 

With these events and the generation of a new, energized community dedicated to action-based change behind them, in this session facilitators will share major findings and highlight key takeaways from the OLC Ideate DEI experience. They will then transition to a collaborative and interactive activity, where participants will engage in action planning together, using a modified version of the same action planning templates used during June’s OLC Ideate event. With other colleagues in attendance during the session, they will generate actionable plans, through reflecting on our field’s challenges and opportunities and considering how to actualize ideas, what other resources exist that can be leveraged, who needs to be involved in this work, and what success will look like. Participants will not only leave with a DEI-centered model for moving from idea into action (whether individually or as a collective), but will be invited to join in on the work to come!

About the Fusion Summit: The success of the field of online, blended and digital learning is bolstered by the dimensions of diversity present across our community, centering practices of sharing and collaboration in support of student success. The Fusion Summit spotlights the diverse thought leadership and visionary actions of prominent voices from the respective communities of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AAPISIs), providing guidance and strategic vision for the entire community. 

Focusing on the quality characteristics of online learning as well as digital strategies prioritized by these visionaries through their work in online education, this multipart summit uses actionable design practices and collaborative work to create a community of practice supporting work well beyond the conference.