The Collaboratory At Drexel University: Advancing Campus Collaboration Around Technology Enhanced Learning

Concurrent Session 4

Brief Abstract

The Collaboratory at Drexel is a way for faculty, SMEs, and instructional designers to share new and innovative technologies across curricula and departments


John Davis is an Instructional Designer for Drexel University. Before coming to Drexel, he was a high school Spanish teacher in Nashville, Tennessee. John was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Nashville Teaching Fellows and the second cohort of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools’ Teacher Leadership Institute (TLI). As a member of the TLI, he was trained in educational technologies: Microsoft Office in the classroom, Google Apps for education, and Apple education certification, and Blackboard course creation. John is a passionate problem solver. He likes to study the big picture and find solutions for large scale problems. The reason he likes his job is because he can brainstorm with colleagues, subject matter experts, and educators on how to provide the best possible online course that is specifically tailored to the subject matter and the best practices for online education. John earned his Master of Arts in Teaching from Belmont University and Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of Pittsburgh.

Extended Abstract

For the last year, members of the Drexel Online learning team have organized an innovative collaboration forum titled, "The Collaboratory." This session will demonstrate how the staff, faculty, and students at Drexel share their use of technology in online classrooms with one another. At Drexel, like at other higher education institutions, we have professors from many different fields who generally work in isolation or in siloed groups. They utilize technology that is practical to their courses and the needs of their courses; however, they are often surprised to find that the technologies they use are not often the same technologies that are used in other schools or departments, and their technologies often have direct correlations to other fields. Through the Collaboratory, these professors, come together to showcase their work and the work of their students with their colleagues. The goal of The Collaboratory is to provide a space for faculty and staff across the university to share ideas and best practices with colleagues they would not normally work with. This sharing of ideas and demonstration of practical application of educational technology leads to cross-curricular cooperation and collegiality.

At the conclusion of this event, participants will be able to:

Identify faculty and staff projects utilizing emerging technology at their own institutions to facilitate cross-curricular and inter-departmental cooperation.

Compare and contrast the use of technology in online classroom settings with that of their own teaching practices in order to create dialogue among faculty, staff, and students.

Discuss emerging technology concepts being used today in K-12 and higher education, as well as corporate and governmental education programs so that they may take this discussion back to their home institutions.

These learning objectives will be met by a presentation consisting of PowerPoint and video demonstrations regarding the conception, planning, and implementation of the Collaboratory. Presenters will first explain the motivation behind the Collaboratory. They will then demonstrate how the idea was formed into a working concept. Presenters will show examples of the call for proposals, and implementation, along with improvements and revisions made after the first Collaboratory. Finally, they will show highlights from the second Collaboratory event. Following the presentation, participants will be invited to enter a discussion of their own current practices in using and sharing educational technology. These demonstrations, examples, and discussion will provide participants with a framework for investigating methods of sharing cross-curricular technology in their own contexts.