One Boulder at a Time: A Rotating Exploration of Digital Solutions to Teaching/Learning Challenges
Workshop Session 1
In a table-rotating, unconference-style format, workshop participants partner with session co-facilitators to share, discuss, and collect technologies, tools, and approaches found useful in their work as educational developers. Each table-group will begin with a guided example and then generate/collect ideas to include in a collaborative online document.
Any effort to address problems and challenges encountered and change well-established behaviors in higher education settings can feel like one is moving boulders, rolling each one, bit by bit and in strategic directions to create new pathways. Keeping in mind that the directions chosen should consider how to create sustainable processes, integrate innovative, evidence-based practices and uses of technology.
Conceptual framework: Prochaska and Velicer’s (1997) five stages of [health] behavior change (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance) and targeted interventions help people adopt positive habits. Educational developers' integration of technology follows a similar pathway and the challenges associated with online learning environments (Neilson & Goodson, 2018) require a creative problem-solving and innovative use of technologies grounded in evidence-supported practices. Blending a table-rotation unconference format (Hale & Bessette, 2016) with opportunities for personal reflection encourages attendees to both quickly engage with a range of topics/practices while also considering changes to their own practices. These frameworks come together in this session as co-facilitators with experience problem-solving and addressing challenges with technological solutions collectively offer a range of technological, administrative, and educational experiences spanning a variety of higher education institutional contexts.
Expected outcomes: By the end of this session, attendees will:
Consider topics related to learning, technology and educational development;
Select and explore at least 3-4 topics via table-rotation;
Gather and reflect on insights from discussions with colleagues and consider feasibility, adaptations and application to their own institutional settings.
Introduction (10-15 minutes) - Co-facilitators introduce the session, outcomes, and table-rotation process. Co-facilitators introduce themselves and offer an overview of their table area of focus.
Table-rotation (60 minutes) - Attendees select starting tables (even starting distribution is encouraged). Lead and co-facilitators ensure timely table rotation: 13-15 minutes/table for 4 rotations (2 min rotation/startup).
Table co-facilitators share a case drawn from their own educational development practice; cases include problems, challenges/tensions, technologies considered/adopted, unanticipated barriers encountered, and outcomes. The 8 minute overview is followed by a 5 minute discussion with focus on takeaways.
Report-out - Insights & Next Steps (15 minutes) - Lead co-facilitator invites table-leads to report out on key insights generated at table discussions and recorded on the online takeaway Google document (link provided). Final comments from participants regarding favorite application ideas close the session.
Accessibility & Technology - Making online courses accessible creates challenges for the average online instructor (Scott, Temple & Marshall, 2015) as syllabi and learning modules must be designed to provide accessible learning experiences (udlcenter.org). The participants will examine the Universal Design for Learning principles and explore ways to effectively support faculty in accessible course design.
Social Media Outreach - Major social media platforms persist as venues for conversation, current awareness, and resource sharing among educational developers and faculty (Edwards et al., 2016; & Holt, Murphy & Edwards, 2014). Participants at this table reflect on their investments in social media--whether considering creating, modifying, or expanding personal, professional, and/or institutional presences.
Supporting Inclusiveness and Media Literacy - The current social/political climate of the U.S. has had an undeniable effect on Higher Education (Bauman, 2018). Participants will discuss how to be inclusive in the classroom while navigating political tensions and how to help students develop critical media consciousness in an era of “fake news” (sample resources provided).
Continuity of Learning - Unpredictable events (weather, illness, family,...), disrupt teaching/learning schedules and prompt faculty to make up lost time by condensing/dropping content/assignments or adding online requirements. Participants discuss strategies for helping faculty prepare for unexpected disruptions and ensure the continuity of learning for students in both face-to-face and technology-enhanced learning environments.
Open Topic - The opportunity will be created for an open table to allow discussion of emergent technologies, issues and interests not addressed elsewhere.
Materials Provided in Workshop: Each Table will have a Table Topic Handout that provides an overview of the problems, challenges, processes and practices that participants can reference and take with them. A Google Document summarizing the ideas generated and key takeaways will be created and shared. A summary handout will provide a brief overview of the session and a link to the Google Document developed during the session and available for reference following the session.
Participants: Individuals engaged with all aspects of educational development will find this session to have relevance to their work, inclusive of: Teaching/Learning, curriculum design, faculty development, organizational and communications support. The open nature of the workshop design allows for areas of shared interest and experiences of all participants to be explored and shared.
Materials Required: Projection capability (laptop provided by presenters), wifi/internet access, round tables for ease of grouping and rotation (preferably at least 4-5)
Bauman, D. (February 16, 2018). After 2016 election, campus hate crimes seemed to jump. Here’s what the data Tell us. Chronicle of Higher Education 64(25). Retrieved:https://www.chronicle.com/article/After-2016-Election-Campus/242577/
Edwards, P. M., Vargas Ramos, G., Mullinix, B., Wheeler, B., Levy, A., Zhadko, O., Bruenjes, L., and Chaudhury, S. Raj. (2016, November). Building a social media presence for Centers and educational developers. Workshop presented at the 41st Annual Conference of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, Louisville, KY.
Fidaldo, P., & Thormann, J. (2017). Reaching students in online courses using alternative formats. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(2). doi:10.19173/irrodl.v18i2.2601
Hale, E., & Bessette, L. S. (2016). New frontiers: Exploring the power and possibilities of the unconference as a transformative approach to faculty development. Journal of Faculty Development, 30(2), 9-15.
Holt, S., Murphy, M., & Edwards, P. M. (2014, November). Reassessing goals for Center social media: Leveraging offline relationships. Poster presented at the 39th Annual Conference of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, Dallas, TX.
National Center On Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from http://www.udlcenter.org
Neilson, L. B., & Goodson, L. A. (2018). Online teaching at its best: Merging instructional design with teaching and learning research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Prochaska, J. O., & Velicer, W. F. (1997). The transtheoretical model of health behavior change. American Journal of Health Promotion, 12(1), 38-48. 38-48.doi:10.4278/0890-1171-12.1.38
Scott, L., Temple, P., & Marshall, D. (2015). UDL in online college coursework: Insights of infusion and educator preparedness. Online Learning, 19(5). doi:10.24059/olj.v19i5.623