Attention! This very special episode of the Teaching Hub is all about our intentions, and our intention to drag you into our intentions. So please, read as intently as you intend.
Earlier this month, half of the Learning Technology contingent (n=1) of the Learning Design & Support Team attended the Open Education Conference in Richmond, Virginia. It is a conference where champions of Open Education meet to share their successes and failures in trying to open up educational practices and resources. And guess what? The people are very open and friendly and welcoming. This is a nice feature to have in people.
We mention this conference because that is where the nugget of an idea came from for a project we’d like to work on with you. The rest of the LDS Team members (n=4) were gracious enough to listen to the blathering on about this idea and accept it as a way to bring to life some of the big things we have all been working on. Here’s the nugget: Dr. Robin De Rosa (@actualham), a professor at Plymouth State University, produced an open textbook with her students. From this project, the students wound up with a free textbook to which they contributed. Can you imagine the feeling of pride and community that comes from being involved in a project like that? Well, we hope you won’t need to imagine for long. In other words, we want to produce Open Faculty Development Manuals/Texts with you and with our students. Here’s another example of an Open Textbook Project from the left coast, if you want to know more about it.
This is the engaging teaching section of the The Teaching Hub. We’ve never wanted it to be ‘all hose and no bucket‘ and just tell you what we think engaging teaching is. We’ve wanted to try to help get things started, but ultimately we want you to tell us. We want us all to show each other. This project aims to formalize just that. But not too formal, where’s the fun in that? The rest of this week’s Hub post digs deeper into his idea.
flickr photo by greenetrry https://flickr.com/photos/146322656@N03/30758039301 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
We’re thinking we’d like to produce a digital and print version of the manuals, to get the best of both worlds. so here is a tool we may be able to use to make it look super slick:
Services for Students
The students have a bit of a horse in this race, don’t they? We’d like to get them involved, too. Meaning, we’d also like to publish a student version of the manual, so that they know where we are coming from when we implement some sound pedagogical practices in our classes. Maybe, just maybe, they will more quickly ‘get’ what you’re trying to do and buy into it more fully. That might be cool, huh? We promise the students that they will Learn, Belong and Become here at Fleming College. Well, the ‘become‘ part surely must mean that they become independent, adult, skilled, lifelong learners. This manual can help us make that happen for real.
Policies & Procedures
Here’s a procedure that doesn’t yet exist, but maybe something like it will work for getting this going:
- We start with this as a skeleton of a table of contents: University of Michigan High Leverage Practices (Jodie sure knows how to find the good stuff). We think it’s something to sink our teeth into. It is a fantastic place to start.
- We (me, you, him, her, they, Josh, even Lonnie) offer our take on one of the pedagogical practices. These will show examples situated in our context, in our real courses. We would love to help you create these hot-takes, so don’t feel shy.
- We get the students in on this. Hear their take on the examples we provide and take their suggestions for improvements.
- We run a contest for students to design the cover so that we can improve on the prototype that Terry made.
- We do it again next year: revise, improve, add topics. We make other manuals, dig more deeply into not only teaching, but course design. We grow as a community of open learners. Students, faculty and staff included.
Are ‘faculty’ a department? Doesn’t matter, y’all win the honour of department of the week, anyway. We love what you do and want to help you share it through these manuals or texts. We’re hoping this will be a multi-year, multi-volume ongoing contribution to Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices. Your contribution will be to help show these pedagogical practices in action. To situate the ideas in a real place for each other to see, and then take it to their own practice.
Getting involved in this project, we think, will be a rewarding learning experience. You’ll get your name in print and in fancy digital lights. You’ll be a big part of the community. You’ll be invested in the growth and opening up of pedagogical practices at our college. This project is not just one professional development opportunity. Its goal is to raise faculty professional development itself to a higher level at Fleming.
Please tell us how you feel about this and if you have interest in being involved, in one or both of two ways:
- Fill out this form, which is only 4 short questions. Tell us how you feel. You could even use a fake name and tell us how you really feel, like Lonnie does.
- Talk to us and talk to each other in the comments section below.
We are more than excited about this project. Does it excite you?
Stay tuned next week for another episode of Speakers Corner. Next week we feature Amanda Mushynski, who will describe the wonderful open practices that the PharmTech Program are rocking.