Hello there #openlearning17


I am participating in the class to find some more awesome “faculty development” ideas. Just the #openlearning17 course itself is a good opportunity I can share with faculty here. I need those. I am an instructional designer these last ten years and a high school English teacher the 10 years prior. I love working with people.

While I am looking for good ideas, I also have a couple to share that you might be able to use in some way. So, I’ll do that.

The first is a “reflective writing” challenge that began at Yavapai College in Arizona. Faculty were asked to write 25 sentences a week about teaching and learning for nine weeks on the open web. They did, and so did faculty at other colleges. The link here has more description and links to all the writings. It is still very successful.

Another was to build a group of videos created by faculty about teaching. The vision was a wall of short videos that anyone could pick and choose from and maybe learn something from. There was also the advantage of getting faculty to create video content which was new to many of them. So they not only shared what they do, but learned something new in the process. There are links to the videos created by a few schools there too.

We had tried to get faculty to give us “tours” of their courses and that worked pretty well. I think we did have about 10 one time but some disappeared from faculty YouTube channels and we did not pursue getting them back. I don’t know why. But the idea was good and after a few brave faculty shared their online courses, a few more did.

The first year we did the open house the classes were totally open. Now it looks like college credentials are needed to access them. But the idea of an “Open House” worked really well. http://www.telswebletter.com/openhouse/

If you have any questions about any of those things I’d be happy to answer questions if you have them.

When Will We Give Up the Brown Bag?

Well, we likely never will give up on them completely. They do serve a population and a purpose. I think. And we have been asking the same question for years.

I am hoping that we move to a yearly plan that includes some really good “challenges “ or events that make up the bulk of our training for faculty. That along with a seriously determined effort to make deeper and more meaningful connections with them.

That is the plan.

1. Multiple “engaging” events throughout the year
2. Deeper and more meaningful relationship building

Sounds like a therapy plan. Anyway.


This year I am participating in the 12 Apps of Christmas with the BC Campus and ETUG and having just completed the 9x9x 25 I feel like having a calendar that has X amount of multi-day events might look better and get a wider response than our current schedule which is primarily one hour trainings with a couple of other day or multi-day events.

Today I see that ELI/Horizon Report is running a 2-minute video “competition” which faculty could participate in. Finding such events and marketing them to our faculty might also be a way of generating a more sharable event and faculty created learning products.

I guess I think that if there were longer more interactive activities for faculty to participate in, with one of the goals being to create content that other faculty can learn from, we all win. And if these events are open to any faculty, we can learn from faculty outside our own institutions. Simple idea. But what does the schedule look like?

My list, between UW and Yavapai College looks about like this. And added to the list could be similar events happening at other schools so we all would not have to reinvent each wheel every time.

MarchMarch for Best Practice

August – December Program for Online Teaching

September – November 9x9x25 Challenge

December12 Apps of Christmas

What is your schedule look like? What are the events and the duration of them?

Share Everything

The first rule in Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten is this:


Opened16 ends today.

I figure for this post I would share what the many people attending the event have shared.

Where is Your Frontier?

Last week the person the Quality Matters Twitter account direct messaged me three questions. They said, “We want to know what YOU think! Help set the stage for our intrepid, seasoned panelists who will engage with a set of questions about our future and your own responses to these questions.” Nice. It would be good for the speakers to have some ideas about the interests and concerns of the people they are talking to.


I wondered what that looks like in classrooms. I suppose it is the teachers asking a “Why are you here?” sort of question at the outset of the course. I like that. It is good to know who wants to go where, and why.

I think these are good questions to wonder about. I will share the questions and my answers here for this post.

Q1: What is YOUR vision of the future for teaching and learning? What’s the prize we are looking for – once we get where we are going?

That teaching and learning will be engrained within the community and the roles of students and teachers become blurred into the many roles people play in communities. Students will be responsible for doing important tasks within our communities. There will be more adventure. Not just adventure of the brain, but of the body. Of the soul. Schooling will become messier. It will be harder to define lines between the “school” and “life.” Fewer people will say, “When I get out into the real world…” There will be more teachers because the profession will become one that many aspire to be a part of. For many reasons. But the schools themselves, the buildings and “things” of school, will become more engrained in the way communities function.

We are looking for people who have a broad range of experiences behind them and know how to place themselves in places that make them work. Make them think. And make them questions their existing ideas. Not just people who know stuff, but people who can imagine things and have the desire to make those things realities.

We are going to create healthy and happy people. People who have confidence in their capabilities. People who are honest and hard working. People who want to be more and are capable of getting it.

Q2: What will that path look like? What should we expect to see?

Students and schooling will become more visible. You will see them outside of school buildings more often. The “students” will play larger roles in doing things that are necessary for communities to function. They will be given work in school that requires more than mental effort. It will require physical effort and lots of it.

— on a side note here, I am sort of reminded of our current infatuation and longing for qualities like “grit” and “perseverance” and “completion” and how we assess those things simply by the quantity of numbers/letters on a piece of paper. There are better ways to learn how to keep going. The world is full of opportunities to literally dig into or walk though spaces that challenge our endurance. That make us sweat and work for a goal. Largely, we have reduced those options to some test scores.


Anyway, in the future, when schooling is on a more amazing path, we will find that we have created in students a resource for our community. One that contributes directly to our shared daily life beyond amassing piles of worksheets and PowerPoint files. The students and teachers will be doing “service learning” every day. They will find mentors in adults in the community and create relationships that bridge the age lines we drew with social promotion as the only indicator of capacity. Students will be away from home more often. They will travel to places to touch the things they currently only read about. There will be more field trips.

Q3: What obstacles can we expect along the way?

Our history.

Not that what we have accomplished is nothing short of miraculous, but that we have made errors and that we must be willing to remedy them. That will take more advocacy from parents, teachers, and local communities and federal and state government. That of course, will take time.