Using Disruption to Stay on Course


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Presentation for Opening Plenary Panel, Staying on Course, Teaching Symposium, St. Edward's University, 22 August 2013. How do liberal arts colleges maintain their values in the face of disruptive innovations?

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  • Simon will give you more details on MOOCs in the next session. For now, I’ll point out that there are two competing visions of MOOCs. What I like to think of as the industrial MOOC and the networked or connectivist MOOC.cMOOCs or connectivist MOOCs offer an alternative vision for MOOCs that focus more on the network effect—the benefits you get from many students but also the idea that networks are heterogeneous and you can find the piece of the network that works for you.The goal of these courses is networked learning seen as an important skill in a world articulated by digital networks
  • Doing something together creates meaningful exchangesFemTechNet—new course on feminism and technology—local courses linked together
  • Links to goal of improving student learning—liberal arts college academic mission.Bryn Mawr involved many other liberal arts colleges, including Kenyon—see Joe & Simon.
  • Learning analytics, mastery, metacognition, student learningBryn Mawr uses these resources—to give students more time on task while freeing instructor time for other activities. To give just one example, students in a “half-semester introductory chemistry course designed for students with weak science and math backgrounds” are using OLI chemistry modules to catch up. Those who need more practice on key concepts can do it on their own time to gain mastery of the material.
  • The OLI learning modules allow students to practice without risking grades. Since feedback is automatic, they don't have to wait, and instructors don’t have to spend time grading. Instructors also benefit from this formative assessment, because they can track students’ progress and adapt their instruction on the individual and group level to meet student needs. Students ask better questions because had a better understanding of what they didn’t knowThese modules also allow the instructor to flip the classroom and “devote class time to focus on problem solving instead of lecturing and target areas where students need the most help.”Discussion at breakfast with Martin Madsen who teaches physics at WabashMastery as goal especially when paired with class discussions, thought problems, or group projects to apply skills and concepts they were expected to master
  • Commercial solutions in economics and chemistry of similar quality but more expensiveStudents challenged with basic math skills had psychological barriers to learning math (not lack or exposure or need for more practice) needed to break through idea that math was an innate skill that they lacked; such students benefit from interactive, face to face approaches
  • Cf. SUNY Geneseo open textbook initiative, as well as the Temple example
  • Motivation for DH at SLAC: educating citizens for a globally networked worldLet’s dig deeper into the context
  • They also defined high impact practicesSo what do these things look like in a digital context?
  • Using Disruption to Stay on Course

    1. 1. Rebecca Frost Davis Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology Using Disruption to Stay on Course
    2. 2. Liberal Education in a Networked World • • Slides • More examples
    3. 3. Disruption & Adaptation • Disruptions – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – Big Data – Globally Networked World • Liberal Arts Responses – Networked course – Open Learning Initiative – Situating the Global Environment
    4. 4. Massive Open Online Course Image courtesy of Phil Hill
    5. 5. • Industrial (xMOOC) – Faculty expert – Homogeneous Network – One perfect lecture(r) – Knowledge transfer • Networked (cMOOC) – Peer learning – Heterogeneous Network – Knowledge is situated – Knowledge production Two Visions for MOOCs
    6. 6. Networked Courses • Local classes in a Larger Network – Sunoikisis intercampus courses (ICCs) in advanced Greek & Latin – FemTechNet: Distributed Online Collaborative Course (DOCC) – History Harvest • Aggregate Expertise • Share local resources • Share local perspective Sunoikisis Network, Fall 2006
    7. 7. Big Data Image courtesy of Min Lun Wu
    8. 8. Big Learning Data • Improve learning resources based on usage data • How do small colleges achieve scale? • How do small colleges adapt resources to their context?
    9. 9. Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Setting • Bryn Mawr College, NGLC grant-funded program • “Using Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Environment to Improve Developmental and Gatekeeper STEM Course Completion, Persistence, and College Completion” • Open Learning Initiative modules •
    10. 10. Open Learning Initiative (OLI) • Carnegie Mellon • Computer-based, interactive tutorials and quizzes • Customized learning • Instant feedback
    11. 11. Outcomes • Student preparation = better student-faculty interaction – Metacognition • Assessment data for learning analytics • Mastery vs. grades
    12. 12. Challenges • Uneven availability of resources – OLI had poor coverage of economics, biology, geology, chemistry, development al math • Start-up costs: time to find, evaluate, apply & integrate computer-based materials • Doesn’t apply in every case, e.g., basic math skills
    13. 13. Creating Resources • Spohrer (Bryn Mawr) reports 50 hours • Collaborative Projects from ACS – Analyzing and Creating Maps – Beyond the (Online) Handbook: Writing Resources Designed for the Digital Environment
    14. 14. Globally Networked World Global Network by Flickr User WebWizzard
    15. 15. World is Flat • Global access to information & people • Creating citizens & workers for this context • Challenges – Vs. residential liberal arts experience or immersive study abroad experience – Developing skills in this context – Communicating across domains
    16. 16. • First-Year Seminars and Experiences • Common Intellectual Experience • Learning Communities • Writing-Intensive Courses • Collaborative Assignments and Projects • Undergraduate Research • Diversity/Global Learning • Service Learning, Community- Based Learning • Internships • Capstone Courses and Projects High Impact Practices (Kuh)
    17. 17. Situating the Global Environment • Lewis & Clark College • • Jim Proctor, “Situated Social Learning” • Interdisciplinary environmental research • Situated research – Local focus on global issues
    18. 18. Social learning • Document research process • Share research resources • Share references • Aggregate projects on blog – Maps – Tags – Concept maps – Mashups
    19. 19. Globally Networked High Impact Practices • Common intellectual experience – Reflecting on research • Learning communities online • Collaborative projects • Undergraduate research • Global learning • Community-based learning • Documenting learning experiences