Using Disruption to Stay on Course (for Liberal Education)


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Today’s news headlines are filled with startling reports about U. S. higher education. Calls for dramatically reduced cost are paired with critiques of higher education outcomes, demands for jobs for graduates, and images of online learning (especially the massive open online course or MOOC) as the new magic bullet that will remake our system of higher education by bringing learning to the masses for free. But what do these developments have to do with institutions that focus on liberal education? How are liberal arts colleges and universities preserving a focus on their key missions and goals during a time of dramatic change in higher education?

This workshop will focus on technology-enabled disruptions challenging the traditional high touch liberal arts model—e.g., the massive open online course or MOOC, blended learning, big data, the globally networked world, etc.—and investigate creative responses that adapt these disruptions in service to the essential learning outcomes and high impact practices of liberal education. Participants will discuss disruptive innovations, examine cases of adaption to the liberal education context, and consider how they might implement such adaptions at their own institutions.

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Using Disruption to Stay on Course (for Liberal Education)

  1. 1. Using Disruption to Stay on Course! 2014 Annual Meeting #aacu14! Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)!
  2. 2. Liberal Education in a Networked World! •  Rebecca Frost Davis, Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology, St. Edward’s University! •  Fellow, National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE)! –  Intercampus Teaching! •  Digital Humanities and Undergraduate Education! •  Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Models, Keywords, and Prototypes! • ! •  @frostdavis #aacu14!
  3. 3. Agenda! 2:00 PM 2:30 PM ! 3:00 PM ! 3:30 PM 3:45 PM ! 4:30 PM !Introductions! !Presentation: Mapping the Landscape of !Disruption! !Reflection: What is the most significant ! !disruption for your campus?! !Break (Independence Foyer)! !Breakout Discussions: Disruption & Liberal !Education! !Final Discussion!
  4. 4. Disruptive Innovation! •  A process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors ! • key-concepts/ !
  5. 5. Introductions ! •  •  •  •  Name! Title/Role! Institution and Type! What disruptions (disruptive technologies) most concern your campus?!
  6. 6. Mapping the Landscape of
 Disruption and Liberal Education!
  7. 7. Disruptions! •  •  •  •  •  •  Online education! Information explosion! Participatory culture! Globally networked world! Gaming! Digital workflow and practice!
  8. 8. Online Learning as Delivery Method!          100%                                    MOOC                            Massive  Open  Online  Course   “Going  the  Distance:  Online  Educa5on  in  the  United  States”  (2011),  p.  7.  
  9. 9. Massive Open Online Course! Image  courtesy  of  Phil  Hill  
  10. 10. Two Visions for MOOCs! •  Industrial (xMOOC)! –  Faculty expert! –  Homogeneous Network! –  One perfect lecture(r)! –  Knowledge transfer! •  Networked (cMOOC)! –  Peer learning! –  Heterogeneous Network! –  Knowledge is situated! –  Knowledge production!
  11. 11. Networks!
  12. 12. The Long Tail! Mass  Industrializa5on   MOOC   Mass  Customiza5on   Amazon   Small  Liberal  Arts  Colleges   Humani5es  Projects   Local    
  13. 13. Reading the Gesta Francorum!
  14. 14. Networked Courses! •  Local classes in a Larger Network! –  Sunoikisis intercampus courses (ICCs) in advanced Greek & Latin! –  FemTechNet: Distributed Online Collaborative Course (DOCC)! •  FAQ for FemTechNet! •  Aggregate Expertise! •  Share local resources! •  Share local perspective! Sunoikisis  Network,  Fall  2006  
  15. 15. Scarcity! Abundance!
  16. 16. (Open) Educational Resources! •  Kahn Academy:! •!
  17. 17. New Role: Curator! •  •  •  •  Finding educational materials! Evaluating educational materials! Curating collections of educational materials! Connecting materials and learners!
  18. 18. Open Learning Initiative (OLI)! •  Carnegie Mellon! •  Computer-based, interactive tutorials and quizzes! •  Customized learning! •  Instant feedback! !
  19. 19. Big (Learning) Data! •  Improve learning resources based on usage data! •  How do you achieve scale?! •  How do you adapt resources to your context?!
  20. 20. 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! •!
  21. 21. Outcomes! •  Student preparation = better student-faculty interaction! –  Metacognition! •  Assessment data for learning analytics! •  Mastery vs. grades!
  22. 22. Challenges! •  Uneven availability of resources! –  OLI had poor coverage of economics, biology, geology, chemistry, developmental math! •  Start-up costs: time to find, evaluate, apply & integrate computer-based materials! •  Doesn’t apply in every case, e.g., basic math skills!
  23. 23. 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!
  24. 24. Participatory Culture! •  Low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement ! •  Strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations! •  Informal mentorship by most experienced for novices! •  Members believe their contributions matter! •  Some degree of social connection! Henry Jenkins, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century! !
  25. 25. Undergrad Sourcing!
  26. 26. Public Digital Scholarship!
  27. 27. Globally Networked World! Global  Network  by  Flickr  User  WebWizzard  
  28. 28. 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!
  29. 29. High  Impact  Prac.ces  (Kuh)   •  First-­‐Year  Seminars  and   Experiences   •  Common  Intellectual   Experience   •  Learning  Communi5es   •  Wri5ng-­‐Intensive  Courses   •  Collabora5ve   Assignments  and  Projects   •  Undergraduate  Research   •  Diversity/Global  Learning   •  Service  Learning,   Community-­‐Based   Learning   •  Internships   •  Capstone  Courses  and   Projects  
  30. 30. Situating the Global Environment! •  Lewis & Clark College! • ! •  Jim Proctor, “Situated Social Learning”! •  Interdisciplinary environmental research! •  Situated research! –  Local focus on global issues!
  31. 31. Social learning! •  •  •  •  Document research process! Share research resources! Share references ! Aggregate projects on blog! –  –  –  –  Maps! Tags! Concept maps! Mashups!
  32. 32. 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!
  33. 33. New Learning Models: Gaming! •  •  •  •  Zone of proximal development! Agency (self-directed learning)! Just-in-time learning! Motivation!
  34. 34. WOOC !
  35. 35. Prototype! •  An early sample, model or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from! •  Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one.! •  from πρῶτος (protos), "first" and τύπος (typos), "impression"!
  36. 36. Individual Reflection! •  What other disruptions are there?! •  What opportunities do you see? ! –  Identify a model or suggest a prototype! •  What challenges does your campus or institution face? ! •  Which disruptions could be adapted or redirected to meet challenges on your campus or at your institution? ! •  What would have to change?!
  37. 37. Breakout Discussions: Choose One Disruption! •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  Big Data or Information Explosion! Gaming! Globally Networked World! MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)! Networked Learning! Online Education! Open Educational Resources (OER)! Participatory Cultures!
  38. 38. Discuss! 1.  What is the nature of this disruption? What threat does it present to liberal education? ! 2.  Can you achieve liberal education learning outcomes or practice high impact practices in this context? Does this disruption change liberal education? If so, how?! 3.  Can this disruption work for liberal education on your campus? How would you implement it/ have you already implemented it?!
  39. 39. Prototype! 1.  Design a prototype based on this disruption that would advance the goals of liberal education. You can adapt a model suggested earlier or come up with something completely new.! 2.  Who is the intended audience, e.g., traditional or non-traditional undergrads, grad, residential or online, etc.?!
  40. 40. Prototype! 3.  How would this prototype be received by different stakeholders, e.g., students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, etc.? How could you address their concerns or use them as champions?! 4.  How would this prototype impact different areas on campus, e.g., curriculum, learning outcomes, faculty development, academic support services, student life, other initiatives on campus or various schools? !
  41. 41. Share your prototypes.!
  42. 42. Reflection
 What best fits your context?!
  43. 43. Final Discussion! •  How should those focused on liberal education respond to disruptions?! •  What are recommended approaches? !