Embracing the nudge

I recently attended WCET’s annual summit that examined Ethical and Equitable Access in Digital Learning. It’s been a few years since I’ve attended a WCET event and I’ve missed the high-level discussions that occur at them, often on topics that are just about to emerge in mainstream higher education conversations. This year’s event was no exception, and the timing was perfect for the theme.

The summit was promoted as an opportunity for rich discussion on three topics:

* Equity as a demonstrated priority for the institutions’ students, faculty, and staff

* Accessibility as the lens through which the institution examines its resources, policies, services, and infrastructure

* Data and evidence-based decision making for student success and ethical questions underlying analytics engines and edtech products.

There were expansive conversations with panel members and participants throughout the event. Lindsey Downs of WCET has provided a comprehensive summary of the event on the WCETFrontiers blog.

In particular, the Panel Three topic: Ethical and Effective Uses of Student Data, resonated with me.

The question explored how best to ensure learner success by ethically and effectively using data to promote positive action. The conversation with panelists was wide ranging from data governance models to data dictionaries that would help ground consistent language and approaches to proactive interventions.

A compelling part of the discussion arose from a question that was asked by a panelist, “What is an institution’s ethical obligation of knowing?”

Hmmm. The question caused noticeable reflection in the whole room and on the Twitter back-channel. And, I’m still thinking about it. I’m sure it’s related to a duty of care when a learner enrolls for a program of study. But to what degree? Do you directly intervene with data through advisors to support students, or would a nudge theory approach be a more ethical and effective strategy, as panelist John Fritz suggested?

Thoroughly enjoyed the perspectives presented throughout the WCET Summit. Bonus for me: two excellent sit-down and reflect conversations with Phil Hill of e-Literate fame. And, I also had an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues Russ Poulin, Darcy Hardy and Mark Jenkins. Great thinkers, all of them.

Teaching and Learning Innovation Highlighted at CNIE 2018

CNIE2018

I was fully engaged at the CNIE annual conference at Laurentian University in Sudbury, ON last week (May 15-17).

We were blessed with glorious weather – sunny and just the right temperatures. It was fun to be on campus at Laurentian and enjoy the clear northern air. I had no idea how many lakes there are in the Sudbury area and within the city itself. Amazing to see so much water and access to recreational facilities everywhere I walked or drove.

The Canadian Network for Innovation Education (CNIE) is “a national organization of professionals committed to excellence in the provision of innovation in education in Canada. Its inclusive culture welcomes all of those interested in examining innovation in education from our K-12 systems, post-secondary organizations, private training and professional development and those involved in industry – its goal is to provide a space for dialogue, collaboration and innovation.”

CNIE lives up to those values and goals. The conversations and presentations were stimulating and invited further dialogue off-line, in the corridors of the university, over coffee, lunch and dinner. I met a bunch of folks I had heard about but had not met. That’s always the fun part. Got a chance to meet with Susan Campo (@SusanCampo) from the Peel Regional School District and chatted briefly about her work. Unfortunately, our sessions were scheduled in the same time slot, so I couldn’t attend and had to hear about the great stuff she is doing from our open education fellows #OEFellows. The session Susan led with Christine Hill and Vivian Myre was titled: It’s not about the grade: Feedback-focussed assessment.

The eCampusOntario #OEFellows were well represented in sessions throughout the conference along with out program managers, Jenni Hayman and Joanne Kehoe, and Terry Greene (virtually). The CNIE 2018 conference program highlights the many presentations that our team led.

Fellows2
Blog posts from #OEFellows also describe their experiences:

Also got the chance to talk about the design-based research approach that Valerie Lopes @valerlopes and I are undertaking with the Ontario Extend project. The slides from the session can be found on Slideshare.

Extend

And, no visit to Sudbury would complete without a pilgrimage to The Big Nickel.

Bignickel
By Marcoplo78 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20259204

Using reflective scholarship as a portal to improved practice

Greetings #ExtendEast + #ExtendWest– @ontarioextend Extend East and West Cohorts – and welcome to the Scholar module.

When I was thinking about how to construct the Scholar module, it didn’t take long for me to think about the most challenging moment I’d experienced as a teacher during the last few years. Much of my most recent teaching had been as an online instructor in UBC’s Master of Educational Technology (MET) program, which is a fully online experience for students. However, when I was asked to be a guest lecturer for colleague’s face-to-face class of over 150 students, each armed with a laptop, I fretted about how to hold their attention for an hour-long class on the theme of knowledge construction, and also make the experience engaging and productive for the learners.

The situation caused me to reflect on my practice…

This module examines how you can use your classroom and your courses as a research lab to explore how you might improve your teaching practice and positively affect student outcomes and their satisfaction with the overall learning experience in your course.

It invites you to consider research about teaching and learning within your discipline area and provides a process to implement a research plan. This kind of action research is often called scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and it involves an awareness and appreciation of effective, research-based, discipline-appropriate pedagogical approaches for examining your own practice.

We hope you will use the resources from the Scholar module as a portal to improved practice.