This Week in ODL: Apr 17-21, 2017

Welcome to This Week in ODL, a weekly blog series published by the Office of Digital Learning through which we provide readers with the latest developments in the projects and learning experiences under development at our office. With this post, we highlight this week’s news for your review and feedback. Remember to check back next week for the latest updates on our work!

Middlebury Digital Summit

On Wednesday, April 19, from 3-4:30pm Eastern time, the Office of Digital Learning, in collaboration with the Academic Technology Group and the Digital Learning Commons, will host a digital summit as part of the Envisioning Middlebury process.

The summit will provide participants with an opportunity to consider how Middlebury’s diverse community and programs might intersect with and coalesce in the digital realm. What might Middlebury’s approach to the digital look like in the future? How might a more expansive view of the digital amplify Middlebury’s educational mission and expand its reach? How might understanding of and critical engagement with the digital in turn become an integral part of Middlebury academic culture and curricula?

This summit has the potential to influence Middlebury’s developing strategic directions in the digital realm. If you would like to participate, you may register to do so on the summit website.

Design Symposium at NorthEast Regional Computing Program

On Thursday, April 27, Amy Collier will serve as a panelist at the Instructional Design Symposium hosted by the NorthEast Regional Computing Program (NERCP). The panel will discuss what the future holds for the instructional design profession, as well as the ways in which the instructional design career should include both formal and informal preparation.

The panel discussion will include instructional design professionals representing different branches of the field: from teaching to practice, and from K-12, higher education, and corporate.  Panelists will discuss their current work realities, the hiring norms and expectations, and describe in what ways training they received prior to their job were helpful or deficient; and what they learned on the job.  Focused discussion will promote awareness of changes and altered expectations in the ID profession.

Design Thinking Blog Post by Amy Collier

On April 17, Amy Collier published a post on the ODL blog about design thinking entitled Surprising Insights, Outliers, and Privilege in Design Thinking. In her post, Collier provides a critique of the use of design thinking to solve complex social problems. As Collier writes, “Design thinking is a simple and accessible methodology, often useful and exciting. But it may be too simple, too easy to wield carelessly.”

The post goes on to discuss the ways in which design thinking may miss the mark in capturing and designing for complexity, especially when it comes to finding solutions to social problems. “Beyond obscuring or under-recognizing structural inequities at the heart of problems, and beyond not requiring problem-solving enthusiasts to see their own privilege, [design thinking] may create new problematic power dynamics rather than helping address the liberatory needs of populations oppressed by structural inequities.”

We invite you read this post in its entirety on the ODL blog.

Sonja Burrows

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