This Week in ODL: May 15-19, 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!

Critical Instructional Design Blog Post by Amy Collier and Amy Slay

Amy Slay and Amy Collier

This August, Amy Collier of the Office of Digital Learning and Amy Slay of the Digital Learning Commons in Monterey will lead a five-day track at the Digital Pedagogy Lab 2017 Institute. Their track, Critical Instructional Design, will explore design as a collaborative process through which teachers thoughtfully re-imagine their classrooms in order to spark creativity and inspiration. They’ll also discuss how design can (and should) also be about the activism needed when questioning and inquiry force us to confront entrenched inequities in education and in our society.

Critical Instructional Design, as forwarded by our office and as presented by Amy and Amy at Digital Pedagogy Lab, resists traditional approaches to instructional design—born out of technical writing and training lineages—that rigidly define design processes and outcomes. Just as we might expect faculty to move toward a “radically open” approach to teaching (hooks, 1989), instructional designers too must embrace, examine, be affected by openness, and relish the uncertainty openness creates in our work.

You can read more about the Critical Instructional Design track by checking out Amy and Amy’s blog post on the Digital Pedagogy Lab web site. And if you have questions about this new approach to design, feel free to ask anyone at ODL!

Gearing Up for Summer

Here on the campus of Middlebury College, which serves as one of the physical home bases of the Office of Digital Learning, the academic year 2016-2017 is wrapping up. Students are putting the finishing touches on final projects and preparing for exams. As we plan for the upcoming summer, the ODL is readying to work with Middlebury’s many Language Schools throughout their 2017 programming. Our office has supported the Language Schools in many ways, and we are excited to connect with the Schools faculty and staff with whom we have worked throughout the past year and prior. This summer’s work for the ODL in support of the Language Schools will involve filming projects, organizing podcasting, helping to conduct technical orientations, and workshops at the Bread Loaf School of English.

First Episode of MiddleBuried

Maya Goldberg-Safir

The ODL and MiddCast are happy to announce the launch of a new podcast: Middleburied. This series, hosted and produced by Middlebury Alum Maya Goldberg-Safir (Class of 2012), offers a collection of stories by current Middlebury students about what life is like just under the surface at the College. The series will explore the too seldom heard tales of student life as part of the Middlebury experience. Far from home. Falling in love. Struggling to find a place in a small town. Middlebury is home to hundreds of untold stories. Host Maya Goldberg-Safir returns to Vermont to dig deep and uncover some of the best audio stories buried here on campus. The stuff that students have made. The stuff that students are doing. The stuff that’s just below the surface. The stuff that’s Middleburied.
In the first episode, Maya faces her own worst fears: growing up. What is life like when you leave Middlebury?

We hope you’ll tune in on Tuesday, May 16 (that’s today!) when the podcast debuts. And please subscribe on iTunes to receive each new episode as it airs!

Sonja Burrows

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