This Week in ODL: May 8-12, 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!

Sean Michael Morris Blogs on Critical Instructional Design

The ODL’s Sean Michael Morris published on May 1, 2017 a post entitled Critical Digital Pedagogy and Design in which he shared the transcript of a presentation he recently delivered at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. In this presentation, Sean discussed the ways in which he works in the ODL and at the Digital Pedagogy Lab to redefine what instructional design means as an approach to digital learning. As a critical instructional designer, Sean has begun to formulate a critical approach to instructional design that inquires deeply into assumptions about current methods for online teaching and learning—including the assumptions from behavioral and educational psychology that fuel those approaches. In this post, Sean encourages the question: “[W]hat approach to digital (environments, tools, learning, networks, etc.) allows us to reach through the jargon and the hype and the code to find the human?” You are welcomed to read the post in its entirety as well as to view his complete slide deck here.

Amy Collier at OSU Innovate Conference

Amy Collier will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Innovate Conference to be held at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio on May 16, 2017. Amy will be giving a talk entitled Reclaiming Impact: Not-Yetness as a Lens for Resisting De-Complexification in which she will discuss the ways that educational technologies are increasingly playing a role in the steady march towards compliance and simplicity. Amy will talk about how the push toward rigid accountability, sometimes expressed in calls for “impact,” has placed educational technology in a strategic role to monitor, track, and report on measurements against standards and to increase productivity relative to those standards. What gets lost, asks Amy, when we push to simplify for the sake of impact? What is at stake when we hand over the “beautiful risk of education” to technology companies and tools with views of impact that devalue the richness of the educational relationship? In this talk, Amy will offer “not-yetness” as a lens for returning to complexity in impact.

ODL and School of Russian to Present at ACTFL

We are pleased to announce that the ODL’s Amy Collier, as well as the School of Russian’s Jason Merrill and Shannon Spasova, had a paper on Middlebury’s School of Russian pre-immersion project accepted for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) conference this November in Nashville, Tennessee. Their presentation will focus on efforts by the Middlebury Davis School of Russian to use technology to improve students’ summer immersion experience. Several approaches will be emphasized. First, we created a series of informational quizzes regarding life under the Language Pledge; second, we offered an informational webinar for all students to address concerns before arrival; third, lessons and webinars for beginning students were offered to help them adjust more quickly to the immersion environment; fourth, an online self-assessment based on can-do statements was developed to aid in the placement process; and finally, we created interactive digital resources to help students get acquainted with the program and the campus before their arrival, including a set of videos, an interactive timeline and map, and some scenario-based activities. The goals of this project include reducing stress, improving language acquisition outcomes, and increasing retention in lower-level language courses. The results from student feedback indicate the project has achieved these goals.

Final Episode of Podcast Series It’s Not What You Think

Launched in January 2016, the It’s Not What You Think storytelling series is part of a multi-pronged Middlebury College initiative to help foster resilience that includes spaces for reflection, increased access to counseling, workshops, and storytelling. We are pleased to announce that the final episode of this podcast series will be published this week on the MiddCast website.

The podcast series, which is sponsored by the offices of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs, explores the unexpected twists and turns that life takes—emphasizing that our lives rarely (if ever) progress as a linear series of met goals. It’s Not What You Think brings together members of the college community around stories of the unanticipated ways that life unfolds, including failures, defeats, tragedies, and radical life changes.

 

Sonja Burrows

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *