Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Produsage: Cycle of Collaboration

After watching Professor Dennen's presentation on our Produsage assignment, I was able to restructure my plan in a way that I am very excited to share. I'm going to be a little meta here and design a collaborative professional development course on collaborative learning! There was an article on Inside Higher Ed. a few months back titled, Even Professors Hate Group Work, that keeps making its rounds on my LinkedIn and Facebook. The article is open and realistic, and it made me more empathetic to several viewpoints. Actually, if I had to sum up my entire professional career into one goal, it would be to see genuine and continuous cross-disciplinary collaboration from both faculty and students. As a faculty member, I once combined my English Comp class with a Biology course to practice descriptive writing. As an administrator, I spent an entire academic year working with professors from different programs to get them to form teaching squares and recognize core competencies between fields. And most recently, I've been focused on working with faculty and instructional designers to help them consider ways to build more collaborative assignments (other than just discussion boards) into their courses. 

The studies prove over and over again that collaboration can be a very effective method of improving student learning outcomes and retention in online classes. And while I understood the theory behind this and could easily throw out suggestions, I never really understood just how collaborative an online class could be until I was a student in this one. It's as though this class gave me an outline of exactly what I needed to know to show faculty just how engaged and active students can be in an online class. So, needless to say, I've chosen to design a course that centers on collaboration and, with your feedback, can be shared with faculty this fall. The course will be optional and can count towards professional development hours.

  • Plan
    • Build the course using a free Canvas account. I've done this before for interviews and sample course building because it avoids FERPA and access problems with using LMSs associated with institutions. However, once this is done, I'll transfer the most effective materials to D2L, our LMS. 
  • Ideas and Needs
    • Some scholarly readings to provide discussion of Web 2.0 and education: faculty will be expected to read these, and I will use either discussion forums or blogs for interaction. (Don't wince yet, that's only a tiny part of it!)
    • Curation tool: faculty will be expected to spend a certain amount of time curating their own resources for ideas, strategies, and tools that can be used for collaboration in online classes.
    • Presentation methods (asynchronous): so that faculty can share their findings with each other.
    • Journal: There will be a reflective element to this course. Once faculty have selected certain tools to try with their students, the experience should be shared with their colleagues. 
    • Social network: For this project, I will build in the use of Twitter, but for the one I will present, I might use Social, our University's social media space.
    • Problem-based opening: To get faculty more engaged, I'll use a problem-based learning strategy to get them to consider all the ways in which collaboration can be used to increase student engagement.
    • A listing method, perhaps using a wiki??, that asks faculty to make the pros and cons lists as they progress through the course.
Ohhh! I'm so excited to build this. In the past, I've always thought my collaboration courses were a bit sad in that, well, they didn't have much collaboration in them. I'd based them mostly on readings and education theories that support the benefits of collaboration. Eeeek. That sounds awful, doesn't it? 

So what do you think? Is there anything I'm missing or not considering? Once the course is built, I'll tweet the link to everyone to join! Thank you, in advance, for the feedback!

1 comment:

  1. Melissa, this sounds really cool! I am actually interested in taking your course myself as I read about it! Lol! I want to use some online collaborations and produsage methods with my own students this Fall.
    PS: After looking at your profile, I think you and I need to be friends. :-)