Final Faculty Learning Community 2015 Report

When I hit publish, this will be the last blog post for this grant project. As I’ve written this report and maintained the requirements of this grant, I’ve used Ward Cunningham’s Federated Wiki and followed Mike Caulfield’s teachings on Idea Mining.

Only my collaborative journal has been with myself. I’ve also used Google Docs, paper journals, IdeaPaint, post-it notes, my friends, and the minds of my endlessly brilliant and wonderful colleagues in the eLearning Council. What follows here are my words, but they aren’t mine.

What isn’t reflected here or in the federated wiki is the lovely conversations I’ve had with teachers about what they want for professional learning. What works for them. Why they want it. How people like me can help them. How we can work together. This work, albeit cumbersome, challenging, and emotionally draining, has been incredibly rewarding. One year ago today, I could not have predicted where this grant would take my research interests, but it’s all coming together in ways that thrill me. Where I am now is only possible thanks to the legacy of people who have advocated for faculty learning communities as a grant-funded project. The legacy of people.

Let me start by quoting Jen Whetham from the email reminder about our grant reports:

We’ve already used the blog produced by Everett’s FLC, Aligning the CC Stars, as a training resource at the spring ATL.  And thanks to Alyson and Peg for openly licensing their successful application so other people can use it as a learning tool—and to Alyson for writing such a thoughtful reflection about it as well.

This is emergent work, folks, and I appreciate the creativity and innovation you have shown as we begin to explore, as a system, what Alyson calls “Communities of Practice 2.0.”  We are, as she writes, beginning to “tap into the potential of the digital space.” 

This collaborative journey to continually push the purpose and function of the FLC grants is not a linear one.  It requires imagination and pushing boundaries and stepping well outside of our comfort zones.  It requires re-reading what could be perceived as “mistakes” as the potential for new direction and expansion.  We must continue to ask questions to which there are not simple or elegant answers.

Wow. A lot of really smart people got that email. Wow. Thanks, Jen.

On a day when I was working like a madwoman to meet some deadlines and information requests, this email slowed me down. Made me think. Made me incredibly grateful. Thoughtful. Reflective. Introspective.

And that’s the purpose of these grants. Why they exist. Why they solve problems. Why I feel lucky to write this report as part of my job. Why I feel lucky.

I searched for an image on Flikr to find stars, and I found this image. It seems appropriate since my blog title “aligning the stars” can mean a variety of things. One person’s star is somebody else’s flower about to bloom. Lucky me.

Speaking of luck: I’m co-collaborating with Dr. Debra Rudder Lohe on a workshop for the New Faculty Developers Institute, and she has been incredibly patient with me. Basically, I’ve struggled with finishing our presentation materials because I have to write this report first.

Truth be told: I just want to sit down in the audience and listen to her with our attendees! She’s got some brilliant work that I will use for years to come (hopefully).

Here’s our title and blurb:

Strategic Planning for Faculty Development Centers: Sensible Approaches for Starting and Sustaining

Strategic planning can be daunting. Whether you are starting, rebuilding, re-branding, or re-visioning your faculty development center, you need sensible approaches to this important work, and no one approach is right for all contexts. The presenters of this session will draw on their own experiences and share processes and products that may guide your efforts, whether you are starting from scratch or sustaining an existing plan. You will leave with an action plan to help you develop or refine a strategic plan for your unit.

We are going to ask attendees to locate themselves on a continuum.

I’m going to identify my work with strategic planning as New/Emerging/Contested/Rebuilding. I’ll tell the story that I’ve explained along with Peg a few times on this blog, and from there, I’m willing to work on the fly based on friends I have yet to meet who will attend this workshop.

As presenters, Debie and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum, and it will be obvious by the amount of resources we will provide to our audience. She’s got a ton; I have very little. Our conversations have been incredibly insightful for me. We do have, however (I think), a really great workshop planned that I wish had popped into my life two years ago. Everything I know now is because I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Or because I didn’t know the right questions to ask.

One thing I did right stems back to career as a composition teacher–I synthesized the right sources and kept my mind open to new possibilities as I read and researched. The right sources–in this case–were the people that I know who make me smarter every time I talk to them. We sometimes call this our personal learning network in some circles. Colleagues in another circle. Mentors in another circle. Friends in another circle. The overlap of those circles is what I’m very interested in exploring. That’s the future of professional development, kids!

Let’s get to the reporting, so I can finish my part of workshop planning. It’s in a week after all (gulp). Here’s a link to the work I’m doing for the INFD and our presentation links as they currently exist. 

My final FLC report is based on the five areas I plan to present on with this workshop. Also known as the five major accomplishments of this grant process.

1. Based on our needs at EvCC, we created the first openly licensed FLC grant with the SBCTC.  I could drop the mic here and walk off stage, but I promise when I did this, I was not trying to be radical. I was merely supporting the policy about state-funded grant artifacts. Well, okay, I did have an agenda. We created the first openly licensed grant application so other people can use it as a template on how to collaborate with eLearning Departments. It’s interesting to note that I thought people would read the blog as help for writing the grant–that was my audience. The ATL workshop was a fantastic idea that I did not know about, and I’m so glad I wasn’t there in the audience! Somebody remixed and reused my work to make their lives easier. Imagine!

If I was to write one edict about what I see in the SBCTC, it would be:

Our faculty need to collaborate more with eLearning, Media Services, IT more and that connection is made possible with an instructional designer. These three departments working in their silos is a gigantic failure fraught with histories that serve nobody and nothing. In fact, the current organizational structure–as I see it at most institutions–harms teaching and learning within our system. We need to burn down most of current structure and build anew, but until somebody else agrees with me, I think these grants can justify this collaboration that you usually don’t have time for as faculty. Bring the players from these departments and ask them questions. Marc Lentini and his crew at Highline are a model for us all. Call him up, he’ll tell you how it’s done.

If you can’t make the funding work to hire an ID, use the faculty-in-residence idea from Shoreline Community College. We stole Ann Garnsey-Harter’s idea, and it’s a winner. Faculty-in-residence IDs help faculty understand the role of an ID. It’s easier to build the reputation of an ID as non-threatening to academic freedom. If you don’t know how to get started, contact me, I’ll share everything we have. I’ll introduce you to Ann.

The momentum from that ATL workshop session on FLC grants got me thinking about sharing information for professional development as a system. Systemicity at this level solves problems for a lot of people at once. I got to witness and be a part of this magic, and it was a delight. I want to see more of this kind of sharing success within our system and with our university partners.

Systemicity: it’s the future, man. Dig it.

2. If I did one thing right with this grant, it was the Unconference Teacher Think Tank. I’m not sure what shocked me more, the fact that I kept everyone on the agenda or that I was able to pull this off. This where the rubber really hit the road, and I got down to exactly what I wanted to do. And I want to do this again next year but I want to involve my university friends in the system. I’ve got big plans for this idea, but that’s for later. Let me begin by expressing my sincere gratitude to the people who came, delivered, shared, and tolerated my crazy idea.

For right now, I don’t have time to clean up our notes. They are in their nascent state in the federated wiki. I’m going to clean those up and try to write a paper on this idea. If I can’t pull that off, then I’ll blog about it. Either way, I’m not done with what we produced.

Why the Unconference Teacher Think Tank? If you are searching for a meaningful way to do a Needs Assessment at your institution about your TLC, then I suggest inviting people who you think are brilliant, ask to them to write their responses to focused questions, and be prepared to have your mind blown. I had planned to have this summary ready for this report, but then planning for the 2015-2016 budget happened and the wind, so to speak, stopped blowing my sail. For now, this bit of work is a tiny sail on the horizon I’m trying to swim back to very soon. That page along with the work I started with Lisa Chamberlin in the federated wiki is my lighthouse in the uncharted waters of the future.

3. Plan for the two R’s and embrace it: Redirection and Revision. Using the Kolb’s Learning Cycle Model, I kept a close eye on what we did by taking notes. Lots of notes. Some folks think this model is out-dated or not concrete enough for measuring learning, and I get that. But if you take into consideration the realities of working with teachers and technology, looking at Kolb’s cycle makes a bit of sense. You have the concrete experience, along with some reflective observation, while allowing time for some abstract conceptualization–all with the aim to support active experimentation. Nothing is linear, yet you can trace what’s happening thanks to Kolb’s cycle. It’s like waving a magic wand that helps you explain what you are doing when you aren’t really sure what you’re doing. Perhaps I’m a bit on the constructivist side of the interpretation here, but we think, feel, do, and reflect in real life–it only makes sense to bring that style of familiar thinking into the classroom.

4. We settled on a name. In the midst of trying to justify the work we are doing, we needed to give it a title. I tore up the Internet looking for names that I liked. We were tasked to bring three names and then we would vote. Peg and Jeanne liked one of my ideas. We are going to steal Debie’s name which I hope she finds as an honor. Our TLC will now be EvCC’s Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning. We don’t have an actual space nor do we have all of the pieces put together, but we’re getting there. I see this name as part of the legacy that Peg and Jeanne have created at EvCC. I’ve just been really lucky to be at the table–while my two deanly geniuses work on the logistics of institutionalizing this idea.

My role will be to figure out how educational technology fits into this “Center” and I shared Dr. Rolin Moe’s killer use of WordPress to showcase Ed Tech. and faculty. They liked it, and I’m sure I heard the wings of ten thousand butterflies somewhere.

We were going with Center for Instructional Innovation and Advancement, so I need to revise this chart below for EvCC’s Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning.

Thank you, Western Washington University for the idea we almost used!

What follows is the work of Jeanne Leader who collaborated with Peg and I to write this summary for our VPI and the President. It helps explain how this work is connected to eLearning. It answers the question: “How is this eLearning?”


Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.35.15 AMThis Center for Instructional Innovation and Advancement provides and promotes a coordinated effort to increase instructional excellence through faculty development. Efficient and effective program planning and delivery will only take place if this group of employees works closely together on a daily basis. The Center builds on the past success of the Teaching and Learning Cooperative with the intent of impacting instructional programs and faculty in all program areas. Looking toward the future, the Center will be located in the new Learning Resource Center which has been planned with this integrated approach in mind. When that facility is built, it will also include the other ubiquitous resources that directly support all of instruction including library services, media services, the tutoring center and the writing center.

Team Members and Roles

Program success is dependent on a high functioning team committed to a collaborative approach. Team members work together to assess needs, plan strategies, develop initiatives and then deliver activities and provide services. They may work as a whole unit on some projects (such as the annual Teaching and Learning Retreat) or in subgroups depending on the project needs (such as conference presentations or grant-funded projects).

Team members include:

  • Director of eLearning and Instructional Design – responsible for researching, planning and implementing effective practices related especially to non-traditional and innovative approaches to instructional delivery. Increased emphasis is on the use of the Canvas learning management system for all classes and technology integration.
  • Instructional Designer – responsible for providing instructional design and delivery expertise to faculty in the development and support of all coursework. The Designer evaluates, plans, and implements new and emerging teaching and learning technologies.
  • Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning – responsible for faculty development including orientation programs, faculty mentoring of senior associate candidates, pedagogy and assessment strategy workshops and initiates, IDEA student survey interpretation, Small Group Instructional Diagnosis management.
  • Dean of Arts and Learning Resources – responsible for program oversight, communication and development and coordination with IT, Media Services, the academic deans and the Executive Vice President of Instruction and Student Services.

Primary Focus of the EvCC’s Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning:

Faculty orientation

  • Introduces EvCC instructional philosophy, practice and processes. New fulltime faculty participate in a year-long cohort and new associate faculty participate in a one quarter experience.

Course design

  • Links student learning objectives and outcomes to instructional activities and assessment strategies

Technology integration

  • Emphasizes technological tools that enhance learning

Mentoring

  • Assists individual faculty with an emphasis based on their professional goals

Classroom design

  • Evaluates the use of physical and virtual space

Instructional resources

  • Connects faculty to the library, media services, disability services, tutoring, diversity and equity center, etc.

Collaboration

  • Facilitates faculty work groups and teams

Innovation

  • Researches and implements new ideas and best practices

Partnerships

  • Pursues opportunities outside the college including other CTCs and the SBCTC

Scholarship

  • Celebrates faculty who are using effective or innovative instructional practices and working with them to share their experience with colleagues through presentations at conferences, webinars, etc.

Current Targeted Projects and Initiatives

Faculty Learning Communities Initiative grant (lead college – SBCTC grant with 5 Star colleges)

Title III Associate Faculty Academy

New Faculty Academy

Annual Teaching and Learning Retreat

Open Education/Alternative Textbook Committee

eCULT (eLearning Canvas Users Learning Together)


Brilliant in draft form, right? Rocking my world, Jeanne and Peg. Thanks for the fun conversations this year.

Speaking of fun:

5. I also learned I love asking people what their dreams would look like if nobody could say no. This work is a massive downer sometimes and it’s really hard. Asking people about their dreams makes sense. Try it.

When I try to explain the work that I do to people who don’t understand it, I return to a simple story involving Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. In short, Hitch used state-of-the-art technology to tell a story that’s never been told. At the time, it was terrifying, innovative, and exceptional cinema. Something nobody had ever seen. Something new, yet rooted in a history. What keeps this film a classic is not the reputation of the director nor the special effects, it’s the script. Something new, yet rooted in a history. The story. The content. The reaction of the people who watch it. Who they become after they see it. How they integrate what they experienced into their lives. Looking back on an older blog, I’ve now been using this story for almost three years (click here for more).

Someday, somebody may see this work as outdated, out of touch, or quite simply kind of out there. Should that be the case, then I hope what has taken its place is better than what we have now. And it better not have a trademark, copyright, or password. The true legacy of this work should be openly licensed. I’m reflecting on the conclusion of something that feels like it’s just starting.

And when words truly fail me, I turn to images. Here’s what Tom Gibbons said we need to create for professional development.Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.42.22 AM This tweet is amazing. Yes!

And whether you’re on stage, sewing the sequins on the outfits, choreographing the dance moves, or writing the music, there’s a place for us all in this work. Our students are the ones worth putting the show. Our students are worth it.

They deserve a better song and dance than what’s being delivered right now. What’s on stage right now. Sorry, I feel another edict coming on:

If you can’t do a high-kick to that tune, hepcat Daddy-O, do us all a favor. Get out of this business.

Exit stage left.

On that note: From now on, I will write exclusively (for now) on my other blog. Thank you following these posts, lovely readers.

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Liminality & Prof. Tech. #OER

Some Liminality

Back in my undergraduate years, I was in a literature course and my teacher waxed poetically about “liminal spaces.” My teacher had written that he saw some of my thoughts “existing in a state of liminality” and I needed “to explore more of inner voice.” What?! Was that bad? Why don’t these English teachers talk like normal people?

I remember I had to bust out the dictionary to look up “liminal” because that was a new word for me.That was before the magic of the Internets and you had to use a book! This was before Internet Magicians were creating the thing that would become Wikipedia.

Here’s what Wikipedia says, this would have really helped my younger self who was desperate to impress the teacher:

Liminal is an English adjective, “on the threshold,” from Latin limen, plural limina, “threshold.” Liminality is the abstract noun formed from liminal.

In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”[1]) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete.

So. Okay. My thoughts were on some threshold and I needed to listen to my inner voice. Something like that. Later in life as I grew to know more English majors, poets, and writers, I would learn that he was just trying to spice it up with his comments on a student paper. After you’ve read the same essay hundreds of times written by different students, it gets really boring to write the same thing. It would have been more helpful if he had written that I needed to expand more on my half-baked ideas and that I should get over myself. He could have also admitted that he was a pretentious hack. But he didn’t.

He did, however, teach me a good word that applies to where I am with several projects as it relates to this FLC grant.

So here goes some liminality:

1. The Unconference was amazingly insightful, fun, interesting, and everything I had hoped for and more. In short, if that was my job everyday of my life I would give up my bikes. That’s how much I love solving problems about teaching and learning. Thank you to all of the brilliant minds who contributed. I’m not sure what shocks me more, the fact that I pulled it off or that I adhered to an agenda.

2. The ATL Conference was also a fantastic experience. Seeing so many friends in the system and watching my faculty network with other faculty was a joy beyond imagination. Our experiment of paying for faculty to attend a conference with the understanding that they will propose next year is a winning idea that I will share soon.

3. I‘m working on an FLC grant proposal with the brilliant Lisa Chamberlin! She and I are going to try something that hasn’t been done before and we have no idea if it will work. But you know what? We’re going to do it anyway. We see a need at our institutions and we know we’re not alone. Plus, it will be in my 2015-2016 professional development plan to work with Lisa!

I’ll post more about all of this soon. Like this weekend. I need to get caught up (a memoir).


Professional Technical Programs and OER

I was the Lady in the Magic Box again only this time if was for Big Bend Community College. This is also a winning idea, by the way. If you can’t have a speaker travel to your campus, then turn to the magic box and the Internets.

The eLearning Coordinator, Zach Wellhouse, put out a call for speakers on OER for professional technical programs. If you’ve chatted about OER with me in the last six months, I most likely have talked your ear off about this untapped potential. Most of the OER movement has been about academic programs, and rightly so, that’s where the bulk of our students are in higher education.

But here’s the thing, our students in Prof. Tech. programs are the ones who need it the most. They are on all kinds of governmental assistance programs and/or financial aid. If we are going to be honest with ourselves and prioritize the needs of our most neediest students, then we would focus more on creating OER for Prof. Tech. courses. I just don’t have as much time to devote to them as I’d like to, so if you can, please share with me what you are doing.

So here’s some advice that’s working in this corner of Puget Sound:

1. Get them iPads, Surfaces, or any mobile device you can afford. They can use eBooks if they aren’t ready to make the transition to OER. Once they like the mobile devices they are ready to talk OER. Suggest that the programs “require” the mobile device so the students can use their financial aid to purchase their own. Or check them out through Media Services if you can. For the Cosmetology program, the students can use them as cash registers when they graduate and for job creating portfolios. It’s been a wild hit with the students and teachers. Here’s a link that shows a bit of what we did. Scroll to the Cosmetology page.
2. The teachers don’t have time to learn anything. They work under the somewhat archaic conditions of “seat-time” so they are surrounded by their students constantly. No exaggeration. You have to go to them. Make appointments with them. Show them tips to save time teaching by using Canvas. Let them ask questions of you and you’d be amazed what you can show them. Ask them what they hate about their textbooks or their curriculum. Ask them to collaborate with eachother to create content. Rubrics in Canvas blew my teachers’ minds! They share with one another in ways that I wish I would see among academic faculty.
3. They have a ton of industry manuals they can use and then they can supplement that content with their own ideas. For instance, the aviation department uses FAA teaching materials that they can access online. They don’t need to purchase the bound manuals. They can upload the links into Canvas. They can, however, also use their own ideas to create content. This is where you need an Instructional Designer to help. It’s not truly open pedagogy because they can’t remix or revise an FAA document, but the students save money with a little creativity.
The ones that really care want to reach their students. They’re searching for ways to be better. Be flexible with project deadlines and expect meltdowns. Bring tea and cookies and let them complain. Be like Las Vegas. What they say to you, stays with you.
Tell them it’s hard work. We can’t just tap our heels together and make it happen, my little pretty. They know hard work. They’ll understand.
Just keep telling them they can do it. Most of all, it’s not a race. We don’t have to make something like this happen over night. Make it a year long project. Call it collaborative professional development.
When in doubt, quote Glinda The Good Witch, who helped Dorothy find her way home and out of the liminal state of the dream-like Oz.
“You’ve always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”

Teacher Think Tank AKA Unconference 2015

Rather than send an email to the attendees that are a part of our Unconference, I thought I’d post who is coming, what we are doing, and why here. I failed to consider that the folks attending may need to explain what they will be doing at my college this Friday. Thank you for the reminder, Tom Braziunas–Viva the superior insights of people with Lithuanian heritage (wink).

What We Are Doing 

The goal is to come together and write policy that we can share with our superiors and grant writers. We might be dreaming big, but we can always scale down to what’s possible. I’ve asked people to think and write their responses to the following questions. Here is what I said in the invitation.

BIG QUESTIONS ABOUT PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

  1. What do you do at your college (and how well does it work)?
  2. What do you wish you did differently?
  3. What do you do to incentivize professional learning (for FT and PT)?
  4. What would you like to learn from your colleagues?
  5. What would professional learning look like on your campus if nobody could say no to your ideas?

Why We’re Doing This

Peg and I want to learn from other people facing the same issues we are at Everett Community College. Part of our FLC grant is to do research on Teaching and Learning Centers. We were inspired by the ATL Winter Retreat, and we agreed this is what we want to do. What we need to do. Our goal will be to have a day of positive conversation where we can establish a network with like-minded colleagues within the system who are interested in meaningful professional learning for all faculty.

Attendees

We are administrators, faculty, and instruction designers in title, but we’re all educators at heart.

Peg Balachowski, Associate Dean For Teaching and Learning at Everett Community College

Lisa Chamberlin, eLearning and Evening College coordinator at Walla Walla Community College

Kathleen Chambers, Instructional Designer at North Seattle College

Stephanie Diemel, Physics Faculty/Instructional Designer at Shoreline Community College

Tom Gibbons, Instructional Designer at Seattle Central and South Seattle Colleges 

Walter Hudsick, English Faculty at Cascadia College

Alyson Indrunas, Director of eLearning and Instructional Design at Everett Community College

Todd Lundberg, Dean For Student Learning at Cascadia College

Claire Murata, Collection Development Librarian at Shoreline Community College

Amy Rovner, Instructional Designer/Nutrition Faculty at Shoreline Community College

Carey Schroyer, Associate Dean of Instruction at Edmonds Community College

How We Will Disseminate The Information

I will post to this blog and to the federated wiki in order support the visionary work of Ward Cunningham and Michael Caulfield, Director of Blended & Networked Learning at WSU Vancouver. I will also connect ideas through the eLearning Council. More on that later.

Funding Provided by SBCTC FLC Grant: breakfast, lunch, snacks, travel costs included

Blog title credit: Joanne Munroe, a teacher-leader who saw my potential and helped me on my career path. I’m honored that you saw me as a future colleague when I was your student.

Systemic Change in the Consortium

Last week at the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Conference, this blog was used as a visual aid during the “Creating a Successful Faculty Learning Community: Exploring the Formative Application Process” session. I didn’t attend this session but several people talked to me about it afterwards. I want to respond a bit more to four comments which I hope will explain my ethos as a writer.

1. Can I really use your grant? Do I need your permission? 

Yes, and you already have my permission. I am modeling two things that I hope to see more in the future. First, I’m supporting the SBCTC’s mission of openly licensing state-funded projects. With or without this policy, I would have shared our work because that’s what I believe in as an educator. I’ve learned this model of scholarship, teaching, and learning from people I think hung the moon.

Second, it pains me that there aren’t more FLC grants involving eLearning. My thinking is that if I show you what an FLC looks like that’s connected to eLearning, then it will spark some ideas for your institution.

Here is a link to the grant. 

We desperately need FLCs connected to educational technology and we need Communities of Practice 2.0. Sure, there is no research to substantiate my ideas right now. Or if it’s out there, I haven’t had time to find it. My literature review on this topic was a history lesson for me that’s entirely been useful. Almost everything I’ve read made me question, “How can this help adjuncts?”

And that’s the thing. The FLC model does not take into consideration the reality of our I-5 flyers. The reality of almost 3/4 of our teachers. The reality of teaching at more than one institution in the same day. The reality that you can work in this system and never get a full-time job. The reality that teachers love what they do and they want to learn. The reality that nobody–or very few–institutions invest in their professional development. The reality of being an adjunct. The reality.

Yes, I’m not sure if this will work. That should not prevent us from trying something new that is working elsewhere for teachers. Connected learning, PLNs, MOOC-style learning, connectivism, etc. and [enter future term here] are all possibilities that we need to explore as a system. We can improve how our teachers learn in this consortium. We can build systemic change that begins locally. But it’s got to use the digital space or we are just recreating the wheel up and down the I-5 corridor and over the Cascade mountains.

2. You repeat yourself quite a bit in the grant. I don’t see the difference between goals and measurable outcomes.

Think about who you are writing for–we call this audience awareness in the Composition field. Right now, I’m writing for folks who have to meet this FLC deadline and for anyone else who may bump into this post via the Twitter machine. For your grant, you may have several people on the committee who are deciding from several different perspectives. You could have one person from the budget office, one person who reports to another person, one person who is not connected at all to the people who are in charge of FLCs. In other words, you have no idea. No idea.

You are not writing for you. You’re writing to convince somebody that what you want to do is a dire need on your campus.

So answer every question as if that’s the only thing they will read from you. They will decide based on what you have written to answer that question.

If question 2B sounds a lot like 2A to you, bust out the thesaurus and spice up your word choice. Do not write “See 2A” when you can answer by rewording your ideas. Imagine every person on the committee is looking at different sections to make their decision.

And you’re right, goals and outcomes seem similar. It looks redundant upon first read. Look again.

The goals are stating what you’d like to do. Short-term/long-term ideas and desires–here’s what you want to do.

The outcomes are how you’ll support that you actually accomplished the goals–here’s how you’ll tell others how you did it.

Put “Bloom’s Taxonomy” and “Verbs” into your favorite search engine. Use measurable verbs. Use them once. Spice it up. Language is too lovely to say the same thing the same way. Why say “wave your ten fingers madly” when you could say “Jazz hands”?

3. This blog is kind of boring. You could make it a lot nicer looking. 

Yes, I chose this template to show total newbies that you can set up a blog with very little tech-knowledge. This is a simple template that is very easy to use. I chose something I knew I could teach somebody else in less than 30 minutes. I’m always thinking of the newbies–there are loads of options for more advanced people. That’s not my demographic. Fancy blogs scare newbies from blogging. Start with an easy template and learn how to improve it. Remember that “audience awareness” idea from above? The same goes with your medium of expression.

4. Can I do exactly what you wrote? 

Yes, please do! If you can make this work at your institution, I’ll be so happy. In fact, if it falls apart, you can blame me. I’ll own it. If it rocks, I’ll pretend like it’s all yours and I’ll brag to your upper-administration that you are geniuses. This idea is entirely possible on a smaller scale. I just couldn’t make it work on the scale that I hoped to accomplish. And guess what? It’s totally fine. I’ve learned a lot. On Friday of this week, I’m going to do something we’ve never done in this corner of the consortium and I’m beyond thrilled with who will be in the room, what we’re going to talk about, and how I’ll share the information.

And here’s the other very exciting thing. Alissa Sells and Jennifer Whetham are also interested in how we can change this FLC model to meet the needs of our consortium. I’m very interested in their work. The system. The consortium. What will Communities of Practice 2.0 look like in WA state? I don’t know. Let’s find out.

Remember this bullet from the SBCTC website:

  • FLCs increase communication and collaboration amongst faculty who, by the nature of their work in individual classrooms, are often isolated from their colleagues.

Sadly, that’s essentially how I felt as an adjunct in this system. I want to change that feeling of isolation for our teachers. It can be a bit better. The reality can change.

Here are the top things I’ve learned as a co-facilitator and some ideas that I wish I had known when we won the grant. I’ve said some of this elsewhere in this blog. 

Start early. Get your meeting calendar together in July. It will be very hard to think about your calendar for the upcoming school year, but you must. Don’t try to build-it-as-you-go. It may never get off the ground the way that you envisioned. This is essentially the theme of this blog.

Start talking to people who are like-minded. Accept that you need help. Find the yin to your yang and then make them your co-facilitator.

Your FLC may be the map that will help you find colleagues. I’ve already said this in another post, but I can’t stress the importance of imagining the colleagues you haven’t met yet. You have a doppelganger at every institution in this system.

People are over-reacting about the creation of openly licensed artifacts. It’s not that hard. If this is problematic to you, read my post where I explain it’s not that hard. It’s not that hard. Look at this blog. This is my artifact. Open does not mean perfect. Open does not mean peer-reviewed. Open means you are sharing with people who want to learn from you. It’s not that hard. Open is perfect when you share. Period.

Focused retreats can work. Shoreline has done an incredible job with their Accessibility FLC. They got a group together around a similar goal and they’ve created something we can all use. Peg and I are attempting this idea with our Unconference on Friday. Meeting OL throughout the year to do research, addressing a problem, and then coming together to solve the problem can work. I will post these results about our FLC and my presentations at ATL because I believe in systemic change in this consortium. And you can have fun doing it.

Why do an FLC? Because they legitimize the time you are spending to solve a problem at your institution. It’s as simple as that. It will help you steal time. And that’s a fact. You’ll feel like a hero. We could steal time/just for one day/We can be Heroes, for ever and ever/What d’you say?

Wait. Somebody else has said this way more fabulous than me, right? Right.

Making Connections & The Lady on the Magic Box

This is not technically part of the FLC, but I’m going to share it here anyway. My colleague, Lisa Chamberlin, Evening and Elearning Coordinator at Walla Walla Community College asked me to do a short video and an assignment for her faculty. She’s doing a workshop for faculty who have never taught hybrid courses and she asked me to be the lady on the magic box talking to her faculty. How fun!

We’re talking quite a bit about how to reach faculty who are interested in trying or improving this style of teaching. Maybe you have this conversation happening on your campus, so here’s something you can use. Or you can remix it. Revise it. Whatever makes your heart beat wildly when you talk about hybrid courses. By all means, it’s yours.

I’ve made a short five-minute video with some advice, an assignment the faculty can use, and then an assignment for them to complete as part of Lisa’s workshop. I can’t wait to see what Lisa created, but I know she’s busy building the course. Faculty of Walla Walla, I think you are awesome to give this style of teaching a try. It’s my favorite way to teach!

It’s All About Connections

The idea was for Lisa’s faculty to listen to a video where they have to do an assignment. Thankfully for them, I had four shots of espresso before I made this video. Here’s my five-minute screencast. Listen and learn! 

This is me (wink): 3645214760_cc0328c798_z

Hybrid Survival Techniques

1. Accept that you can’t control the direction of the course everyday. Some days you’ll spend class time setting up the assignments for the OL portion of the course. Some days you’ll spend a lot of time explaining directions. That’s okay.

2. Be flexible on OL days. Don’t require students to “meet” at a certain time. Let them know what you need them to do while being firm and consistent about what you would like for them to accomplish.

3. If you do group work in your course, let the students figure out how to meet on the OL days. Always remember the student who has a job with an inflexible boss. They will also choose their jobs over your course because they need money. HY students need options to thrive.

4. Start every face-to-face meeting with a summary of where happened in the last meeting, what they should have done OL, and how it connects to the next objective or activity. Whatever you write on the board in class, be sure to write the same thing as an announcement. I used my cell phone to take a photo of the board and then I posted that as an announcement if I was too busy summarize.

5. Don’t listen to anyone who says that HY teaching is easier than F2F. They aren’t doing it right. It’s really hard, and you may hate your class for at least five years. Just keep revising privately and act like you love everything about your course with your students. Take notes every day about what you will improve the next time you teach the course.


Here’s example of an assignment that took me close to eight years to like (I’m not exaggerating, I’ll still kind of hate it). I’m modeling the research process here without telling the students that’s what they are doing. My HY course met on OL MW and F2F T/Th. You can use this assignment as a template for your course. All of the text in bold would be hyper-linked within the course.


Student Connections on Discussions

To get started on this week’s discussion, you need to have completed all of the readings for Weeks 4 and Week 5. Then you need to look up the definition of the words: themes, literacy, and analysis. We’ve already defined two of those terms, right?

This discussion has a four-part process, as in, you have four things to do:

By Wednesday at midnight

Step 1:

Copy and paste your best quote from last week’s Discussion on Week 4: “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.”

Step 2:

Copy and paste one quote from either reading in this week’s module Week 5: October 21-27. Include the name of the author of your quote.

Step 3:

Write two-three paragraphs about how your two quotes reflect a theme. In other words, what’s the thematic connection between your two quotes? How do your chosen quotes connect to our course theme Rhetoric in the Digital Age as defined in the Course Syllabus?

By Sunday at midnight:

Step 4:

Respond to at least three other writers in at least one paragraph for each response.


Then The Teacher Makes Connections (fabulous business suit and pearls optional) 

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Responding to Steps 1-3: On Thursday morning, I would read their responses and copy and paste onto a Page the five best responses/questions/ideas/thoughts. In class, I would then have them get into groups to discuss those ideas. They could use their books, their notes, or their own discussion posts to make connections. We’d then report out about what they talked about and a group leader would take notes. The group leader would then post our discussion notes on the same Discussion.

Responding to Step 4: On Monday morning, I’d read their reflections and give them individual feedback about their ideas. This can be very time-consuming, so I would limit what I said to two sentences along with a rubric.

At the end of every individual comment, I copied and pasted this sentence: Please email me if you want to discuss my comments further.


Five Big Questions Assignment For Future HY Teachers

You can use this assignment above as a template for your course. Here’s how you get started writing an assignment like this; start with the Five Big Questions of your course.

Think of the Big Questions you’d like for your students to be able to answer about your course five years from now. In other words, what are the five major things students should know about your course content? Write those five questions. Type them into a Word document. If you have time, write the assignments that help answer those questions. Remember if you have 25 students, you need Big Questions that can be answered 25 ways.

3645213452_df63a6e6b4_z 

Thanks for reading and listening! Now back to administrative paperwork!

photo credit: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/pepemichelle/3645214132/in/photostream/

Eat & Learn! Communities of Practice 2.0

As promised, here is the entire grant. Today the FLC Facilitators met, and I shared my team’s joke about professional learning. When you pay a stipend, you encourage teachers to Learn & Earn. When you provide food, you encourage teachers to Eat & Learn. As Jen Whetham reminded us today about FLCs, “development is not linear” and we can “re-scale our expectations.”

Yes.

So here’s what I’ve learned in the one year I’ve been thinking about this project: the research on FLCs is pretty dated. It doesn’t fit into my worldview. Albeit I’ve learned a lot about the history of making a case for FLCs, it doesn’t help me plan for the future of teaching and learning I’d like to see. What I’ve read does not even begin to tap into the potential of the digital space.

We need a Communities of Practice 2.0 that incorporates the digital space.

The literature, as it exists, is about getting people together to talk, think, and create in the face-to-face settting. The brick and mortar model. The person-to-person–which still needs to exist. We just need some fluidity in the definition of an FLC. Let me be clear: I’m not advocating that we shut down the F2F FLC model. I am not shutting down the idea of meeting as an FLC. I am not saying that we should all do what I want to do. As Bob Dylan says, “That ain’t me, babe.”

This FLC model didn’t work for me and what I’m into these days. On my other blog, I’ve gotten into other forms of collaboration that I truly think could work for people who are interested in teaching and learning. If you’ve spent more than an hour talking to me lately, I’ve talked about the federated wiki. I have no research or data to back this hypothesis up, but I think there is another way people can collaborate and learn from one another. I can feel it in my bones that this can and will work. (Check out my other blog for more information. Put “The Happening” and “Teaching Machines” in your favorite search engine. Do some reading. Dig it? Contact me).

Yes. We need a Communities of Practice 2.0 using the digital space.

I think we need to blow up the edges of the FLC model and expand its potential to include the digital space. The FLC model, as it stands, works for small-scale professional learning that is campus-specific. Departments and divisions can change their cultures bit by bit with the FLC model. Administrators on campuses should fund their faculty to spend this time together. You can create an FLC to Eat and Learn.

Looking at things from the state board perspective, I agree with them–we need to think Big Picture with this consortium. Read the news lately? We kind of rock. We’ve got some really cool things happening, and I want to share those ideas with other folks. They shouldn’t have to recreate the wheel every time when the digital space could help us roll together. Other people have been writing about this for years. Years.

I want to collaborate with people at other institutions the same way that my eLearning Council works. It’s the most healthy and productive group of people that I’ve ever worked with, and this is an experience that other people should have. I can help make this happen, and so can you.

But first, I want you to steal my grant. Here it is in its entirety below. Take it. Share it. Revise it. I have licensed it for everyone to use. The call for FLC grants is about to begin, and if you’ve got a vision for something that would help your corner of the world, then copy and paste and revise.

Here’s the only thing I ask of you:

Tell me what you did with it. Tell me how you failed. Tell me what you learned. Tell me what you would have done differently. Tell me what you revised. Tell me what you loved. Tell me what you disliked. Tell me why. Tell me how. Tell me.

And expect that I’ll share what you told me with somebody else. I’ll invite you to do it first, and if you’re scared, I’ll do it. I’ll lead the way be failing first, I promise. Will that help you? Will erasing the fear of failure help us see a different community of practice? Will that help us create a community of practice within and beyond this consortium? Tell me.


The 1A-C is personal information, and what follows is the rest of the grant.

1D. What is the specific topic you will study during the 2014-15 academic year (a “title” for your FLC)?

Five Star Faculty Development: Connecting the Consortium to Support Teaching and Learning

1E. Which of the two categories best fits your topic of study?

Assessment, Teaching, and Learning

eLearning

1F. Write an overview of the topic your members will study. Please include one or two overarching questions FLC members will contemplate.

Our goal is to strengthen cross-campus collaboration about faculty professional development

among the Five Star Consortium schools. As a consortium, we have identified a common

need to rework, revise, and/or revitalize our Teaching and Learning Centers (TLCs). Our

digital artifacts concerning professional development will be innovative, scalable, and

replicable for other schools outside of the Five Star Consortium.

Below are the two overarching questions that our FLC will contemplate for our Big Ideas:

  1. In what ways can we share resources in order to create/strengthen our Teaching and Learning Centers without duplicating labor within the Five Star Consortium?
  1. How do you create a community of practice concerning faculty professional development?

Below are the three additional questions that we interested in addressing to meet the needs of our individual institutions:

  1. In what ways can we incentivize professional development for all faculty?
  2. What are sustainable faculty development best practices?
  3. How do you institutionalize professional development practices and policies?

ALIGNMENT, OUTCOMES, AND ASSESSMENT

2A. Provide three to five goals (short and long-term) for the FLC.

  1. Collaborate as a team with the Five Star Consortium for the common need of reworking, revising, and/or revitalizing teaching and learning centers.
  1. Identify common faculty professional development needs among the Five Star Consortium schools.
  1. Create resources that are scalable and replicable for other schools outside of the five star consortium.
  1. Share a Canvas shell of modules with the SBCTC eLearning Repository as our digital artifact.
  1. Establish methods of creating, revitalizing, and sustaining Teaching and Learning Centers.

2B. Convert these goals into three to four measurable outcomes for the FLC.

1.Collaborate with the Five Star Consortium for the common need of reworking, revising, or revitalizing TLCs.

  1. Identify common faculty professional development needs among the Five Star Consortium schools.
  1. Generate resources that are scalable and replicable for other schools outside of the Five Star Consortium.
  1. Produce a Canvas shell that is shared on the SBCTC eLearning Repository as our digital artifact that is licensed CC BY.
  1. Identify strategies for creating, revitalizing, and sustaining faculty development (such as TLCs, Faculty Institutes, Faculty Academies etc).

2C. What activities will members use to achieve these goals?

  • We plan to have monthly face-to-face meetings rotating at each of the five institutions. In addition, we’ll use Blackboard Collaborate to meet online at least once a month to discuss our research.
  • We would like to have a two-day retreat for FLC members with guests from other schools. Our vision for this project is to invite professional development coordinators from other schools, such as Joanne Munroe from Tacoma Community College, so we can learn about their models for faculty professional development.
  • Create Canvas shell of modules with our Big Ideas connected to our overarching questions listed in Section One, Part f.
  • Write conference proposals and present at the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning 2015 conference.
  • Participate in IGNIS Webinars as requested by the SBCTC.
  • As a long-term goal, we want to apply for the 2015-2016 FLC grant to plan a mini Five Star Professional Development conference by rotating locations among the Five Star Consortium campuses. In other words, this year we will research and develop our vision for TLCs in order to continue our collaboration with our faculty.

2D. What methods will you use to assess your FLC’s progress towards those outcomes?

After our first meeting, we will create a timeline for research, discussions, and activities using the Canvas Calendar feature. In addition, we will create and maintain a blog about our progress which can be connected to the eLearning FlipBoard Blog established by Renee Carney. The co-facilitators will create the blog and the other members will be invited to participate and contribute. We see our blog as another digital artifact which can serve as a model for the process of reworking, revising, or revitalizing TLCs. The blog will make our learning process transparent and collaborative for other institutions outside of the Five Star Consortium. Create a Canvas shell that is shared on the SBCTC eLearning Repository as our digital artifact that will be licensed CC BY.

2E. What tells you there a need for this FLC at your institution(s)?

At EvCC, we need to rebrand our Teaching and Learning Center after the retirement of our professional development coordinator and the hiring of our new Director of eLearning. Melody Schneider from EdCC reached to us to research what we are doing as a college. After our discussion, we saw a common need for either rebranding, revising, and/or establishing new goals for TLCs to meet the needs of 21st century faculty. In addition, Peg and I were asked to do a presentation for the spring Instruction Commission about faculty development for both full-time and part-time faculty. Here is the wiki link to our presentation materials: http://bit.ly/1g0pR6l

EdCC created a new model for Faculty Development in 2013-14, but they have struggled with a lack of funds to support what they want to do. By partnering with other colleges in the region, they will be able to offer more opportunities to EdCC faculty and substantiate the need for funding. At Shoreline, they are hiring a Professional Development Coordinator as a result of our initial meeting about this grant. Lake Washington Technical Institute and Cascadia Community College have joined this project in order to strengthen the networking ties of the Five-Star Consortium.

2F. What connections do you see between the learning that will occur in your FLC and student success?

As a group we are philosophically and pedagogically in agreement that faculty support and student success are intertwined. We believe that student success initiatives such as Achieve The Dream, the Completion Agenda, and other strategic initiatives are motivating ideas to restructure professional development on campuses. Many of the initiatives stress the importance of “Week 1 for Students” and we see a dire need to create “Week 0 for Faculty.” In other words, the cornerstone of student success is prepared faculty members. By highlighting student success, we can reimagine what is possible for professional development for faculty. The 2010 Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of the Five Star Consortium highlights the “goal of maximizing efficiencies and promoting institutional coordination and collaboration.” Our project will maximize our collective effort as a community of practice for faculty professional development. Below we have selected our campus mission statements to show meaningful intersections of common need and interest in our strategic plans.

CCC Mission Statement:

Every individual is supported and engaged in lifelong learning.

EdCC Mission Statement:

Edmonds Community College strengthens our diverse community by helping students access educational and career opportunities in a supportive environment that encourages success, innovation, service, and lifelong learning.

EvCC Mission Statement:

EvCC creates life-changing educational opportunities where students become active learners who strengthen our diverse local and global communities.

LWTI Mission Statement:

To prepare students for today’s careers and tomorrow’s opportunities.

SCC Mission Statement:

We are dedicated to serving the educational, workforce and cultural needs of our diverse community.


COLLABORATION

3A. How often does the FLC plan to meet? Weekly, bi-weekly, or other?

We plan to have monthly face-to-face meetings rotating to each of the five institutions. In addition, we’ll use Blackboard Collaborate to meet online at least once a month to discuss our research. We’ll also use Canvas Discussions to post ideas, reading suggestions, and Canvas shell developments. The two-day retreat will take place during winter quarter.

3B. How does the FLC plan to meet? Example: face-to-face, online, hybrid, or other.

We plan to have monthly face-to-face meetings rotating to each of the five institutions. In addition, we’ll use Blackboard Collaborate to meet online at least once a month to discuss our research synchronously. We’ll also use Canvas to collaborate asynchronously.

3C. How you will encourage and support the full participation of all of the FLC members to create an inclusive learning community?

We will start off in the fall brainstorming for Big Ideas from each institution to focus on four areas of professional development to meet the diverse yet overlapping needs for part-time faculty, full-time faculty, and professional technical faculty. All five institutions will be included in the creation of the digital artifacts; the Canvas shell and the blog.

3D. How will the organization of the FLC ensure that work will be shared equitably, and not left solely on the shoulders of the designated facilitator?

The co-facilitators will ensure that the work will be shared equitably by delegating each Big Idea (in response to our overarching questions) to the representative(s) who will take an area of expertise for the good of the whole group. For instance, one common need is to address professional development practices for adjunct faculty. Working together in pairs or in trios will expedite our research and implementation of best practices at our home institutions.


DISSEMINATION

4A. What digital artifacts will the FLC develop? How do these artifacts connect with the FLC outcomes? How will these artifacts serve as resources to other instructors?

We will create reproducible and scalable modules and materials within Canvas that will be distributed on the SBCTC eLearning repository by our co-facilitator, Alyson Indrunas who is a member of the ELC. Our objectives and artifacts reflect the FLC grant outcomes because our project aligns with state-level initiatives for college-wide student success. Since most professional development is housed in or associate with eLearning, we see our project as a resource for other institutions beyond the Five Star Consortium.

4B. How will the FLC disseminate its knowledge, expertise, experience, and digital artifacts to its home institution(s)?

We will disseminate our knowledge, expertise, experience, and digital artifacts by creating a blog to make our learning public for future learning communities within the SBCTC Consortium and beyond. At the end of our project we will have created, revised, or revitalized our Teaching and Learning Centers with our research and collaboration. In addition, we will collaborate on another FLC grant in 2015-2016 to present mini-conferences to the Five Star Consortium schools.

4C. How will the FLC disseminate its knowledge, expertise, experience, and digital artifacts to the larger ATL community?

Our project will be disseminated to the larger ATL community in the following ways. We will share 1] reproducible and scalable modules and materials within Canvas that can be distributed on the SBCTC and 2] propose and present at the ATL 2015 conference, 3] present at IGNIS webinars, and 4] create our TLC blog.


BUDGET NARRATIVE

As applicable, describe how your college will use funds from this grant. See FLC fiscal guidelines, which you can find in the “grant info” section of OGMS, for more information on how funds may be spent.

5A. Describe how your college will use funds from this grant for salaries, wages, and benefits. See FLC fiscal guidelines for information on allowable costs.

NOTE: Grant funds may be used to pay to provide a nominal amount of pay for faculty or staff to coordinate the FLC but may not be used to compensate for FLC members’ time while participating in FLC activities.

5B. Describe how your college will use funds from this grant for goods and services. See FLC fiscal guidelines for information on allowable costs.

We are not asking for stipends related to compensation for co-facilitators’ time. We see this project as part of our job description as service to the institution and the consortium. We plan to use this amount for food purchased for our meetings and the two-day retreat. We will also purchase books for the members out of this budget.

5C. Describe how your college will use funds from this grant for travel. See FLC fiscal guidelines for information on allowable costs.

We plan to reimburse members for their travel to face-to-face meetings and the two-day retreat.

5D. Describe how your college will use funds from this grant for contracts. See FLC fiscal guidelines for information on allowable costs.

Salary and Wages $0.00

Employee Benefits $0.00

Goods and Services $2,500.00

Travel $2,500.00


Good luck with your grant, fellow educator. You can read previous posts to understand my rationale if that helps you get started. Rock on.

From now on, I will blog about our Unconference, the artifacts that we are creating, and my plans for the next FLC I’d like to try. And most likely, I’ll blog about my next failure. Maybe it will help you avoid the same fate. Tune in.

Vapour Trail: An FLC Grant Update

It’s almost April. If you’ve followed this blog you know that this FLC fell apart. It didn’t go as planned. My best failure of 2014-2015 (as of 3/31/15) shall be heretofore known as co-facilitating this FLC. We’ve made some amazing cross-campus connections that I think will continue to grow, and we’ve established a dialogue with the state board about our consortium. We’ve also witnessed the hiring of two deans who are tasked with the professional learning. I’ve met with amazing people.

As for the products we promised with this grant: I go down fighting. Here’s a movie clip to explain how it feels doing research on Teaching and Learning Centers.

I’m the guy being carried outside yelling I’m not dead yet:

I’m getting better. I think I’ll go for a walk. I feel happy. 

So. Okay. Here’s what we’re doing if you would like to steal it for your own. Tune in sometime in April when I upload the entire grant application. Steal my idea and make it your own. Bring out your dead. 

Until then, I’m doing something that looks like research and it’s going to be a fun way to share some dreams. I promise. That I can do.

Why call it an “Unconference”? Am I trying to be trendy? No. I don’t want to call anything a retreat. And the grant reporting would get weird if I called it “Smart Teacher Party.”

An “Unconference” will fly under the radar because nobody knows what that means.

Here’s the email:


Hello Brilliant Educator,

Peg Balachowski, Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning and Alyson Indrunas, Director for eLearning and Instructional Design would like to invite you to the FLC UnConference 2015 at Everett Community College explore Big Questions about Teaching and Learning. We have an FLC grant exploring our need to rebrand our Teaching and Learning Center after the creation of the new Dean position and the expansion of our eLearning Department. We are changing the direction of our FLC a bit, and we’d like to add your voice to conversation.

Our goal will be to have a day of positive conversation where we can establish a network with like-minded colleagues within the system who are interested in meaningful professional learning for all faculty. We’ve selected you because we think you can help us and we want to learn from you. We are in the process of solidifying our plans but we would like to ask you to hold the date and let us know if you are interested in attending.

Our grant will pay for your food and travel, but we hope our Big Questions are incentive enough for you to join us.

Thank you for considering!

We hope to hear from you,

Peg & Alyson


Faculty Learning Community UnConference Spring 2015 Agenda

The Where: Everett Community College

The When: May 8, 2015, 9:00am-4:00pm

The Who: Awesome SBCTC Educators

The What: Building/Sustaining Teaching & Learning Centers (only we don’t want to call it a TLC. We need a new name).

The Why: Alyson and Peg Need Your Brilliance

The How: Come-Ready-To-Work

Funding Provided by SBCTC FLC Grant:

breakfast, lunch, snacks, travel costs included

BIG QUESTIONS ABOUT PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

  1. What do you do at your college (and how well does it work)?
  2. What do you wish you did differently?
  3. What do you do to incentivize professional learning (for FT and PT)?
  4. What would you like to learn from your colleagues?
  5. What would professional learning look like on your campus if nobody could say no to your ideas?

I ask everyone #5 these days. Everyone I know who cares about teaching. I don’t want to hear about the barriers. What you can’t do. What you don’t like. I want to hear your dreams. Chances are I’m dreaming about that too. Maybe there is a vapour trail that I’m not seeing that you can help me see. Show me the way.

If nobody could say no, would you find the vapour trail to your dreams for teaching and learning? Yes. Yes, you would.