The writing is on the wall.

Welcome to our blog!

My name is Alyson Indrunas, and I am the co-facilitator of an SBCTC WA FLC grant. I am  one of the master-minds behind this massive project that feels destined for failure from the start, so please be patient as I expose every twist and turn in this learning experience. Winning this grant from the SBCTC has been such an honor, and now I have to make the rubber meet the road. My co-facilitator is Peg Balachowski and she has kindly offered her time to help me with this project. Peg is the yin to my yang, and I think we’re a good team. I love to write, so this blog, for better or for worse, will be our record of what we have learned. Since I’ve never done a Faculty Learning Community (FLC), I’m learning not only how to facilitate, but I’m also learning how to be in an FLC. I’ve also made the giant leap from career adjunct to administrator in the last year, so it’s safe to say my career feels a bit like a plane that I am building while flying it.

All of my training as a composition teacher revolves around the idea that I have to have an intended audience. My imagined intended audience is the brilliant Jenn Whetham and all who follow her amazing force of nature spirit about professional development. I’m also writing to those who are interested in working with teachers about technology and any other challenge that may walk into the class (OL, WE, HY,F2F). I’m writing for grant writers who are planning on applying for an FLC grant next year. I’m writing to help people not make the same mistakes I’ve made as I try to wrangle the resources and the hardworking souls in the five star consortium. I also know I’m writing to whomever may stumble upon this link somewhere at sometime.

My goal was to start this blog in September, and now it’s almost November. We’ve had a pretty significant two years of technology transitions in eLearning and this fall was incredibly challenging. Many thanks to the trusting souls of David Ortiz, Sally Heilstedt, and Melody Schneider who have offered themselves as tributes in representing their institutions. Fear not, mates, I will get us started.

So in order to get started on one of our deliverables, meaning this blog, I’ll post a bit of my grant language for now.

Let’s start with what my dean, Jeanne Leader, calls “the vizeeown” (use your best French accent, it’s fun).

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

My blog title was going to be Aligning The Stars until I Googled it the phrase. Ick. Who knew that such music existed? I dare you to listen to the whole song. No offense if this is your cup of tea.

1E. Which of the two categories best fits your topic of study?
Assessment, Teaching, and Learning OR
eLearning

(Someday, we’ll look back and laugh that we had to choose between these two interconnected forms of education, but I digress).

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?

2. 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?

Oh, ho ho, what was I thinking? This is dissertation length madness! I’ve promised to do all of this while still maintaining the demands of my job description. I’ll post more from the grant once we actually get started this quarter.

So here’s a tip, future FLC co-facilitators, keep a visual reminder that inspires you. One thing that is helping me stay focused on this big vizeeown is the IdeaPaint in my office. I’ve inherited this office from a former director who thought about how creative spaces work, and I am so thankful for this wall. It shocks students who think it’s graffiti and every teacher who visits laments that he or she does not have the same office wall. Having this timeline on the wall, featured in the image above, helps me remember the good thing I’m hoping to help build. For now, I can rest easy that at least we have one blog done for the month of October.

The writing is on the wall, folks, I’ve got to get this show rolling.

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3 thoughts on “The writing is on the wall.

  1. Alyson, you are a hero! Best of luck with the project and I will be looking forward to further updates on the blog. Having worked with Five Star initiatives myself, I see both the value and the barriers. Just one thing: howe can you >not< love Lindsey Sterling? She is awesome!

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    1. Walter, I forgot that I connected this to the twitter machine, so I’m thrilled that my first comment writer is a friend. Geez, I know. Sterling has like 7 million hits, so I’m off the cool kids’ radar obviously. I just saw 20,000 Days on Earth so I’ve been listening to a lot of Nick Cave. And I’ve got a real bias towards the electric fiddle. But really, what do I know? Thanks for the encouragement and enlightenment!

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  2. Walter – thanks for being our first official follower! I won’t reveal any of my listening habits – didn’t have a clue who Lindsey Sterling was…I think I’ve heard of Nick Cave…Philip Glass anyone?

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