Our ID2ID goal evolved yet again after completing our first ID2ID Event Synopsis. We learned that in order for faculty to confidently and competently teach online, they needed to be prepared in course design, course communication, time management, and technical competence. Another piece of the puzzle we wanted to explore was faculty motivation. This information would be invaluable to know before partnering on a collaborative course build and thus, led to our desire to read about faculty motivators and inhibitors.
Motivators & Inhibitors
The article, Literature Review – Faculty Participation in Online Distance Education: Barriers and Motivators by Macquire (2005) gathered perceived barriers and motivators across thirteen studies over 10 years. This literature review opened our eyes to the fact that we had been missing the role an institution plays in faculty’s perceptions. Institutions can provide additional motivators for faculty, while simultaneously creating barriers for faculty. These pieces added a whole new layer of complexity in how we might craft our faculty survey.
My New Awareness & Development
This review taught me there may be ways that an institution can motivate or inhibit online growth. Multiple avenues of potential motivation need to be provided because not all people are motivated equally. Some faculty want recognition, while others might want compensation or course load buy-outs. Conversely, institutions can create barriers that prevent online growth such as not providing enough support or not allowing faculty intellectual rights over their courses. I realize now that faculty motivation and inhibition does not lie solely on themselves, but in tandem with how the institution is shaping the landscape. Many of the faculty I work with are extremely busy so a missed deadline might be due to a lack of motivation, but rather a lack of institutional support.
Our goal for the ID2ID program was to create a taxonomy of faculty types, but has changed over time. We realized that rather than putting faculty into various boxes to help us manage our expectations, we simultaneously realized that it’s not that simple. We decided that we wanted a meaningful way to learn more about faculty before partnering in a course build. In turn, our goal morphed into creating a self assessment that would allow faculty to self identity their motivations and competencies in online course facilitation and design. We started looking at the research and see if anything existed about how faculty perceive online teaching and learning.
Faculty Perceptions of Online Teaching
The article, Examining Faculty Perception of Their Readiness to Teach Online by Martin, Budrani, and Wang (2019) started to uncover what we were really after; research about faculty perceptions and motivations. The study measured faculty’s attitudes about online teaching competencies and perceptions of their ability to confidently teach online. We learned that in order for faculty to confidently and competently teach online, they need to be prepared in course design, course communication, time management, and technical competence.
My New Awareness & Development
One of the biggest realizations I had from reading about faculty perception is that my expectation of faculty has been biased and unrealistic. In striving to meet aggressive course build deadlines, while also forming a trusting faculty/ID partnership, I had begun to subconsciously label faculty partnerships based upon their ability to produce or build a course. If faculty couldn’t meet their deadline with me, then I couldn’t fulfill my deadline to the institution. However, this limited view doesn’t allow for me to fully understand the faculty member I’m working to form a healthy working relationship with. By taking a step back and looking at where my partner is coming from and how they perceive online teaching, I am better able to meet faculty where they are. This is a stronger place for beginning an online course collaboration.
Inevitably… I have limited time as I’m working on my professional development over the weekend. I keep trying to keep my mind on the assignment of #Identity in digital spaces for #DigPINs, but I realize…
I… just… can’t… focus….
I’m ashamed to admit that my stance on #guncontrol has been very reserved until the #IfIDieInSchool plague affected a member in my community’s family. Why did it have to take a shooting in my local area to make me wake up? BECAUSE shootings in schools DOES NOT compute in my brain. However, it’s not going away until a real change happens. I know many people who use their guns responsibly, but couldn’t we start with a law that bans semi-automatic weapons. It’s a start.
How long before my nephew and niece experience gun violence in their schools?
#KendrickCastillo Thank you for your big heart, bravery and smarts. May I have the courage you did Kendrick, #IfIDieInSchool
I work at Colorado School of Mines and recently attended an Active Harmer training (because that is the world we live in). The point of the training is this: keep your hands up when you see the cops, run like hell if someone is shooting and fight only if you are backed into a corner. #KendrickCastillo saw his moment to stop evil and he pounced. He was a phenomenal human being and my heart aches for his parents, family and friends.
I was born here in Greeley, Colorado (though I claim Nebraska for the other half of my adolescent development). Colorado is the birthplace of publicly broadcasted school shootings AND of the #LegalizeIt movement. How will my state reconcile being a such a “violent,” yet “open-minded” state? Perhaps we’ve all become complacent or perhaps we just don’t know how to cope. Let’s all smoke a tree, take a pill or fortify our personal fortresses so we can pretend like nothing is wrong.
I’m pondering my social #Identity in digital spaces right now and I thank #DigPINs for giving me a reason to blog/write today. Otherwise I might have busied myself with mundane, everything’s-fine thoughts rather than taking the time to process a REAL tragedy in my community.
I’m… so… sorry….
As I envision how I wield my social media power today, I must ask, “Who do I want to become?” I would like to be digitally literate enough to affect change in social, political and professional realms.
Tall order, I know.
I love my country and believe in its innate goodness of its #people. I am grateful to have had #access to my grandparents that survived the #GreatDepression and taught me the value of looking out for each other and living within our means. My maternal side homesteaded in Dalton, Nebraska and I find that very grounding.
This is MY country. This is OUR country.
How are we shaping it?
My ancestors took astronomical risks to make a life in a new land. I believe we are in a time of charting new territory because old paradigms and assumptions no longer work. We need each other more than ever and I believe that we can all help each other to #daregreatly and challenge the norms. May @BreneBrown be proud of my latest attempt to live whole heartedly.
As we noted in our initial reflection about the Penn State ID2ID Program, we were fortunate to have been randomly paired together in a wildly successful, worldwide program. We would likely never have met given our geographic locations (North Carolina and Colorado), but have learned a great deal through our collaboration. This collaboration grew to include LaDawna Minnis and Sam Coulson, other ID2ID participants, who we connected with via the pedago.me instructional design community.
The outcome of our multi-leveled collaboration was an accessibility webinar that took place after months of weekly meetings and work with Mike Hess and Ethan Twisdale of the Blind Institute of Technology. These connections have already resulted in an invitation from them for us to present at an accessibility conference in Denver in the spring. Not all of us may be able to attend in person, but there may be the possibility of a virtual component.
Group meeting times proved difficult given family and other work obligations. There was also the challenge of keeping taskloads manageable for each person. However, the group was able to work through some panic moments. This required clear communication with the team so that others could pick up some of the load. A prime example was when Susannah expressed the feeling of overwhelm about figuring out the webinar platform or lack thereof. The group stepped in to form a work-around plan. We ironed out the wrinkles in how the technology would/should work and created a timeline detailing. By doing a dry run, we were able to find possible pitfalls to avoid.
The accessibility webinar was attended by 14 people and the responses to our follow-up survey generated ideas for topics of future webinars in this series leading up to the Accessibility Symposium.
Erin intends to remain a member of the pedago.me group and become more active in slack to network professionally with other instructional designers. (This group is a gold mine of experiences, ideas, and tips!)
Susannah will continue to pursue opportunities learning about accessibility in higher education. It seems that accessibility will only grown in importance and could expand into a speciality instructional design role.
Erin’s Personal Reflection
I am so very grateful for the ID2ID program – while the original plan to get an instructional design mentor through this program didn’t work out, being paired with an instructional design “buddy” was wonderfully helpful. The ID2ID program has provided me with connections and free professional development that has already helped me grow as an instructional designer. I look forward to assisting with more accessibility webinars as well as other projects ahead!
Susannah’s Personal Reflection
I no longer fear the word accessibility. Hearing about schools getting sued for accessibility issues has had a haunting effect on my work. Faculty often looks to me as an expert, but I’m learning alongside everyone else. However, this experience has removed my fear. The more I talk about accessibility with other designers and pursue new skills in this arena, the less intimidated I feel. Like with anything else, it’s a matter of deciding to learn and following through. The accessibility webinar was a fantastic opportunity to learn directly from an expert as well as expand my network to include those I would like to emulate.
Our project for the ID2ID program was an Accessibility Webinar hosted by pedago.me and the Blind Institute of Technology. This webinar was the product of much multi-level planning effort between ourselves, which expanded to include two other ID2ID participants, LaDawna Minnis and Sam Coulson. Then Susannah took a chance and reached out to the Founder of the Blind Institute of Technology, Mike Hess, on LinkedIn and asked if he would be interested in creating an accessibility training for Instructional Designers and Educators in Higher Education. Mike generously agreed to help in our efforts and offered up his Chief Accessibility Officer, Ethan Twisdale as our expert and guide in the training.
The webinar was promoted on Twitter, LinkedIn, within the ID2ID discussion boards and pedago.me slack group to reach our intended audience of instructional designers, which quickly morphed to include faculty in higher education that wanted to hone their accessibility skills.
Disability Services staff said that this webinar could be shown to faculty as a means of helping them understand how students using a screen reader would experience a word document that was not designed with accessibility in mind.
The event was not promoted to faculty as a strategic move. The hunt for the institution’s next Disability Services coordinator was still underway and Susannah did not want to be considered an accessibility expert on campus. At least, not yet.
The intended outcome was to fill in the gap that screen readers are for accessibility/disability service departments only. We aimed to demystify and provide the experience of navigating a document without sight. Our hope was that the webinar would allow instructional designers and faculty to walk away with the knowledge of how screen readers generally work and the ability to create an accessible document.
The webinar focused on using a screen reader and creating an accessible Word Document. This required participants to download NVDA on a PC or familiarize themselves with the VoiceOver program on a Mac. Once registered for the webinar, participants received a confirmation email that provided instructions for both types of screen readers.
Note: We were not able to access an official webinar platform, so we used Susannah’s basic Zoom capabilities and enabled settings that provided barriers to trolls from the internet. All participants were set to mute, no personal videos could be shown and the chat room was facilitated by LaDawna and Sam. If someone was inappropriate, they were going to be kicked out immediately.
During the webinar, Ethan demonstrated how the screen reader worked on an unaccessible document (bad example) followed by the experience on an accessibility document (good example). He explained what made the accessible document, such as descriptive links, alt text for images, and proper use of headers and text. Then he gave participants the chance to try using their respective screen readers with those same demonstration documents. Participants asked great questions in the chat room and there was even enough time for Ethan to demonstrate how cumbersome websites can be to a screen reader.
We understand that faculty can be very concerned about the time and effort it takes to create accessible documents and learning materials for students. We wanted to help demonstrate that not only is it very important to take the time to do this, but also it doesn’t take much effort to create an accessible document. As instructional designers, our confidence to create such documents has increased and we are better able to help the cause by teaching faculty how to create such documents.
Our experiences in ID2ID allowed us to meet other instructional designers and to discuss among ourselves some of the gaps in our own knowledge. With accessibility being such an important conversation, we decided to help ourselves and others feel less intimidated by the topic. The timeline of the ID2ID course allowed us to design backwards to set mini milestones in order to host the webinar. We had weekly meetings to ensure a flawless webinar and feel very accomplished in making it happen.
The Blind Institute of Technology asked all the IDs in this collaboration to present at their Accessibility Symposium in May 2019. To ramp up to the event, there will be two more webinars in February and March. These will walk participants through the user experience for multiple LMSs and the click-by-click experience of working through a module. Since we worked so diligently on the first webinar, the following two should be much easier to execute because we follow the process, roles and responsibilities from our previous webinar. Bring it on!
We really didn’t know what to expect when starting the ID2ID program, but one thing was clear. We were fortunate to have been randomly paired together in a wildly successful, worldwide program.
The open structure of the ID2ID program has allowed us to choose our own topic of interest. We decided to explore accessibility online education and set the lofty goal of hosting an accessibility event that focused on the “how” of accessibility, rather than the “why.”
As an added benefit, Susannah introduced Erin to an online ID community named Pedago.me. Their slack group connects instructional designers across the country and helps IDs discuss current challenges and offers an outlet for brainstorming new solutions with like-minded professionals. This was particularly helpful for Erin because her work could sometimes feel isolated.
We have determined the type of event we will host, the date, and the audience for the event. We have also teamed up with another ID2ID team, La Dawna Minnis and Sam Coulson, while Susannah has made connections with Mike Hess and Ethan Twisdale from the Blind Institute of Technology. Ethan will be our guide in creating an accessible Word document that can be read by a free screen reader.
Next Steps & Progress
We need to do the following:
Determine the roles each of us will take during the event
Create and distribute marketing materials
Find a webinar platform
It isn’t always easy for the four of us IDs to get together once a week via Zoom, but we are managing! We originally thought one of us would have access to the Zoom webinar feature, but that is not the case. We are currently looking for a webinar solution.
Might the ID2ID program be able to help us find a webinar platform?
We are currently reaching out to members of the Pedago.me group to see if someone has access to a webinar platform for our event. There must be someone out there who can share their resources, especially for such an important topic. We will keep shaking trees until we find a platform and the event isn’t until November 15th, so have through October to secure a solution.
We will continue to meet at a regular weekly time and whoever is unable to be present can catch up using the Pedago.me slack channel or the shared Google doc. We are hopeful that this first session with Ethan may turn into a series that will help instructional designers and others become more familiar with how to create accessible materials and address other issues of accessibility in education.
It is an interesting place to be in when you realize your resume is too long.
For so many years, I worked to fill up the white space and wished my resume showed a clear career path. Fast forward to now. I tweaked my resume over the weekend and realized how “old school” it appeared to be – page of positions with even more bullets. I realize it’s time to get current (even if it’s a pain).
Everyone is busy, especially people on hiring committees. If my resume doesn’t immediately catch their attention, then I’m not a good designer. I’m on the back side of the game now and I get to forge my career path now. I choose to move forward with confidence. #livelonglearning
Due to poor planning on my part, I purchased Pandemic yesterday and asked my boyfriend and guinea pig, Ben, to play the brand new board game at 9pm last night. I cannot confirm or deny that our rushed game play was an effort to complete my play journal assignment today.
Pandemic is a cooperative, strategy game that has a large learning curve. The goal is to work as a team to travel the globe eradicating deadly viruses by continent. Each player has special talents that the team needs to use wisely. For example, a quarantine specialist can stop outbreaks by their mere presence, while a scientist can discover a cure faster than other players. Given the cooperative nature of the game all players are racing against the clock or deck of cards to rid the world of the outbreaks before they conglomerate into a pandemic. Players are all in it together.
As we were struggling through the game last night, Ben said, “Why didn’t you pick an easy game like Parcheesi?” I explained that my choice was based upon our past, not-so-fun experience with Chess. I thought Pandemic might be a good solution to our overly competitive natures, while appeasing our love of strategy.
Although my timely execution of the game was not on point, my long-term planning was. Per Pandemic’s online reviews, I could see it as was a well-designed game that aligned with Gee’s (2004) games and learning principles to “create motivation for extending engagement and preparing for future learning,” (p. 67). Additionally, the clerk at the Wizard’s Chest where I bought the game said the game “left him wanting to play more.” I decided Pandemic was a game Ben and I could grow into.
In a quest to “up my game” I not only purchased the game, but I also aspired to pick a game worthy of my experience with the Games and Learning course at CU Denver. I have seen my peers and classmates really savoring their gaming experience and I wanted to adopt this discourse for myself. My observed benefits of gaming includes the following:
In regards to playful learning, Pandemic as a learning tool in the schools reminds me of the game/study To Pave or Not to Pave as published in the book Mobile Media Learning: Amazing Uses of Mobile Devices for Learning. This place-based design for civic participation was a study executed by James Mathews and Jeremiah Holden. It required students to create a learning experience around a civic issue of whether or not to pave a public path (Dikkers et. al, 2012). Playing Pandemic and the creation of To Pave or Not to Pave directed participants to achieve a common goal. In Pandemic the goal was to prevent a worldwide epidemic, while To Pave or Not to Pave’s goal was to engage participants civically. In both games, working together forces participants to see multiple perspectives and ways to skin a cat. In fact, playing Pandemic allowed me to glimpse into Ben’s brain and see his strategic thinking. His preferred method was to travel and diffuse the problem in each hot city together, while I suggested we divide and conquer. I was pleasantly surprised that one, I was able to let him take the lead, and two, when we stuck together, we were more effective.
This was my first experience with a board game focused on collaboration over obliteration. A perfect example of obliteration was our course’s first group game, Small World. The goal was to completely destroy a culture of people/creatures in order to win their land and resources. I know Small World is just a game, but is it really? When I think about the reality of ruined cultures and such things as the resource curse, I have a hard time playing out an age-old struggle of the haves and the have nots. (Yes, I should probably calm down.) In playing Pandemic, it was refreshing to step outside of obliteration and my competitive self. I enjoyed the gaming perspective of cooperating with my partner in a playful, save the planet sort of setting. Thanks to Pandemic, I now have found an unexpected antidote for the overt competition that many other games promote.
Dikkers, S., Martin, J., & Coulter, B. (2012). Mobile media leanring: Amazing uses of mobile devices for learning.
Gee, J. P. (2004). Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling.New York: Routledge.
Between my affinity space, open annotations, and scholarly critiques required of my Games and Learning class at CU Denver, I keep coming back to the importance of community. Each of these aspects revolves around curating new connections and deepening my understanding of applying play skillfully. I feel like I’m beginning to think in a completely new way: the community I form now will sustain me in my new career after school.
Although I have never posted on the Code Combat discourse board, I have been able to find most any answer I need when stumped by the game. Even simple problems are openly discussed on the board for the world to see. All my needs are being met through lurking, but if I were to build community, active participation is warranted.
Open Annotations & Scholarly Critiques
Annotating the course readings through Hypothes.is has led to new streams of curiosity. Often times a conversation over a reading would lead to my next article to critique. I have become quite picky about my articles because I’m not simply completing the assignment, I’m carving my own unique, educational pathway. More specifically, here are a couple Hypothes.is conversations that led me down the path of critiquing articles on serious play and playful assessment:
I previously wrote The Science Behind Serious Games around the game, Mars Generations One: Argubot Academy EDU, which was a collaboration between GlassLab, The Educational Testing Service, and Pearson Education. I was amazed by the idea of learning scientists developing learning progressions to create superior learning experiences. I thought, “Wow, learning scientists must be really smart people. They have the secrets to how to make a learning progression.” My professor, Remi Holden, point blank asked if I could describe what learning progressions they used or what research they shared to back it up. I could not answer his question. I think I got enamored by the flashy words and big name companies. This was a reminder to always dig a bit deeper.
Below is a snippet of our Hypothes.is conversation where Remi suggests I look into the research behind the serious game, Place Out of Time (POOT).
He directed me to his the article, It Matters Because It’s a Game: Serious Games and Serious Players by Jeff Kupperman and team. I devoured this article and realized the game they created wasn’t some high-tech video game. It was a very thoughtful, imaginative opportunity for students to act out their characters roles in a safe, online setting. Then I thought, “Hey, I could do that!” it was a nice perspective shift to see that I am fully capable of being a part of the serious game scene.
My next Hypothes.is tip-off stemmed from a conversation with Remi about the article, Questing as learning: iterative course design using game inspired elements by Seann M. Dikkers. In the margins of this readings, Remi respectfully disagree with Dikker’s belief that time is best spent playing the games online and not in the classroom. This statement intrigued me, so I asked for specific examples about how playing games in Remi’s classroom proved to be valuable learning experiences.
Our conversation pointed to my next article of study, which happened to be written by Remi himself: Playful Possibilities for Assessment: Fluffy Ducks and The Queen’s Gambit I was beginning to see that playful teaching and learning were not just a technique to use, but rather a pedagogical way of being. True, playful learning requires more of the students, but it also requires more of the teacher. Playful teachers need to be just as interested and invested in the students’ learning as the students themselves.
The scholarly critiques have proven the most enlightening part of this cycle’s activities. The articles about serious play in POOT and Playful Possibilities for Assessment opened me up to the larger playful learning movement. These articles, along with my Hypothes.is conversations are influencing and shaping my educational path. So much so, that I found a way, which is very well hidden might I add, to develop my own independent study this summer to further explore playful learning, open source education, and instructional design and technology.
My biggest realization has been that a game doesn’t have to be complex or full of rich video game graphics to be engaging. In the context of POOT, I love the element of imagination tempered with serious role play. The students get to chose their character, but they are also expected to convincingly play this person through their discussions and word choice. The game maker has captured the student’s imagination, which means that even I, without any video game creation experience, could create a playful and meaningful learning experience.
My Hypothes.is annotations and work as a CU Tech TA have been creating a critical mass in me on the topic of open educational technology. I’m starting to know the key players and have begun to connect the dots tracing back from my first class this past summer, Digital Storytelling. There are so many wonderful avenues to explore and connections to make. I’ve listed a few of the connections below:
Digital Pedagogy Lab
Quest 2 Learn
Domain of One’s Own
What I’m left with is how to ensure that I truly become a part of the community. It seems that there so much to do in order to stay current within the realm of educational, technology.
Do I tweet enough?
Do I read enough?
Do I tinker enough?
Right now I’m simply trying to catch all the information as it comes at me. Luckily, I learned about Google+ Communities in another class and am using it as a warehouse for information. Who knows, maybe it’ll grow into something, but right now, I’m happy to have found a good system for tracking all the information flying at me.
I’m creating a personal learning network in order to ensure, sustain, and grow my career in education technology.
This is not your ordinary program in educational technology. The goals of the program included the following (Holden, 2013):
Transforming how teaching and learning intersect with technology
Helping “pro-social tech-tinkerers” develop media that just might change the world
Sustaining communities of educators committed to immersive learning experiences
Playful Teaching & Learning
Remi and his process-oriented colleagues actively worked to experiment with their designs, embrace failure, and commit to reflection. Their focus was to engage students playfully over eliciting the “right” answers. In their process of playful pedagogy, the following principles were applied to courses (Holden, 2013):
Play requires the acceptance of constraints
Students should be playing with things (applications, codes, etc)
Play assumes failure
Playful teaching and learning fosters community
Products of Playful Learning
Playful learning can generate a generous variety of outcomes that challenge standards and think outside the box. Holden’s experience with the Global Program at Michigan University produced the following outcomes (2013):
An online economic justice simulation for high school students
Website & curricular resources about human rights in China
Community gardening in Michigan
Environmental conservation in Mexico
Global citizenship in the Congo
Social studies through digital and analog tools
Of course these projects have been dramatically simplified, but it is important to understand the grand scope of what can be produced from playful teaching and learning. There is no way to group these projects into categories, let alone assess them with a single rubric. It appears that self-directed learning and educational pull shaped the projects.
Assess(ment): Verb Over Noun
Playful learning is active and should be measured as such. Using a standardized rubric in any of the above examples seems a bit trite and could potentially squash their brilliance. What rubric standards could begin to capture a project’s essence?
Courage within the possibility of failure?
Actively assessing a project insinuates it is alive and allows for discussion of the idea’s greatness. Additionally, assessing the product of playful learning requires an engaged educator. An educator who cannot simply check a box and never know his/her student’s abilities. By playfully challenging students to give their best effort, the same can be asked of teachers in assessing such learning.
Playful assessment completes the playful teaching and learning cycle..