The Technology Test Kitchen & #et4online CFP Deadline

The Technology Test Kitchen (TTK) was developed at the Online Learning Consortium‘s #blend14 event, and recently enhanced at #aln14.

What the heck is the TTK?

  1. A makerspace for sharing innovative tools and new media
  2. An open collaborative environment for hands-on exploration
  3. An engaging way to connect with your colleagues over emerging technology

 

how it works

The TTK ideas was created to bring faculty, instructional designers, researchers, and conferences participants together to get a hands-on experience with a variety of learning technologies. In the Test Kitchen, there are a number of “chefs” (volunteers who love applying media to learning) who are typically available to talk about design, discuss a “recipe” (a quick how-to guide for a platform, e.g. PDF Recipe Book from #blend14 is posted HERE), utilize apps, brainstorm curriculum strategies, introduce new media (hardware & software), and provide 1:1, hands-on sharing with learning technologies.

To learn more, check out this AMAZING video created by Angela Gunder (a.k.a. @adesinamedia):

For the 2015 #et4online conference, the TTK will be looking for chefs, like YOU, to actively work in the kitchen and demonstrate how to apply media to pedagogical practice.

CFP for Chefs

Interested in applying? Check out the Call for Proposals today for the TTK or any other program track. We would LOVE to review your proposal. The CFP closes on December 1, 2014.

#AcAdv Chat: Common Reading Discussion

Laura Pasquini:

Interested in talking about academic advising & assessment in higher education? You should probably join the #AcAdv Chat Common Reading Discussion next Tuesday (11/19) from 12-1 pm CT. Read on for more information…

Originally posted on #AcAdv Chat:

Hello #AcAdv Chat-ers!

To mix things up a bit on the #acadv chat discussion thread, our next LIVE chat on Tuesday, November 19, 2014 from 12-1 pm CT will involve an academic advising “common reading.” The purpose of a common reading is engage faculty and practitioners in academic advising in a dialogue about literature and research. This method of professional development encourages scholarly engagement, reflection, problem-solving, and communication among academic advising peers (Schulenberg, Larson & Bermudez, 2010).

Common Reading LoveImage c/o Flickr member Dennis Skley

For next weeks #AcAdv Chat: Common Reading Discussion, we decided to use a recent academic advising publication from the NACADA Journal (Thanks for the suggestion, @RDScheckel!):

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Vulnerability Comes With Scholars Who Care #scholar14

I feel fortunate to be in a “caring” online  spaces, when it comes to my research and writing development.

turtle-dont-be-afraid-to-be-vulnerable

Over the course of the last few years I have met a number of doctoral researchers, early career scholars, and seasoned academics who actively participate and encourage open dialogues online (within Twitter hashtags, blogging communities, podcasts, and more). I know this is not always the case. In the world of academic contribution and competition, there are a number of hurdles along the tenure track and moving forward in post-secondary education leadership positions. By sharing what you do, in the network, you expose your own process, development and self. This includes the good, the bad, and the ugly of the experience:

“Sharing a story about yourself makes you vulnerable. Since stories are about transformation, telling a personal story requires you reveal a flaw, error, or a roadblock that was a difficult to overcome. Professionals are nervous to reveal their struggles at their place of work for fear it will open them up to judgment or criticism” (Duarte, 2014).

Last week, the Networked Scholar course (#scholar14) was fortunate to have Bonnie Stewart (a.k.a. @bonstewart) share her thoughts on the delicate nature of being exposed and real in academic spheres.  If you want to get caught up, watch the video recording, her SlideShare presentation, or review the Twitter notes. It was a pleasure to hear this talk, knowing Bonnie professionally and personally (she may have gone to high school with my cousin – PEI is small), but also because Bonnie brings her scholarship to the network and actively engages in this dialogue beyond the academic sphere:

Although I am not alone, it is through these real and authentic examples in higher education (both faculty and staff), that I am inspired to continue to tell my tale, share, and grow in this networked experience. Not everything will be great, but discussing the process, challenges, joys, and then some has help my own journey. That being said, it is important to be cognizant of the issues within the “networked” space of academia:

This talk left me thinking more about my purpose and intentionality with the “tools” and mediums I use. I share real photos, videos, blogs, tweets, and more about  my authentic self, which include my successes and struggles. This has left me thinking about questions I have in my “networked academic future”:

  • What does this mean for my representation of academic self?
  • How do I challenge assumptions of working in these online spaces?
  • What about potential issues that might happening being as open and honest with research?
  • How can I continue to share my story in an honest way that will contribute to my peers, institutional culture, and discipline?
  • How will I support graduate students and early career researchers who will continue to participate in these online spaces, moving forward?

I think about the challenges academics face (e.g. trolls, research thieves, tenure track requirements, discipline silos, and institutional cultures); however I am inspired to still be in these spaces with researchers, like Bonnie, who have modeled, interacted, supported, and engaged in real interactions related to their research threads. I want to support my peers and the next generation of networked scholars – so the best way I know how to do is to be there.

References:

Duarte, N. (2014, October 29). Are you brace enough to be vulnerable? Retrieved from https://medium.com/@nancyduarte/are-you-brave-enough-to-be-vulnerable-5a09bd99c4c4

Stewart, B. (2014, November 3). Networks of care & vulnerability. SlideShare. [Lecture slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/bonstewart/networks-of-care-vulnerability

Being #Open Comes with a Number of Assumptions, Challenges and Tensions #scholar14

Being an open educator is critical. From my personal experience, I have engaged and interacted with research, teaching, and service scholarship based on the examples I have seen around me.  A large number of collaborative research and learning opportunities could not have been possible without using open and social platforms. To be a truly effective educator and researcher, I believe it is critical to share our research-to-practice work. It is through transparency and openness, scholars are able to contribute to their discipline, connect to other related fields, and, most importantly, contribute to public knowledge.

open
Photo c/o Flickr member OpenSource.com 

As I think about digital scholarship and “openness” as an early career researcher, there are a number of questions unanswered and need to be discussed further as academia is challenged by the digital (Pasquini, Wakefield, & Roman, 2014, p. 13) :

  • What type of research exchange will scholars participate in during the 21st century?
  • Is scholarship just about publication and citation index?
  • Should research require a social aspect to connect and exchange discourse and/or debate?
  • What social media and altmetrics are best suited for interaction and engagement within each discipline?
  • How do individual research impact factors influence academia career development?
  • What suggestions do seasoned researchers have for the digital scholar generation?

Challenges and tensions should be considered when openly giving back to the resource pool of learning and research. A number of researchers have expressed their concern for being open and sharing methods, research findings, and other aspects of the “process” of learning and research. To balance these concerns, also comes the tensions of network influence, identity, and impact that continue to pour over from #scholar14 Week 1 conversations:

“Uncovering differences in network structure according to discipline and position points to a relationship with academic career trajectory and identity. This finding contradicts the perception that the online environment acts as a democratising space, suggesting instead a preservation of ‘off-line’ hierarchy” (Jordan, 2014).

Within this past week, I was fortunate to hear how a few members of my personal learning network grapple and manage these dueling tensions in academia – here are a few notes, tweets, and ideas gathered from these talks:

  1. Martin Weller‘s #UTAlink talk  Battle for the Open
  2. Royce Kimmons (@roycekimmonsAssumptions, Challenges & Tensions #scholar14 Chat
  3. Dave Cormier‘s #aln14 Keynote on Rhizomatic Learning – The Community is the Curriculum

“Tearing down the traditional walls” is becoming more common in online, social academic communities. This breaking down of the traditional norms in academia, is designed to remove barriers placed between the faculty member and their learners. To be part of this sharing community, you need to really embody core values of openness, equity, access, and sharing. The challenge often emerges when your own philosophy of being “open” is not inline with your post-secondary education institution. I strongly believe that open needs to be a key  attribute for PSE institutions to take the lead on, specifically in terms of policy or manifesto that includes (e.g. Open Access @ UNT), OER resources, open scholarship, open data resources (e.g. UNT Data Spot),  and more.

How does the culture of your academic community, discipline, or institution influence you? Are there considerations and tensions challenging you “to be or not be” in these open spaces? Please share. My ears and eyes are open. Always.

References:

Jordan, K. (2014). Academics and their online networks: Exploring the role of academic social networking sites. First Monday, 19 (11 – 3). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4937/4159 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v19i11.

Pasquini, L. A., Wakefield, J. S. , & Roman, T. (2014). Impact factor: Early career research & digital scholarship. TechTrends, 58(6), 12-13. DOI 10.1007/s11528-014-0797-7

Presence & Visibility With Scholarship #scholar14

Are you “present” online? Do you share your scholarship? Are you blogging about your research in the field? Can I find a slide deck of your last academic presentation on SlideShare? Have you tweeted about your academic writing lately (#acwri)?

Based on last week’s conversation in The Networked Scholars (#scholar14) MOOC – you probably should. Week 1 focused on Visibility, Presence & Branding – Check out the LIVE chat video and tweets. During the live chat discussion, Laura Czerniewicz reminded us that:

The challenge with online “presence” is that scholarship and research distribution is not shared equally – or at least not well represented online (based on the Web of Science documents):

This image and article left me with a number of questions for visibility and presence for scholars:

  • Why is the representation of scholarship skewed geographically?
  • What impact does this geographic distribution of knowledge have on our research disciplines?
  • How can we work to have more “market share” of knowledge in underrepresented areas of the globe?
  • Do the location of networking sharing services impact the voice of disciplines? Can this be neutralized/balanced?

Although the web has the potential to create a level playing field for scholarship participation, there still seems to be infrastructures and institutions in academia that prevent researchers from uploading content and sharing knowledge across geographic boundaries.

With the growth of digital scholarship and online knowledge sharing, it is critical that scholars engage in distribution of their research impact to their field. Through research identity management and citation tracking, scholars are able to specifically identify influence, share findings, access publications, and connect with academic peers for collaboration and further scholarly work:

Academics should utilize these emerging platforms to increase their influence and reach beyond traditional publishing forums. These researcher identification and citation tools are not “just for geeks,” but rather a growing expectation for scholarship development and publication notation. It is a critical time to rethink how research is produced, distributed, and acknowledged. Researcher impact tools, such as ORCID, Researcher ID, Scopus, and Google Scholar Citations, will help to identify citation influence and impact of knowledge for the field with respect to publication use. Social academic tools, such as Academia.edu and Mendeley, provide scholars a place to share their professional profile, links to research, and areas of research interest (Pasquini, Wakefield, Reed, & Allen, 2014).

It is important to consider where you will share your progress, publications, and work for your discipline. It also helps to organize your scholarly citations and publications. Where will you leave your digital scholarly footprint? How will you track your research impact? What do you want to be found online about your research?

Reference:

Pasquini, L. A., Wakefield, J. S., Reed, A., & Allen, J. M. (2014). Digital scholarship and impact factors: Methods and tools to connect your research. Proceedings of the 2014 AACE World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (ELEARN) in New Orleans, LA.

Do You Want to Learn About Learning Analytics? #dalmooc

Last week, I attended the UTA LINK Lab talk presented by Dragan Gasevic (@dgasevic) on learning analytics and research. This discussion shared all the digital traces and learning that can be collected and measured in our various learning environments, and questions how we are best doing some of these analytics within our institutions. Although we have a number of statistics, data, and information on our learners – how can we offer actionable insight, summative feedback, and information about learner progress. Our post-secondary institutions seem to want to only deal with the “R” word = Retention. Often institutions are looking to identify students at risk, provide information about learning success, and understand how to enhance learning – but how can we effectively use data when often times our metrics only focus on single outcomes?

data-analytics-608x211

Photo c/o the #dalmooc edX Course Site

Instead, it is the process and context that our education institutions need to identify when looking at learning analytics, that is, the need to understand and optimize learning (Butler & Winne, 1995). Whether we apply the community of inquiry framework,  cognitive presence, which includes triggering events, exploration, integration and resolution (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2001), or the COPES (Conditions, Operations, Products, Evaluation, & Standards) model (Winnie, 1997) –  it is the meaningful data points for learning analytics that really need to be identified within our educational institutions.  As @dgasevic said, “Learning analytics is about LEARNING!” Often we assume the data collected from our courses and our systems will provide us with the answers; however if not identified in a purposeful way – why bother? What we really need to consider is, what does it mean to study and support the learning experience and not just the end results?

Here are a few areas of learning analytics and data evaluation need to be considered (just to name a few):

  • learner agency and self-regulation
  • interaction effect – external and internal conditions
  • formal and informal learning communities
  • instructional intervention methods
  • multimodal learning
  • emerging technology impact, i.e. mobile, wearable tech, etc.

Here are  questions our institutions need to consider when they want examine learning analytics:

  • What data we are collecting? And why?
  • How does the learner information we know contribute to the PROCESS of learning?
  • Who should be part of this learning analytic research for learning?
  • How can we best present and interact with the data? Can this be more immediate?
  • How can we encourage and support multidisciplinary teams to study learning analytics at our institutions?
  • Are we being being driven by questions of need, access, and availability for the learning data collection?
  • What ethical and privacy considerations should be considered when collecting data around learning?

Interested in learning more about learning analytics and data in education? Check out the paper in press by Gasevic, Dawson, and Siemens http://bit.ly/techtrends15  or better yet – join the 9-week Data Analytics & Learning MOOC that UTA & edX is hosting on this very topic starting Monday, October 20th: http://linkresearchlab.org/dalmooc/ or follow along with the conversation on Twitter #dalmooc.

References

Butler, D. L., & Winne, P. H. (1995). Feedback and self-regulated learning: A theoretical synthesis. Review of educational research, 65(3), 245-281.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. American Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 7-23.

Gasevic, Dawson, Siemens (inpress). Let’s not forget: Learning analytics are about learning. TechTrends. http://bit.ly/techtrends15

Winne, P. H. (1997). Experimenting to bootstrap self-regulated learning. Journal of educational Psychology, 89(3), 397.

Thriving… Not Just Surviving in Your Ph.D.

Today is the start of the UNT Learning Technologies (#untLT) Doctoral Fall Writing Boot Camp (October 17-18, 2014). This program has been developed by our department to support our doctoral researchers in their dissertation progress. Currently a number of doctoral researchers are writing and working in the LT Agora with snacks, support, and relevant available resources.

DocStudents

I am looking forward to joining the “Doctoral Campaign Strategy Meeting” tonight on a panel this evening with our faculty, including Drs. Cox, Ennis-Cole, Knezek, Tyler-Wood, and J. Wircenski. (Drs. Allen and Warren will participate remotely if they are able). This Q & A session will provide some advice and give some ideas for not only how to “survive” but also thrive in doctoral research regardless of the phase.

This presentation is a remix of @drjeffallen ‘s wisdom/advice

I like to use the phrase thrive not survive, to for the doctoral process. There are a number  a number of supportive strategies and ideas to get to the PhD finish line, including:

  • Making a habit of WRITING & scheduling only #ShutUpAndWrite session
  • Social, emotional & mental support
  • Identifying champions in your department, on campus & in your discipline
  • Outlining the major professor-advisee working relationship – needs & expectations
  • Using the advice of your committee wisely
  • Organizing your research materials & literature review effectively
  • Mapping out your data collection process
  • Attending to your personal-wellness & well-being
  • Connecting to a cohort of scholars in your personal learning network
  • Giving up something, to get something to finish your dissertation
  • Understanding how you work best
  • Consulting & using the resources available
  • Focusing your efforts wisely

Want to learn more? I will be sure to post notes and advice from our panel of professors and doctoral researchers who attend. What is YOUR advice on how to THRIVE in a doctoral program and through the dissertation process? Please share!

UPDATE (post-panel):

Doctoral Strategy Panel - Group Photo

From left to right: Drs. Cox, Ennis-Cole, Knezek, Pasquini, Tyler-Wood, and Wircenski.