The conversation began in late summer, 2008. This is when five faculty met for the first of many discussions that unfolded over the course of the 18-month 2008 - 2009 OIT Faculty Fellowship Program, a program intended to cultivate faculty leadership and scholarship in the area of technology-enhanced learning. They came together every month to discuss the changing landscape of educational technologies, the opportunities and the challenges that technologies afford us as educators, as well as the kinds of support that faculty need in order to create dynamic learning experiences for their students. The topics they engaged were far-ranging, including the vast and complex infrastructure here at the U that shapes the learning environment, and policy issues that impact teaching culture insofar as they motivate or stifle innovation in the classroom and scholarship around teaching and learning. Always their inquiry and remarks were rooted in their own efforts to leverage resources available at the university in order to improve the learning experience for their students.
Even as they confronted the complexities of innovating in their own courses, we challenged our fellows to reflect on the implications of emerging learning environments. Increasingly, we think less in terms of tools and applications, and more in terms of learning environments, which means thinking comprehensively about spaces (physical and virtual) and their affordances; the relationships of students with content, their instructors, and their peers; and leveraging multiple technologies across different spaces to achieve learning outcomes.
In the course of these discussions, our fellows often used the word transformation. They used transformation to describe changing practices, new models of teaching, and new teaching environments. They described their own transformations as well as the emotional ramifications and personal resources required. They reflected on the implications of transformation for themselves, their students, and the University, and on our responsibilities as change agents. At the end of their fellowship experience, we interviewed our fellows and asked them, "What does transformation mean to you?" Listen to their responses.
Special thanks to the 2008-2009 OIT FFP fellows!
- Amy Garrett Dikkers, Educational Policy and Administration, CE+HD
- Catherine Solheim, Family Social Science, CE+HD
- Bernadette Longo, Writing Studies, CLA
- Jodi Sandfort, Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center, HHH Institute of Public Affairs
- Anne Minenko, Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases, Medicine