Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Challenge #4: Encouraging Faculty Adoption and Innovation in Teaching and Learning with IT

The EDUCAUSE "Top Teaching and Learning Challenges 2009" project identified five main issues/challenges for teaching and learning with technology. Number 4 is near and dear to my heart! How are other institutions encouraging faculty adoption and innovation in teaching and learning with technology?

The University of Indianapolis hosts week-long summer and winter camps to help encourage technology adoption and innovation among faculty. Current faculty serve as "Camp Counselors," demonstrating how they have integrated various Web 2.0 technologies into their teaching. This year's Winter Camp, for example, introduced faculty to micro-blogs, social bookmarking, start pages, aggregators, wikis, blogs, collaborative tools, chat tools, social networking, and associated applications. The Web 2.0 topics were presented during morning sessions, and discussion continued with Camp Counselors dispersed across various tables during a shared lunch. Afternoon sessions were devoted to hand-on activities, with assistance provided by Camp Counselors.

Camp Survival Kits were also distributed, including resources such as the 7 Things You Should Know About . . . series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the ELI Discovery Tool, Applying Technology to Teaching and Learning.
Related articles from EDUCAUSE Review and EQ were also included, along with software quick-tip guides. A wiki was created to house camp materials, and a social networking site was used to promote use of the tool and to maintain longer-term contacts.

On the final day, camp attendees were invited to participate in a Camp Revue, showcasing various projects they had created during the week. The campus community was inviited to attend. The university also created a Web 2.0 community of practice that meets twice monthly to showcase and discuss current developments with the integration of Web 2.0 technologies into their teaching. The camps have enabled the university to not only introduce the tools to the faculty, but also to develop a sense of community and continued support long after the camp session has officially ended.

EDUCAUSE Review, May/June 2009, Pg 42-43

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