The Social Artist

In June of this year I returned from my world travels to my undergraduate university, the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta in order to volunteer at the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) annual general meeting.  I simply couldn’t miss the opportunity to connect with people who may be able to help in my investigation of the role of narrative in liberal arts education.  I knew that should I attend this meeting, I would be inspired by initiatives at other institutions, and find a way into the COPLAC group.  Much to my surprise, I knew one of the speakers!  I had been following Jim Groom (@jimgroom) on Twitter due to the activity around his digital storytelling course, #ds106, and he was scheduled to speak, along with John St. Claire and Steve Greenlaw (@sgreenla), on the Online Learning Initiative (OLI) at the University of Mary-Washington (UMW).  While Jim was not on the campus in person, choosing instead to Skype into the presentation, I was able to continue the conversation with him via Twitter, and came to volunteer as a reviewer for the upcoming online course.

In the meantime, I continued my masters work, taking Dr. Alec Couros’ (@courosa) Educational Technology and Social Media course, #eci831.  For this course, I created a proposal to broaden my role in the OLI.  Since the summer I had been investigating UMW’s online presence, and, being an online student myself, was quite impressed with the openness of their digital campus.  I wanted to not only assist the UMW with the review of their online learning initiative, I also wanted to showcase the possibilities for connected online space to the folks at Augustana.  In order to serve these two needs, I conducted a series of informal interviews regarding liberal arts values and the role of online learning.  I have compiled these interviews into short videos meant to not only inform my role as course reviewer, but also to digitally introduce, or e-troduce, these groups of people to each other.  In short, I want to become a social artist that helps link these two institutions.

I hope that in this space, interview participants as well as others who are interested in online learning and liberal arts will engage in a discussion of the topics presented.  Feel free to comment, even if it’s just a short hello.

And feel free to connect with each other!

@onepercentyello
@jimgroom
@sgreenla
@lethejerome
@sherbani

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One Response to “The Social Artist”

  1. Well done as always Leslie. Interesting assignment that you’ve undertaken. Does this mean couch surfing is over?

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