Archive for coplac

The Social Artist – IS COMPLETE!

Posted in eci831, Online with tags , , , , , on January 11, 2013 by onepercentyellow

About a year ago, I started on what turned out to be a daunting journey.  For Alec Couros’ #eci831 class, I interviewed 7 individuals from the Augustana Faculty of the University of Alberta, and 3 individuals from the University of Mary-Washington (UMW) in order to flesh out a series of descriptive words to aid me in conducting a course review for the UMW’s Online Learning Initiative (OLI).  I also used the interviews to create a series of videos meant to introduce the two campuses to one another, a role Nancy White calls being a “social artist”.  This involves creating a space that allows others to come together to learn from each other.

When I began the project, I had little experience in either conducting interviews or editing videos, and I quickly realized the huge time investment required.  I have since read in professional video editing, each minute of video requires roughly one hour of editing.  For me, a beginner, it took me twice that time!  In addition, the motivation to complete such a project long after my course was finished required that I draw on my own self-directed learning skills.

Moving forward, I’m excited to see the developments in the OLI since I participated in the course review a year ago.  Subsequent cohorts have added to the list of Liberal Arts values  and have begun to contribute to the teaching ideas page.  The digital community at UMW is growing, and I look forward to conducting my final research project for my MAIS program – a case study of the OLI.  I have submitted a Fulbright scholarship application to support me in this project, and hope that my research will feed into Teagle Foundation research being conducted into digital education by the COPLAC group.

The world of digital education is expanding rapidly with large universities participating in the MOOC movement, but Liberal Arts has a particular contribution to make in this digital environment.  It centers on community and connections and will push us to ask the big questions in the digital realm: Who am I? What does it mean to be human?  What does it mean to interact and contribute to my community?

So here is the link to the complete Social Artist Series.  Thanks to all who participated and followed along!

The Social Artist – reflection

Posted in eci831, Online with tags , , , , on October 25, 2012 by onepercentyellow

When I returned from teaching abroad to finish my undergraduate degree, I was not expecting to truly engage in my coursework.  I had planned to complete the necessary tasks to obtain my parchment and had written off any naive desire to engage in the big questions of life.  My first day in class at Augustana banished that thought as I suddenly had names and theories to analyze my experiences in other countries over the past 4 years.  I realize now that this was my first taste of reflection, and I was immediately hooked.

The process of engaging the world with a set of questions and theoretical tools in the hopes of coming to some kind of understanding of how this crazy train fits itself together is the joy of the human project.  It’s the motivation behind learning – we want life to be easier, more rewarding, more enriching, more fair, and if we can determine why it is not this way, perhaps we can unlock the mystery that would lead us to our own utopia.  If we are sensitive enough, we move from examining the ticking mess of the outside world to scrutinizing our own reactions and interactions with our existence.

This process of reflection is not always a given.  There are many ways we have learned to refrain from asking questions of those things that are ‘working’ – if it’s not broke, don’t fix it – but there are cultural norms, systems of power, political agendas, and personal relationships that are not actually ‘functioning’ though they seem to be ‘working’ when analyzed with the untrained eye.  It is only through exercising our critical reflection skills that we may have a chance to understand our own KEY role in life and the greater world.  Suddenly our actions have meaning, our thoughts and ideas have influence, and we begin to consciously create the world we want to live in, rather than blindly reproducing the world we have been taught.

The Social Artist

Posted in eci831 with tags , , , , , on January 4, 2012 by onepercentyellow

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

eci 831 week 5 reflection – a proposal in participation

Posted in eci831, MAIS with tags , , , , , on October 18, 2011 by onepercentyellow

It has been one of those interesting weeks…

P.S. Oh yeah… and Jim Groom rocks <—- this is not bait… ok, maybe it is! Here Jimmy jimmy jimmy….

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