This past Spring, with the wonderful support of DoIT Academic Technology and the Teaching Academy, I launched a series of Active Teaching Labs — low-commitment, structured explorations of cool teaching tools and techniques to teach more effectively. The response to them was very positive.
GOAL: Capacity Building at faculty level; create deeply-embodied and socially-playful environments & experiences for learners — Lure with low-risk involvement. Inspire with stories. Motivate with hands-on success.
SUCCESS: Because it is a safe & playful, low-risk environment where faculty are affirmed for trying, the Active Teaching Program inspires a willingness to try new things, and those experiences generate new discussions and new ideas.
SPRING 2015 STATS:
- invited 11 speakers to host 13 sessions that attracted 194 total participants (avg 18/week) from 11 SCIDs/programs
- used simple tools to create & host 24 videos of sessions (instructor story video and Q&A video) with 541 YouTube views
- garnered considerable positive buzz across campus
- held first Active Teaching Showcase in SoN with 22 participants
Faculty tell us they like
- light-touch: no commitment, low-stress, casual
- environment: safe, playful energy
- stories: by peers of pedagogical problems and solutions
- hands-on: pressure to try
- how-to sheet: to take home, get into more deeply later, or share
- community: interdisciplinary
- discussions: on mitigations/alternatives
- videos: to share (or for when they couldn’t come)
- awareness: where to go for more information, integration with other programs
Faculty tell us they want
- more offerings: different times for those who teach Fridays
- training: deeper explorations of campus-supported tools & processes
local talks: facilitated pedagogical discussions with departmental colleagues
This is a short explanation, evaluation summary, and proposal for expansion: