After June 30, UW personnel will lose access to the older versions of our courses in d2l Brightspace. This will not affect our instruction, as we’ve been instructing in Canvas for some time now. However, if there’s anything you’d like to save (especially if it’s from a course that hasn’t been offered since the Canvas migration), like reading lists, notable discussions, assignment prompts, syllabi, etc, they will disappear in the near future.
Last month, UW Madison shared a Q & A with Michael G. Moore, a pioneer in distance education. You can read the interview here:
Moore was to receive an honorary degree from UW-Madison at the 2020 Spring Commencement; that honorary degree will be conferred December 2020.
Greeting, Independent Learning faculty!
As educational institutions throughout the world have transitioned to emergency remote teaching and learning, asynchronous online education (that is, not working in real time) has been suggested as a way to increase accessibility for students and faculty with limited internet. Web conferencing tools are certainly wonderful, but they also take a lot of bandwidth. For some faculty, asynchronous interaction can be a difficult adjustment if they’ve interacted in real-time throughout their teaching career.
How did you transition from synchronous to asynchronous education? What challenges did you encounter? What did you like about it? Have you encountered any resources that you’ve found helpful?
Beyond an opportunity to reflect, I would love to share your experiences, ideas, reflections, etc on teaching in an asynchronous environment. Do you have any stories you’d like to share? Feel free to reply, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe, healthy, and well!
Two recent articles provide worthwhile comparisons and contrasts between online learning (with Independent Learning being just one example) and the now-widespread emergency online teaching/learning.
It’s certainly amazing how quickly institutions have been able to continue instruction in the midst of face-to-face instruction being cancelled, but it’s also important to note the difference between typical online courses (the instructional design component is mentioned in both articles) vs an emergency change in teaching modality.
Greetings, IL faculty! I hope you and yours are safe and healthy.
During this time of pandemic, a Center for Healthy Minds at UW-Madison affiliate has made a recently released app freely available. This app is called the Healthy Minds Program. From their website:
Translating pioneering neuroscience into tools for everyday life, our unique framework guides you through the four pillars of the science of training the mind: awareness, connection, insight and purpose.
This tool was informed by decades of research at the Center for Healthy Minds. For more information, go to: https://tryhealthyminds.org/#program
Our Independent Learning courses are already online, so we don’t need to worry about adapting them as the title describes, but this article includes some resources for improving online courses. These would take some time and planning to implement, but it includes ideas of activities, recording lectures, and different apps to connect your online learning community.
March brings promises of spring (even if we still see some occasional snowfall), and marks an important transition in the UW-Madison Independent Learning program. March is the last enrollment month for the few DCS IL courses that are still open for student enrollment. As we enter the third phase of our teach out period and reflect on what comes next, we wanted to highlight some career counseling services available to you.
The employee assistance office offers counseling and consultation at no cost to UW-Madison staff: https://hr.wisc.edu/employee-assistance-office/
Additionally, the Division of Continuing Studies (our division on campus) also has resources that you can use at no cost.
Adult Career and Special Student Services “provides career and education planning support for community adults including UW-Madison employees.” From their website: “We can help you focus on your interests, skills, and values while providing you with the techniques and resources for exploring career and education options.” https://acsss.wisc.edu/career-and-educational-planning/
There’s also a job support group that meets weekly to discuss a specific topic or simply for everyone to check in: https://acsss.wisc.edu/job-search-support-group/
In the Q & A below, Anant Agarwal (computer architecture researcher, founder and CEO of edX) offers some ideas of what education could look like in the future: modular learning (short-term course-taking instead of completing a degree), stackable learning (institutions offering degrees based upon credentials one has accumulated from various institutions), and a greater emphasis on problem solving, empathy, and communication rather regurgitating facts.
Given that the author is chatting with a major figure of the massive online open course platform edX, it sometimes reads like an edX commercial, but it’s still interesting to read ideas on how technology and employee/employers needs might reshape education.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Josh Eyler, author of How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories Behind Effective College Teaching. We had a 4-part interview series, and interviews 1 and 2 can be found at the following links:
A Discussion on Curiosity and Authenticity:
A Discussion on Sociality and Emotions:
Have you wondered how to get your students to think critically about where they get their information? Whether its through social media or researching for a paper, U.S students often have difficulty distinguishing fact from opinion (or misinformation). The article below, while geared towards K-12 educators, includes some classroom experiences and resources to help students think critically about the information they encounter.