My faculty fellowship project focused on a course redesign for FMIS 3141: Business Communications. Business Communications is a required course for all majors in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). My goal is to rigorously teach specific skills and relevant domain knowledge while also situating these learning experiences in the context of building technological and social networks that will support life-long learning and professional development.
My course design facilitates a community supported and student-directed approach to developing personal learning networks (PLNs). Student progress is supported through a custom-designed course site and community blog: BCOM Commons. It is supplemented with a range of virtual collaboration and social media tools including the UMN Google Apps. Through participatory learning activities, students share resources, publish portfolios of communications work, and develop a foundational online presence. More significantly, these online activities are designed to facilitate networking experiences and interactions with real-world professionals, LSBE alumni, and potential employers.
The digital story that documents this fellowship project focuses on student outcomes and student voices. These students describe themselves as being excited and motivated by learning experiences that connect them with professional contexts and contacts. They express appreciation for support in engaging with multimedia, social media, and virtual collaboration tools. They admit to being a little nervous to present themselves publicly online and to engage established professionals in networking assignments, but they say they are glad to have help and support as they approach these new and exciting challenges.
They say they have learned much and that they will continue to work on their professional development and grow their professional networks. These are students I believe will adapt and succeed in the face of whatever challenges and opportunities the future holds for them.
You can learn more about my course redesign project from this presentation video and you can find out more about my recent pedagogical research and work with technology-enhanced education on my research blog: abramanders.com.
Really enjoyed presenting at the ITSS department sponsored Techfest 2012. Met some great people and gained a lot of inspiration.
Abstract: My presentation provides an overview of resources for creating custom assessment and feedback tools with Google Scripts. In my primary case example, the instructor fills out a google form (on a tablet computer) using a likert-scale based evaluation rubric. From the form-results spreadsheet, a google script is executed that generates and sends an email report to each student with individualized feedback based on their scores. When combined with Google Scripts, the Google Apps infrastructure has amazing potential for providing modular, shareable, and customizable tools for a wide range of pedagogical applications.
Preliminary Outline for a Grant-based Research Project?
Exigence: Demand for collaborative skills in workplace; Contexts for professional work are increasingly cross-functional, asynchronous, and socially networked; Adoption of Google Apps platform by the University of Minnesota system provides a unique opportunity for college-wide use and curriculum growth based in collaborative and socially networked production processes
Create OPEN Source Collaborative Learning Environments (OS-CLE) Archives:
- Develop Google Docs template archives for instructors including word processor documents and survey forms (Assignment Sheets, Guidelines, Group Contracts, Team Building Exercises, Peer-review and Evaluation Forms, and Assessment Forms/Procedures);
- Develop Google Sites templates — for instructors: Collaborative-based course and individual project templates; for students: club/organization, group projects, individual learning environments / study portals;
- Create Learning Modules on specific topics (Team Work, Conflict Resolution, Leadership, Facilitation) and Tutorials for specific Tools (Youtube, LinkedIN, etc.)
Develop Collaborative Learning Research Program (CLRP): Capture metrics on OS-CLE adoption and use by faculty and students; Assessment at all stages of deployment including user-based feedback for students and Faculty Assessment procedures for courses and assignments; ultimately, a longitudinal study of a sample of LSBE students from freshman year through 5 years out of school to measure the impact, value, and experience with collaborative work processes and infrastructures
For Further Invention:
Consider potential research partners and project stakeholders (from UMD community, UM system, and beyond); Investigate best practices and programs of Higher Ed institutions using Google Apps; Perform literature review and seek advice/feedback on study design; Explore grant opportunities and/or potential funding sources