Janet’s Spring 2018 Update

This Spring Term online teaching and learning is much on my mind.

I’ll be presenting at OLCInnovate 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee this April. OLC, Online Learning Consortium, pairs up with MERLOT (for those of you who remember this repository) for their big conferences. I’ve got a couple presentations but for this update I’m focused on the one titled “Is online teaching and learning relevant for small residential liberal arts colleges?” It’s in the session category ‘Conversations, Not Presentations’ which means I get to talk with attendees rather than at them and I’m hopeful for some interesting and useful conversation.

For the OLC conversation I’ll be pulling from my Carleton work with CUBE, Carleton Undergraduate Bridge Experience. CUBE consists of an online 6 week summer portion and a traditional Fall Term portion. Summer CUBE has two primary goals: 1) to strengthen the quantitative skills of incoming students and 2) to connect participants to the campus community before they arrive on campus.

CUBE in turn has heavily contributed to Carleton’s LACOL (Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning) work on the QLAB project and this will inform my OLC conversation as well. QLAB is the nickname applied to a multi-campus development and educational research initiative to assist our students with readiness for their quantitative work across the curriculum, and to investigate the role that online resources may play in this.

And all of this online teaching and learning work at Carleton is going easier for me because of my time at Georgetown University which was  just prior to coming to Carleton. There, in my position as Director of Technology Enhanced Learning, I helped design and implement online courses and MOOCs, and in my position as adjunct professor, I taught an online course.

I won’t rely on my experiences alone though to pull off a good conversation at OLC! I’ll be tracking the current buzz about online T&L and that includes a few folks even talking about it in the context of small liberal arts schools:

Reflecting on the Original Big Idea for MOOC’s

Is online education good or bad? And is that really the right question?

Can Online Teaching Work at Liberal-Arts Colleges? Study Explores the Pros and Cons.

Wish me luck!