#OLCInnovate, Learning Technologies, Reflections

The #OLCinnovateSDS: Our Re-Cap of the Plan, Design, & Pitch at OLC Innovate 2016

The inaugural OLC Innovate (#OLCInnovate) conference brought over a thousand educators, EdTech-innovators, and learning designers to New Orleans. This year was the inaugural Solution Design Summit (SDS) in which diverse teams of institutional stakeholders, campus partners, and EdTech innovators came together to solve learning challenges. Nine teams were selected to participate in the summit and pitch their learning solutions.

About the Solution Design Summit

Following OLC Emerging Technologies conference (2015) ideas from the “Teacher Tank,” we wanted to know, “How can we use the pitch format to design a solutions-based space for teams to work on solving a learning problem?” What resulted was the 2016 Solution Design Summit.

The SDS call for team proposals required participants to submit a learning challenge and a proposed solution to be worked on by an interdisciplinary team. The nine selected SDS teams then produced a 2-minute video trailer to describe their project. You can watch the 2016 SDS Video Trailers on YouTube or review the full SDS program here: http://bit.ly/olcinnovatesds16

Design Thinking Is A Process

During the Summit, a 3-hour pre-conference working session, the teams identified critical success factors for their learning solutions, gathered feedback from external stakeholders, and used design thinking to refine their “pitch” presentations. During the #OLCInnovate conference, teams delivered their 10-minute pitches in one of three concurrent sessions. The SDS pitches were evaluated by a panel of invited judges and audience participants.

OLCinnovateSDS_2016_Montage

The SDS challenges

The Solution Design Summit asked teams to work on increasing learner success in one of the following four areas: personal and adaptive learning; professional learning and development; the impact of open learning; or choose your own learning challenge.

Listed below are the nine SDS teams. Click on any of the titles to find out about each SDS team’s challenge and solution:

And the Winners are…

The 2016 SOLUTION DESIGN SUMMIT WINNING TEAM is . . .

OLCSDSWinner

Image mashup c/o Tony Dalton from the SDS Muhlenberg College Team

Creating Pathways to Digital Peer Leadership in the Liberal Arts

Team members:  

  • Lora Taub-Pervizpour, Associate Dean for Digital Learning, Professor of Media & Communication at Muhlenberg College
  • Kathy Harring, Dean of Institutional Assessment & Academic Planning, Professor of Psychology at Muhlenberg College
  • Sean Miller, Manager of Media Services at Muhlenberg College
  • Thomas Sciarrino, Manager of Instructional Technology and Digital Learning at Muhlenberg College
  • Anthony Dalton, Digital Cultures Media Technician, Digital Media Design Lab Instructor at Muhlenberg College

Summary: Like many liberal arts institutions, Muhlenberg College is exploring the role of the digital in our mission, goals, and practices.  We believe that digital spaces, pedagogies, and tools can amplify our liberal arts mission and values, and support deep relationships between teaching and learning, appreciation for diverse ways of knowing, and an education that prepares students for citizenship and lifelong learning. At the heart of our student-centered environment is a nationally recognized peer-mentor model.  Our goal is to create an innovative peer education model that empowers students to develop the relationships, skills, and competencies the need to excel as leaders in digital learning contexts.

Kudos to the COMMUNITY CHOICE award for….

If You Build It, Will They Come?

Team members:  

  • Tracy Stuntz, Instructional designer, lead LMS trainer at California State University, Fresno
  • Jean-Marie Venturini, Instructional designer, lead LMS trainer at Otis School of Art and Design
  • Rex Bartholomew, New Model Development Administrator at Toyota

Summary: The challenge we’re facing is faculty/client attendance at non-mandatory (but needed) training events is low. The focus is on reasons for faculty/client lack of attendance, and how to reach and motivate participants.

Thank You To All Who Played In the Solution Design Sandbox!

A big thank you to the invited stakeholders, judges, audience members, and the SDS planning team who supported this program. Kudos to ALL the SDS teams for your amazing pitch presentations! By asking teams to work on a solution before meeting together and then creating iterations of their work, we know that this type of conference project proposal was not simple. We hope each team received valuable input, feedback, and considerations to bring to their institutions and companies. This was the first year of the Solution Design Summit, and we hope to see a similar track at OLC Innovate 2017 and anywhere educators, designers, and ed tech innovators gather at a conference.

Thanks and much love from the #OLCInnovateSDS: 2016 SDS Planning Team,

Collaboration, Conference, Learning, Professional Development, Reflections, Research

Innovation for Learning: Submit Your Ideas for the #OLCInnovate Solution Design Summit

I have been thinking about innovation for a while. What does innovation mean to you? How does “innovation” play into your world of work and learning? The word INNOVATE feels very much like a buzzword when it comes to learning. It may even be as a prime contender found on one of my #edtech bingo cards used for education meetings and conferences. Now the word, innovate, has been placed as a conference title and I agreed to support the planning for this event => Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Innovate. These facts only means I have been reading and reflecting even more about innovation and what this term means. Here are my current ponderings and ideas…

pondering_innovation

Flickr photo c/o Missy Scmidt

A number of organizations are increasingly being influenced or impacted the eagerness to “solve” problems with technology. Last year, George Steele suggested the book, The Innovators, in a conversation about the culture of change in higher education (a HUGE topic I will save for another blog post). This was a well-timed referral and read for me. Isaacson (2014) describes how groups of individuals ingeniously cooperated to innovate in the real world. Say what? Tell me more!

Thinking, designing, and employing innovation for learning is complicated. The story of the collective successes (and failures) of many innovators need to be shared, and continually drafted as there are “far fewer tales of collaborative creativity, which is actually more important in understanding…how today’s technology revolution was fashioned. It can also be more interesting” (Isaacson, 2014, p. 1)

Although The Innovators shares the history of computing, technology, and the Internet, and it really spoke to my inner collaborator and WHY I dabble in the applied inquiry to understand more about online/blended learning technologies and workplace L & D. The collaboration emphasis resonated throughout this text, and I do believe that “no one individual…has truly achieved anything alone.” I concur.

By definition, we always appear to be “innovating” in learning, right? With formal education institutions (K-12 and higher education), professional associations, and learning organizations there seems to be a tension of how to balance innovative ideas or approaches due to structural, pedagogical, and workforce challenges in the real world. We want to think innovatively, but sometimes our organizations or “the system” rarely allows this process to unfold with constrictions of our job portfolios/functions, institutional divides, or designated project timelines. As Martin Weller put aptly put it: “the rhetoric for the need for innovation is rarely backed up by practice that will encourage it.” Let’s change that narrative. Why don’t we try to play with a few innovative ideas and concepts together?

For OLC Innovate, there are a few new (I won’t say innovative, just yet) program features that are atypical of a traditional conference format. One of the goals the #OLCInnovate steering committee set out: Let’s have less “talking head” presentations (education sessions, lectures or plenary talks), and more conversations, fun social happenings, places to share, and opportunities to solve REAL problems for online/blended/F2F learning. <<Segue>> THAT being said, here’s a new feature of the #OLCInnovate program I hope you will consider:

The OLC Solution Design Summit (SDS)


Video trailer production credit to Kyle Johnson

The general call for program proposals is now closed (with the peer reviews completed, expect to see the full program online next week); however the call for TEAM Proposals is OPEN for the OLC SDS until February 10, 2016 [Deadline Updated to extend the call for proposals on 1/26/16]. Thanks to the 2015 #et4online unconference banter, the OLC SDS Team (Mike Goudzwaard, Patrice Torcivia, Kyle Johnson, Adam Croom, & Michael Atkisson) decided it was about time to offer a program feature that was less about product and more about process. Together we carved out space in the #OLCInnovate schedule to offer a space for design thinkers, tinkers, and leaders to assemble in order to propose and solve challenges we encounter in learning (in K-12, higher education, and industry-L & D), such as:

As we know innovation takes time and it is a team process. For this CFP we have a broader timeline for this program and we and different expectations for this call for submissions. We are not looking for an end solution. Our team is more interested in WHO is at your interdisciplinary team table and the potential problems you want to work on together. Solutions might appear, but regardless this will be shared opening before, during, and after the #OLCInnovate 2016 conference ends:

Before the Conference

  1. Prospective SDS participants submit a challenge proposal by February 10, 2016: Abstract about the problem, team, and potential solution.
  2. Acceptance notifications will be sent out to teams by February 16th. [Confirm acceptance of your team by 1/22]
  3. Those SDS teams with accepted challenges will submit a solution pitch video for public review on the OLC Innovate 2016 website, by March 11, 2016 (due March 4th).
  4. Experts and OLC Innovate attendees will be invited to view and comment online to provide feedback on the video pitches March 21 – April 1.
  5. SDS teams will meet via an online web conference for 30 minutes to debrief and plan before the with the SDS facilitators in early April, before the #OLCInnovate Conference.

During the Conference

  1. SDS teams participate in a two-part pre-conference workshop session the morning of April 20, 2016. This will involve sharing the challenge and potential solution.
  2. Building on the feedback from the pitch reviews before, the design-thinking workshop on day 1, and comments from the workshop (via educators, edtech experts, researchers, exhibitors, and other SDS teams), you will further develop your challenge statement and solution design “pitch” to present during a concurrent session.
  3. SDS teams will present their solution in a 15-minute (10-minute presentation & 5 minute Q & A) time slot during an OLC Innovate session for all conference attendees.

Post-Conference Winning Team Benefits

  1. The winning SDS team members will each receive a one-year OLC Professional Membership (limited to a maximum of 5 team members). Current OLC members would receive a 1-year extension to their existing OLC Professional Membership.
  2. The winning SDS team members will receive complimentary future OLC 2016 or 2017 conference registration (limited to a maximum of 5 team members, not applicable to OLC Innovate 2016).
  3. The OLC Team will engage the winning team in a conversation of how best to showcase their solution through OLC.  Examples may include a webinar, membership dashboard interaction, OLC social media promotion, etc.

Now that you know the details, I encourage and instigate ALL of you to REVIEW the Solution Design Summit CFP and SUBMIT your team application NOW! Please feel free to share with your colleagues, and instigate innovation among your peers as well. Do you have questions about the OLC SDS? Email our team: sds@onlinelearning-c.org or follow up with either Mike or me. Thanks!

References

Isaacson, W. (2014). The innovators: How a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.