Professional Development

Designing Multimodal Approaches for Learning #multimodalLX

There are so many different ways to understand a concept or learn something new. We share knowledge and communicate information in so many ways. That being said, it doesn’t often translate into how we experience “formal” learning in action in education or industry talent development. When I say multiple modes or multimodal approaches for learning, you may jump to say “learning styles have been debunked.”  This is true. There is not much evidence for said things. That being said, what is not part of the conversation is the option to offer multiple ways to meet our learners needs, preferences, or a diversity of choice for how they will learn a skills, concept, or theory.

“Pole Dynamics” by Mario Paiano is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Sadly, learning delivery, regardless of the industry or sector, rarely offers much choice/variety for learning or training.  Instruction or facilitation is commonly a lecture, presentation format with Q&A, a webinar, maybe a workshop with some activity, or some other typical face-to-face experience. Not surprisingly, there seems to be even fewer instructional approaches when the pedagogy becomes digital (i.e. online, blended, hybrid learning environments). If the goal is to reach our diverse learners, their individual needs, and perhaps their preferences — then sadly, we learning professionals could do better for how to design, deliver, and format learning experiences.

I started thinking about this as I prepped for an online workshop I’ll be facilitating next week on this topic: Designing Multimodal Approaches. As I was editing the modules and developing this introduction, I decided to intentionally model this with my own design. I wanted to engage, construct their own knowledge, and offer a personal way to learn from the start.

Here’s the what mulitmodal artifacts/learning objects I created to represent and communicate the theory of modes of meaning (Kalantzis, Cope, Chan, & Dalley-Trim, 2016) in multiple contexts:

Audio & Oral Meanings

Communication with music, ambient sounds, noises, alerts, hearing & listening and as a form of live or recorded speech, presentation, etc.

MULTIMODAL CREATE: Soundcloud audio recording and screencast with Camtasia of a slide deck with voice over plus ambient music. Audio grabbed simultaneously with Audio Hijack software while recording the screencast.

Writing & Reading Meanings

Textual: writing, notes, reading, reflections, journals, etc.

MULTIMODAL CREATE: Text presented in the slide deck + written instructions on the screen PLUS a full transcript as PDF file available for download from Dropbox,  and text format by sending my audio recording to otter.ai — then editing this transcript with links, e.g. https://otter.ai/s/HCmFi2ZcTRKdQgXgH7TeiQ Beyond these text versions, I also added this transcript to the Closed Captions on the YouTube video and edited it for timing accuracy.

Visual Meanings

Making still and video images. Similar to the “audio & oral” meanings, there are so many learning tools I have been tinkering with to make this visual for learning and to explain my process for research, design, etc.

MULTIMODAL CREATE: I decided to source some CC-BY photos, layout my slides and tabs on my screen, and develop a video with these still images and screen directions moving my mouse around the course, to different tabs, etc. to review the course resources.

Spatial, Tactile, & Gestural Meanings

Positioning oneself in relation to others; Making experiences of things that can be felt; and Communicating through movements of the body, facial expressions, eye-movement, demeanor, style, etc.

MULTIMODAL CREATE: This one can be a bit more challenging in a digital environment; however, I decided to “bring in” my learners by building a rapport, sharing a bit about how I approach multimodal learning in my work, and offer them my personal interests and ideas by scrolling through my Instagram page images, sharing about the podcasts I produce/host, and telling them about the #femedtech network I’m curating this week. Although my learners will not see my physical gestures on this video/screencast, they are able to get a feel for who I am, how I relate to their learning objectives of the workshop, and what experiences I hope we can share as we work on multimodal approaches together.

The things that are not said about designing a multimodal approach for learning, that should be noted:

  1. It takes some creative planning to identify how you can offer learning content in multiple modes and formats, specifically to reach your learning outcomes/goals in a course.
  2. Multimodal levels the playing field — it allows for Universal Design for Learning, accessibility, portability, and choice for how learners can participate.
  3. Multimodal approaches for learning REQUIRE TIME to do it well — so start small. Try re-designing or creating at ONE learning activity, object, or aspect of a course you are instructing.

Do you have advice and suggestions for multimodal approaches for learning design?

Let me know! Over the next week, I have no doubt you will see me tweeting about this workshop using the hashtag #multimodalLX. I strongly encourage and welcome YOUR suggestions, resources, and advice for how to design digital learning experiences in a variety of modes and format.

Reference:

Kalantzis, M., Cope, B., Chan, E., & Dalley-Trim, L. (2016). Literacies, 2nd Ed. Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press

#AcDigID, #EdDigID, networkedscholar, Training & Development

Being “Professional” Online… Whatever That Means. #EdDigID #AcDigID

I just started reading the new book, The Digital Academic (Lupton, Mewburn, & Thomson, 2018), and I was reminded of the debate in The Guardian on being or not being a “serious academic.”  These two articles argue the merit of how scholars participate (or should not) on social media and digital networks. The two sides see involvement on social networks as either public discourse and knowledge sharing or as a complete waste of time only used for personal reputation management. Not surprising, this how networked practice is mirrored among the administrative staff I have been interviewing. Often postsecondary educators express the need to “be professional online.” Depending on the campus culture, professionals are either encouraged or discouraged from actively engaging online on social media. Most staff expressed uncertainty of any policies, expectations, politics, and implications of their own social media use. And commonly, social media and digital technologies are not often guided by academic institutions or via the professional organizations/associations. What is exciting about this edited collection (that I’ve read so far), is it unpacks these binary perceptions and dichotomous narratives. There is so much more to discuss than just good vs. bad for these social, online contexts. Just like our social identities, our online selves are so much more complex and things get complicated when we interact on certain platforms, connect with particular communities, and experience “being” within social networks. Just like our social identities, our online selves are so much more complex and vary in certain contexts. Things tend to get complicated when we interact on certain platforms, connect with specific communities, and experience “being” within particular professional online networks. Online identity is more fluid and less compartmentalized than ever before. Sure we share our practices and offer praise; however, there seem to be escalating issues and challenges we need to talk about in these online environments.

Sure, I can reflect back to the early days of participating in open, digital channels to ask for advice, share resources, support one another, and really have a bit of a chat (and banter) with loads of colleagues in #highered. I have definitely benefited from the offering of professional development via Twitter, open sharing of learning on blogs, and wealth of knowledge being shared by videos, open documents, and curated resources via my personal learning network. Although I still experience benefits to “working out loud” and participating in these online social networks, I believe “being online” in higher ed looks today looks different from when I first started, plus I recognize my own points of social privilege I have in these spaces. Our networks have grown up and with this scaled new look comes concerns about privacy, data collection, and reputation management. Additionally, there are a number of unwritten rules and informal sanctions facing higher ed faculty and staff in these social, digital places. “Academic work and academic selfhood in the increasingly digitised realm of higher education are fraught with complexities and ambivalence” (Lupton et al., 2018, pp. 15-16). So much is left unanswered:

  • What happens when our personal and professional online networks intersect and come to campus?
  • What behaviours and use of social media are acceptable for your role, discipline, and institution?
  • How do we work online and offline, when the boundaries are poorly defined and perhaps even seamless?
  • What implications are there for being online and connected in 2017?
  • How does being active on social media or in networked spaces impact career development and advancement?
  • What are we not learning about networked practice in higher ed we should know more about?

These are the questions I am asking (in my research and for my practice), and they are why I developed an OLC online workshop:#EdDigID: Developing Your Social & Digital Presence in Higher Ed (#AcDigID)

Next week (September 25-October 1, 2017) is the last offering of this workshop for 2017. [Update: I’m teaching the #AcDigID version January 8-14, 2018 for academic faculty and researchers.] This 7-day short course is like an expanded, self-pace webinar to understand and identify what it means to be networked as a higher education professional. This course was created 1st targeted only at networked scholars (#AcDigID), and it has evolved to discuss the affordances and challenges faced by both academic and administrative staff in higher ed who are digitally engaged. Although this workshop was pitched to me as a “how to” develop your online presence on social media, I think it would be a disservice to postsecondary practitioners if we did not discuss the blurred lines of our occupational selves, including private vs. public, online vs. offline, and context collapse between our personal and professional networks.

Here are the learning goals for the workshop:

  1. Evaluate social media and digital platforms for professional development and connected learning in the field;
  2. Establish effective strategies for developing/creating/improving your  digital identity for open, networked practice; and
  3. Outline the benefits and challenges of open and digital practice, especially when considering what it means for higher education staff and faculty are active on social media and in networked spaces.

For those who join this course, we will dig deeper into to help YOU consider HOW and WHERE you want to present (or not present) online.  SIGN UP HERE! If you are not able to formally join the #EdDigID workshop next week, no need to fear! I have created a few ways YOU can get involved, perhaps contribute, and potentially drop into this learning party/conversation:

  • TWITTER:
    • TWEET: Share resources around digital identity, networked experiences, and how you learn online and on social media using the workshop hashtag: #EdDigID
    • SHARE HASHTAGS: What hashtags do you track on or who do you follow on Twitter? What hashtags are YOU interested for colleagues in higher ed? #EdDigID
    • TW-LISTED: I have been curating Twitter lists for quite some time that includes peers in higher ed, academia, academic advising, librarians, and MORE! Do I need to add you to one of my Twitter lists? Please advise (on Twitter or in the comments below).
    • JOIN the#EdDigID TWITTER CHAT: Join us for the live, synchronous Twitter chat on Friday, September 29th from 2-3 pm CDT on the Twitters. We’ll be hanging out in this TweetChat Room and I will moderate this chat here: http://tweetchat.com/room/EdDigID
  • LINKEDIN: 
    • CALL FOR CONTRIBUTION: Are you using closed/private groups and networks on social media platforms? Are you forming communities to share in digitally closed spaces, e.g. Private/Secret Facebook Groups, Slack, Mastodon, etc.? Let me know! I will be hosting a synchronous meeting online next Wednesday (9/27) from 1-2 pm CST and I would LOVE if you could JOIN THE CONVERSATION if you’re interested/available.

Reference:

Lupton, D., Mewburn, I., & Thomson, P. (2018). The digital academic: Critical perspectives on digital technology in higher education. New York, NY: Routledge

Professional Development, Training & Development

Are you going to #blend14? Join the Unconference session (#unblend14) & More in the Rocky Mountains!

The @SloanConsortium 2014 Blended Learning Conference and Workshop (a.k.a. #blend14) is less than a month away! I am excited to be attending and facilitating a workshop in the rocky mountains (Denver, CO) this July.  As blended learning models for curriculum and program development increase in post-secondary education, learners and instructors are being more invested in different mode and models for education. Last year, I found the mix of programs, discussions, and people at #blend13 very refreshing.  If you have interests in design, development, or research in hybrid and blending learning environments than this might just be the conference and workshop for you!

blend14 banner

For those you who ARE attending #blend14, let me entice you to join in the UN-conference session.  This year, I will be helping to host the Blended Unconference (#unblend14) with Jessica Knott (@jlknott) and Patrice T (@Profpatrice). Unconferences are great opportunities to interact, discussion, and dig into topics that YOU are most interested in. As an a-typical session, the unconference is guided by participants who attend, and are flexible to the needs and wants of the group. It will be YOU who takes control of the agenda, content, and conversation. We will help by providing a basic infrastructure to keep things organized and moving, but this is the opportunity to really make the conference YOUR OWN. Typically unconference sessions introduce a topic or issue, and discussion, debate and ideas ensue.

Should I Attend the Unconference?

Yes!  Well, we think so. If you answer yes to any of the following, the unconference session is JUST for you:

  • Do you sometimes find yourself thinking “I wish they had covered X,Y, Z more deeply” in regular conference sessions?
  • Do you wish you had the chance to ask further questions or expand upon session content?
  • Are you looking for ways to get involved & meet others at #blend14?
  • Did someone ask the perfect question during your presentation & now you want to talk to them further?
  • Do you like interacting with colleagues to expand on ideas, share techniques, debate current trends, or collaborate on research?

Come to the Unconference Sessions on July 9:

  • 1:30 PM – Gather in the Unconference room and review the topics and votes; select top topics
  • 1:45 – 2:45 PM- Break into groups and discuss the top three topics.
  • 2:45 – 3:00 PM – Short break
  • 3:00 – 3:15 PM – Reconvene and revisit the topics and votes
  • 3:15 to 4:15 PM – Break into groups and discuss the next three highest voted topics. (Again, the individuals who submitted the topics will facilitate each of these three groups, with a scribe assigned for note-taking and organizational purposes.)

SIGN UP and submit YOUR UNCONFERENCE TOPIC for #unblend14:

Check out and VOTE ON the current Unconference Topics on Ideascale:

About the Sloan Community on IdeascaleA few ideas to vote onIn other #blend14 news, I will be a “Chef” in the “Technology Test Kitchen.” This NEW addition to the conference will provide participants an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with different tools and technologies they want to use back on campus. Bring your own device (BYOD), and let’s getting developing with audio and/or video, collaborative platforms, communication tools, or presentation resources that YOU want to learn more about.

Are you planning to be in Denver for #blend14? Want to learn more about the #unblend14 Unconference or Test Kitchen? Drop me a line. 🙂

#AcWri, #phdchat, LPQ

The @LPQuarterly Workshop No. 1 – HOW TO: Effectively Review, Submit & Publish Your Academic Manuscript

To support our graduate students and junior scholars at UNT, with their academic writing development, the Learning and Performance Quarterly hosted its first workshop this past Friday, March 1st.

The purpose of this session was to introduce graduate students to the Learning and Performance Quarterly journal, and engage in a discussion about scholarly peer-review, academic editing, and the publication process. Dr. Kim Nimon & Dr. Jeff Allen shared their experiences and thoughts on the publication process, and what it takes to submit an academic manuscript.

We discussed the steps from submission preparation, through correspondence, and all the way to publication, including:

  • Understanding Academic Journal Types: A, B, & C Level
  • Considering the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) for journal levels
  • Using Google Scholar Citations & being critical with Google Scholar
  • Filtering with the UNT Libraries Search – Summon
  • Researching Academic Journals: Cabell’s Directory (hard copy in library)
  • Scholarly Publication Process – how it helps your academic writing improve
  • Effective Peer Reviewing – comments, feedback & effective suggestions
  • Expectations & Considerations – the typical process is 9-12 months
  • Developing Publishing Relationships – between reviewers & editors AND the editor & author; it’s a human process
  • Attending Conference Sessions with the Editor – bring your manuscript, learn if they need papers, build a rapport
  • key rejection reasons – format, grammar, APA, and theoretical frameworks
  • How to get involved in the academic reviewing & writing process
  • Using a plagiarism checker to review your manuscript before submission
  • Communication with the editor & being timely with your peer reviews

During the session Dr. Nimon shared her own publishing experiences, provided the group with  peer-reviewing and editor correspondence, and talked about what she looks for in academic manuscripts as an editor. 

Although many asked to record the workshop; I decided not to as the open discussion, and Q & A format was really best served in person, and I think the conversation was more candid without the recording.  You can thank the LPQ Assistant Editor, Tekeisha, for compiling notes from this session – here is the summary of what we discussed:

Besides encouraging our attendees to write, we also placed value in joining the peer-review and editing process. We suggested to sign up to review articles for the LP Quarterly AND other journals in their field. Being a peer-reviewer helps junior scholars gain experience in the publishing process, build a rapport with editors, learn about acceptable journal submissions, and hone their own academic writing craft. I suggested reading Rocco and Hatcher’s (2011) book, specifically “Chapter 2 – Publishing in Peer-Reviewed and Non Refereed Journals” to get their feet wet with starting the academic submission process, preparing a manuscript, deciding where to publish, and how to best work with editors.

Although I have seen this session before – I know that I left the workshop with some great takeaways from Dr. Nimon, and helpful ideas shared by scholars who have been through the full academic writing experience from submission to publication. A huge thanks to Dr. Nimon for her time and sharing, Dr. Allen for donating the book giveaways (who doesn’t LOVE winning the Rocco & Hatcher text or APA 6th edition book?), and, most importantly, thank you to those of you who joined us on a Friday night. I appreciate it. 

In our efforts to be more developmental, the Leaning and Performance Quarterly would like to offer more in-person and online workshops on researching, writing, editing, reviewing, and publishing. It was great to see representation from other departments and disciplines across campus the other evening. We welcome others to join us for future LPQ Workshops as we consider other topics, including:

  • Managing Your Writing Projects
  • Forming Agraphia (Writing) Groups
  • Writing Literature Reviews
  • Drafting Conceptual Articles
  • Secondary Data Analysis

If you have any topic suggestions or would be interested in participating – let me know. Feel free to write suggestions in the comments OR send a message to the LPQ Editors: LPQuarterly [at] gmail [dot] com.

FYI: The NEXT Call for Submissions is on Monday, March 11th at 11:59 pm CDT. Do you have your academic manuscript ready? Submit TODAY!

Reference:

Rocco, T.S. & Hatcher, T. (2011). The handbook of scholarly writing and publishing. San Francisco: Wiley/Jossey-Bass.