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The DIRT for December 3-7, 2018

Teaching Online & Hybrid Conversation Series Hones in on Building Community in Digital Spaces with Dr. Bonnie Stewart

Written by Amy Slay
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

On Monday, December 3rd, DLINQ welcomed Dr. Bonnie Stewart for our forth Teaching Online and Hybrid Conversation Series session, Building a Community of Learners Online. Dr Stewart is an Assistant Professor of Online Pedagogy and Workplace Learning at the University of Windsor, Ontario. In her research, she investigates how knowledge, power, and technology intersect with and impact education. Stewart led an engaging conversation with Middlebury faculty and staff about participatory learning, sharing frameworks and strategies we can use to design and foster online spaces that are true learning communities.

For those unable to join the discussion, we recorded introductory remarks as well as Dr. Stewart’s slideshow that helped to frame the discussion. This video, as well as notes captured from the session (which include links to resources), may be accessed on the Teaching Hybrid & Online Initiative page on the DLINQ website.

As the end of term approaches, stay tuned for announcements of more sessions and other DLINQ events planned for next year. If there is a specific topic about teaching and learning online that you think should be included in the series, let us know!


Third Edition of “Small Moves” Instructional Design Blog Series by Heather Stafford

Heather Stafford continues her blog series to dig deeper into some of the small moves that were discussed during her October 25th online workshop ‘Student-Centered Course Design Using Canvas.’ In the series Heather shares activities and design elements that faculty can implement to amplify connectivity of a class.

In the third edition of the series, Heather features the use of the ungraded survey in Canvas as a tool for collecting learner feedback at different stages of a class to help inform adjustments to teaching. Keep an eye out for future posts in the series in coming weeks.


Pilot XR Studio Hosts Idea Exchange

Written by Bob Cole

On Friday, November 30 a handful of students, staff, faculty and guests met in the College’s Wilson Media Lab and the Institute’s Digital Learning Commons to network, share projects, and exchange ideas on the use of virtual, augmented, mixed and extended reality technologies. DLINQ’s Joe Antonioli in Vermont and Bob Cole in California hosted simultaneous meet-ups at each site to further promote the pilot effort to develop an XR Studio connecting people, resources, and practices that are exploring these emerging media and their transformative potential for teaching and learning.

To create opportunities for cross-institutional connections, the two labs were joined together via Zoom providing glimpses into the spaces and a productive channel for discussion. During the first half of the session guests at each site were able to interact with one another and share examples of explorations they are engaged in. Some highlights included hands-on time with the Geology department’s Augmented Reality Sandbox, a Spanish professor’s use of Google Tilt Brush for students to create representations of literary themes like the apocalypse and power, an environmental policy professor’s prototype visualizations of coastal sea-level rise due to climate change, and virtual 3D renderings of North Korean missiles developed by research scholars at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

During the second half of the session, the groups discussed the potential value in working with XR technologies for teaching, research, and creativity. Some of the affordances mentioned were the ability to reach new public audiences through these new media, the potential to create emotional connections in immersive virtual environments that simulate real world situations, near realistic mixed reality simulation spaces, visualizing abstract or difficult concepts, exploring issues of digital embodiment, a virtual world where the listener has agency in a musical composition, and offering alternative ways to explore and reflect on course content through immersive virtual experiences or real time social VR situations. As a follow-up the groups shared their thoughts on the opportunities and resources we might begin to leverage to support creative development with XR. Some initial next moves that were recommended included establishing some shared collaborative spaces for further idea, knowledge, and partnership opportunity sharing.

More pictures from the session below – if you are interested in learning more about XR resources or joining the conversation get in touch with us at dlinq at middlebury.edu


Dig Deeper:

Gold’s father is dirt, yet it regards itself as noble.
Yiddish Proverb


Featured Image by freddie marriage on Unsplash

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