I wish I could take credit for it, but I think I just blundered into it. Regardless of the genesis, what's happening in the classroom is the stuff that dreams are made of.*
The week before classes started, the new president of our state university system presented to our faculty his call for innovation**--specifically, in the form of on-line education within our state's higher-education system--and the virtual dominoes snapped into place: What better illustration of the concepts and challenges of innovation, creativity, and change than one issued to the system in which students find themselves? Suddenly, having 11 graduate students from multiple colleges in an elective course on Innovation and Creativity appeared as the gift it is and the course was adjusted to incorporate a semester-long project revolving around online education.
- Students are applying concepts, theories, and models to a system they understand.
- We're all learning about the state around us (literally and figuratively).
- Business decisions about innovation are more easily understood or, at the very least, more easily discussed.
- Pre-conceived ideas (mostly negative) about online education are being replaced by facts obtained through research.
- Faculty from other colleges are lending support to the students in my class.
- Technology and instructional design colleagues are also lending support to the class.
- The faculty and staff who visit the classroom and/or read the material being gathered and posted on Blackboard are excited about the process.
- We are using tools and technologies seamlessly, both as tools and as research topics.
- I look forward to class.
One goal for the semester is to develop a sample of what quality online education, incorporating best practices and using the tools available. The class has selected the subject matter and a sub-group is focusing on development of the actual product.
Another goal is to create and deliver a presentation about our design process, the questions raised, and the students' recommendations. My goal? To fill the auditorium (literally and through technology) with faculty and staff. To include others in the dream. To see where this leads. To wake and find at least some part of the dream.