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Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation Summit Detailed Engagements Report (01/14/22)

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Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation Summit Detailed Engagements Report (01/14/22)

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Author :
Makena Neal, Jessica Sender, Dave Goodrich, Brendan Guenther, Jeremy Van Hof & Stefanie Baier
Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation Summit Detailed Engagements Report (01/14/22)

MB Contact profile image
Author :
Makena Neal, Jessica Sender, Dave Goodrich, Brendan Guenther, Jeremy Van Hof & Stefanie Baier

Summary of CT&LI Summit Engagements

This report summarizes data gathered from the Center for Teaching and Learning (CT&LI) Kick-off Summit [held on Jan. 14, 2022] and following asynchronous engagement opportunities, as well as concurrent discussions within the center about space and services to directly address the questions in our charge. To read more about the Kick-off Summit, check out "Reflecting on the Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation Kick-off Summit".

  • What factors should we consider when deciding where responsibility lies?
      • Aligning what is already in place; what units / local-level are already doing well.
      • How the Center and IT (particularly Academic Tech unit) work together.
      • How to ensure best use and highest purpose for any given resource.
  • What are the greatest areas of priority for increased collaboration and focus with regard to teaching and learning?
      • Development of service portfolio and communicating broadly/transparently (adjusting according to ongoing listening/feedback from users + assessment)
        • What are the demands/needs of educators? What are current/proposed services in the network? Evaluate gaps relative to current staffing. 
      • Developing “the network” across campus
        • Developing and maintaining directories of available people, resources and services. Making opportunities for affiliation with the center explicit.
  • What are our highest areas of need for investment in new skills and expertise, regardless of where those skills are placed
      • Needed investment in distributed staffing to meet the needs of faculty in colleges/departments/units that may not be as robustly staffed as others in areas/services that the center will not be able to cover (e.g. course assistance).
      • Evaluation, assessment, feedback, and educational research.
      • Educator development programming and instructional consultative practitioners.
  • What models would you see as most effective for increased local support in those colleges or units that currently would not be able to participate in a networked model?
      • Liaison model, assigning center staff to units, if we add/repurpose positions.
      • Joint appointments and fellowships, if the center is willing to co-sponsor.
      • Sponsored work or partial buy-out of educators to augment center staffing.
  • What design engagements might come after the summit? For instance, to determine the center’s services, design its space, or develop a collaborative model for the network?
    • Faculty (in process), instructor, and additional educator stakeholder engagement via surveys, interviews, or focus groups.
    • Evaluation of available center skills, capabilities and available capacities.
    • Service design exercises specific to individual service portfolio items.
    • Engagement with IT to coordinate and co-design shared client experience.
    • Possible direct engagement with MSU students or student-educators (GTAs & ULAs)

Data Highlights

Services and Support Portfolio 

  • Services
    • Responsive, point-of-need support, including individual consultations
    • Curriculum and program development
    • Course design / reform support and incubation
    • Development and training on various topics at various levels
    • Catalog of what to get where, and a directory to find people/expertise
    • Formal structure for online/hybrid course/program development and support
  • Space
    • Spaces that support delivery of training, hosting events, social gatherings
    • A place with presence to host and build the community of educators
    • Classroom space to experiment, innovate, and create digital experiences
      • “faculty can do one offs in a space to try something different with a class”
      • “technology to check out to use in classrooms (like VR or other tools)”
      • “space for recording teaching and support for editing”
  • Additional notes on physical space (data in evaluation re: Hub spaces not 1/14 Summit)
    • Dedicated desks for center staff, with mix of hot-seating / hotelling
    • Allows clients to meet with center consultants in semi-private settings
    • Variety of co-working spaces that enables part-time projects teams to gather
    • Small-group meeting spaces, high-flex tech enabled for remote participants
    • Individual booths to isolate noise from remote meetings from clients / coworkers

Connection and Collaboration

  • Hosting of events for collegiality, fellowship, networking and community building
  • Collaborative programming
    • Discipline specific or with faculty experts in certain pedagogies or approaches
    • With other central parties, e.g. MSU IT, DEI, Academic HR, student success, etc.
    • With faculty learning communities or administrative groups (e.g. online programs)
  • Sponsored institutional memberships and global virtual conference access for campus
  • Hosted and invited outside experts, presenters, and seminars or workshops
  • Fellowships for faculty with benefits for center, network, and the faculty fellow
  • Fellowships for graduate students that help them develop and gain hiring advantage
  • Opportunity for faculty/staff to affiliate with the center to encourage boundary-spanning

Teaching and Learning in Practice

  • Advocacy, leadership narratives, and communicative storytelling that elevate the importance of teaching and learning excellence at every level
  • Assessment, visibility, and recognition of teaching and learning
  • Emphasis on and recognition of teaching and learning in tenure and promotion
    • incentivizing teaching and learning efforts and allocation of time and talent
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL)

Additional Data Details (optional)

Wouldn’t It be Fantastic If (WIFI)

Description of Activity

In this activity the participants were asked to identify blue sky ideas to ultimately group into common themes and inform shared vision for the Center, Network, Teaching and Learning. Participants individually answered the prompt “Wouldn’t it be fantastic if (WIFI) … as many times as they could. Then in small groups, organized statements to show what might be influenced, controlled or created by the Center, Network, or Teaching and Learning. 

Stakeholders raised a variety of needs, which were categorized as ed-tech support, resources, staffing, space, as well as coordination/planning. Building a network for these services seems to be something participants hope for, such as a “shared list of experts across campus to make finding the right person to ask easier”. Additionally, this item “explicit partnerships and shared services between the teaching center and other key support units,” speaks to the network.. When it comes to specific services, support for DEI in instruction, fostering innovative practices, instructional design, and pedagogy were among those most frequently mentioned. Consulting, training and events are delivery formats most often associated with the center. 

The most common themes can be found here: WIFI Themes 

What the Center should provide: Services, Space, Coordination

  • Services: Consulting, special projects to solve common problems, access to experts, and intramural grants / sponsorships.
  • A space to provide access to services and resources, and invite educators to gatherings.
  • Coordination of services and facilitation of collaboration between units and people.

E.g. Educator showcase, repository/ a knowledge-base, and events calendar for all offerings across the university

  • Opportunities for part-time affiliation to center, as fellows, or to staff services or projects.
  • Classroom space to innovate and create digital experiences
    • “where faculty can do one offs in a space to try something different with a class”
    • “technology to check out to use in classrooms (like VR or other tools)”
    • “space for recording teaching and support for editing”

What the Educator Network should provide: Coordination, Collaboration, Networking

  • Coordinate the Educator Network with participation of center and other stakeholders
    • Allow for collaboration and self-organizing
    • Recognition to colleagues who contribute
  • Functional network, depended on by clients (needs) and university (commissioned work)
    • Maintain a “list of experts”, make it easier to find “the right people” to ask.
  • Opportunities for learning space experimentation, in prototype classrooms and digital.

What the whole University should support in T&L: Services, Pedagogy Practices, EdTech

In this section, some participants understood Teaching and Learning as how it is viewed and supported by the administration, while others provided more specific ideas around teaching resources and services   

  • Services and resources should be shared in a variety of ways and rather than being siloed all units should work together bringing the following together as shown in this quote “More collaboration and breaking down silos”
    • Creating a Network of experts coming from all units
    • Have connection points to colleges and “cross-college work” and working groups
    • Provide university funding for projects, “awards, innovation grants” for T&L.
    • “Both/And approach to broad everyone should know AND specific ideas in the disciplines or colleges”, perhaps with the center being more active in the former and the college more active in the latter such as DBER.
  • All educators may contribute and share pedagogy/best practices in peer-support.
  • Other supports include and may recognize needs of stakeholders: quality standards, DEI (including opportunities and accessibility), educational technology, and sponsored research such as SoTL, and those not typically included in educator support. 
  • There should be tangible appreciation of the work of educators in Teaching and Learning, including leadership narratives and recognition for RPT.

What I need from you… 

The What I Need From You  (WINFY) activity asked participants to assume one of five roles, randomly assigned. These included Academic Unit Administrators, Faculty and Instructors, Center Affiliated Staff, College Affiliated Staff, and University-Wide Staff.

Each group was asked to outline what they needed from each of the other four groups to be successful in their roles. The following themes emerged from each of the groups, pointing to commonalities among groups about what each would like to see from the Center.

Services and Support Portfolio

A clear and concise services and support portfolio emerged as a major theme. All five groups said that services and support portfolio was what they needed- both as stakeholders in the center, as center staff working with those stakeholders, and those who were potential partners and patrons of the center. The services and support portfolio -of what the Center provides, what it can offer to help with course design, instructional design, and various other activities, and how to contact and use the center was foundational for all five groups.

Participants in the WINFY activity wanted to have clear definitions of roles and resources of the center; clearer collaboration with college faculty and staff on projects and programs; a better understanding of what types of questions can be referred to the center; and ad hoc but nimble service support. Specific requests included consultations, development and trainings for various comfort levels of instructors, a clear catalog of what to get where, cooperation with local support, a list of resources.

Connection and Collaboration

Another dominant theme across all five groups was the need for and understanding of connection and collaboration. Primarily, participants from the groups wanted other units to be collaborative with the center, to figure out how to connect across boundaries, and how to leverage and build relationships. Four of the groups mentioned more collaborative work with staff in the colleges who are currently working on teaching and learning initiatives. Three of the five groups mentioned collaborative program opportunities, and two of the five groups mentioned a networked approach.

Teaching and Learning in Practice

The third theme that all five groups mentioned was what we are calling teaching and learning in practice. This encompasses a number of things, including teaching and learning in tenure and promotion, incentivizing teaching and learning, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. There was again the need for collaborative programming, this time with discipline specific colleges and with faculty who are experts in certain pedagogies or approaches. One group wanted to know what teaching and learning capabilities are available to help other educators, while another said that assistance with aligning course level objectives, assessments, and curricula with the institutional practices and the resources of the center would be useful. The Academic Unit Administrator and the Faculty group both had incentivizing teaching and learning as something they’d like to see from the center and center staff. There also was an overarching theme of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) but none of the groups made it their top priority-it did emerge as a theme though, so important to highlight here.

Minimum Viable Product Reviews 

The “minimum viable product” activity was framed as a Yelp review session. Participants were paired in teams of two and asked to take on the perspective of an educator who had worked with the Center for T&LI and had a positive experience. Throughout the 17 combined Center “reviews” the following were the top ten most mentioned themes/services. Within each of these areas, participants in the 01/14/2022 Kick-off Summit mentioned a range of examples (i.e. Center experiences [per activity instructions]). High level captures of examples for each are included below. 

Coaching/Consultation (Feedback, Support, Emotional Support)

Almost 65% of the reviews mentioned some version of coaching or consultation (including additional keywords such as feedback, support, guiding, and helping). Some examples of topics and underlying services within this category include: restructuring programs, refining crouse design, and reviewing curriculum; developing formative and summative assessments, transitioning to different feedback models, and integrating student voice; and finally combining theory and practice, integrating technology and pedagogy, as well as course alignment and student engagement.  

Pedagogy (Student Voice)

Over half of the reviews related to methods and practices for engaging in teaching. Examples of experiences and services related to this topic include but are not limited to: support and guidance for strategies, envisioning difference learning experiences, participating in design experiences to try new approaches to teaching and learning; integrate research and teaching; focus on student experiences, create supporting and effective learning experiences, create inclusive and welcoming spaces. 

Restructure/Redesign (Modality, Curriculum)

41% of reviews specifically called out redesign as a service of the Center. Examples of restructure and redesign (including topics of modality and curriculum) in the experience reviews include but are not limited to: moving face to face courses online (and planning for possible future transitions) and adapting class to a different structure (i.e. rubric or flipped models, competency-based learning outcomes, trauma informed teaching, asset based practices, etc.).

Student Experience (Engagement, Student-Centered)

41% of reviews mention the Center supporting them in ways that positively impacted student experience, student engagement, and student-centered design. Examples of this theme include: creating welcoming, supportive, and effective learning environments; reviewing curriculum and developing rubrics with respect to student engagement (and adjusting as necessary); and learning about theories of improving student connections to engage with them more effectively. 

Confidence (Empowered)

35% of reviews specifically denote improvements in educator confidence and empowerment after working with the Center. Topics where educators had this improved sense of ability and agency included student centered teaching and learning practices, creating supportive and effective learning environments, initiating collaborative partnerships, and general teaching and learning experimentation and implementation. 

Collaboration/Partnerships

35% of reviews emphasized the importance of collaborative partnerships with the Center across units. This ranged from individual consultations with faculty to full-scale curricular and program developments. The nature of these partnerships in terms of scope and focus varied in the reviews, but what remained consistent was the value that is derived from these relationships with the Center. 

Connection/Community

18% underscored the importance of connection to a network of educators through the Center and the community that is derived from it. This was mentioned in the context of relationships built with Center staff along with events where networking takes place. Sometimes, educators connecting with other educators can make a huge difference in their teaching as it provides essential opportunities for sharing what is being done and learned in one context to another. 

Assessment

Assessment was mentioned by 18% of the reviews as being an important piece of expertise that the Center can offer to faculty and programs at MSU. Of course, assessment comes in a myriad of forms and faculty are often seeking ways to improve on their assessment strategies and design.

Inclusion

18% of the reviews made mention of how consultative relationships with the Center could help them improve their efforts around accessibility and inclusion in their classrooms and digital learning environments. 

Research/SOTL (Scholarship of Teaching & Learning)

12% of the reviews mentioned various ways they envisioned that the Center staff could help them with their research and scholarship efforts. Examples were not provided in the reviews specifically, but we know that the approaches to research in the scholarship of teaching and learning in particular at MSU are vastly different from college to college and that the Center staff have a great deal of experience and expertise in these areas.