On January 14, 2022, the new MSU Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation (CT&LI) held its Kick-off Summit. In recognition of the diverse efforts already underway to support educators at different levels across the university, this event was the first of many where "we" (at the CT&LI) looked to build on those efforts through listening, collaboration, and relationship building.
Dr. Joseph A. Salem, Jr. (Dean of Libraries and Interim Associate Provost for Teaching and Learning Innovation) with the help of the Kick-off Summit Planning Team: Makena Neal (convener | CT&LI), Stefanie Baier (The Graduate School), Dave Goodrich (CT&LI), Brendan Guenther (CT&LI), Jessica Sender (MSU Libraries), and Jeremy Van Hof (EDLI & Broad College of Business) lead this first Center initative. If you’re interested, you can learn more about our charge for these listening efforts and see a glossary of how we defining some of the core language we utilized throughout the day.
Those who were asked to participate in this initial Kick-off Summit were identified in our initial efforts to document existing educator development and support at MSU. If you’re interested in viewing who attended the Kick-off Summit, you can check out the Kick-off Summit Attendee List. The Center for Teaching & Learning Innovation Kick-off Summit wouldn't have been possible without participation from these fantastic educators. Even amidst ongoing uncertainty and stress at work and at home their willingess to share their time with us demonstrates their commitment to not only educator development at MSU, but the university's teaching and learning mission as a whole.
In an attempt to recreate the experience of hands-on activities we would traditionally use during in-person sessions like this, we utilized MURAL as a virtual whiteboard to facilitate the event. The 37 folx who joined us for the day participated in three core activites related to: establishing a shared vision (Wouldn't it be fantastic if...); engagement norming and principles of collaboration (What I need from you...); and intial Center service portfolio ideation (Minimum Viable Product Reviews). You can read more about the data discovered as a result of this event in "Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation Summit Detailed Engagements Report (01/14/22". The insights provided at the Kick-off Summit and following three asynchronous feedback opportunities have proven invaluable as we continue to listen, learn, and ultimately shape what role the CT&LI plays for Spartans.
Since the CT&LI Kick-off Summit, findings from the aforementioned Detailed Engagements Report were shared with a subsequent taskforce dedicated to listening to MSU faculty. That group, convened by Ellie Louson, is working on both a survey and a series of focus groups aimed at this particular audience. Additional listening efforts will continue in the next academic year with other CT&LI stakeholders represented within our broader definition of educator such as Graduate Teaching Assistants. Additionally, a process of benchmarking with the our fellow Big Ten institutions' centers for teaching and learning (CTLs) -- resulting in an informative peek at CTLs and the key takeaway of "meeting institutional needs" (i.e. no two CTLs are the same, they are unique based on their instution and its needs). This is an empowering realization, and we're looking forward to combining the benchmarking data, along with that of the Kick-off Summit, to begin shaping what the CT&LI will be in the fall (followed by iterating as we continue to gather feedback).
As the Provost so aptly stated in her Spring Welcome Note, “Values, capabilities, and aspirations join grace and empathy on our list of ways of thinking, working, and transitioning through time and tasks.” Needless to say, witnessing the level of engagement, passion, and constructively critical questioning exhibited at the CT&LI Kick-off Summit makes me all the more excited to be a part of the Center staff moving forward.