Uncategorized

The Learning Curve: A Digital Pedagogy Internship in Review

Digital Pedagogy is difficult to define. Among other things, it is an idea, a philosophy, a way of thinking, and how instructors think about instructional tools. There is no manual on “how to” Digital Pedagogy. There are no instructions to follow, and it is only an emerging idea and field, which makes it all the more experimental. This semester, FSU Libraries decided to take on a new Digital Pedagogy initiative. This is where I came in, and like instructors and schools that have adopted Digital Pedagogy initiatives, I quickly learned how difficult these new projects can be to implement.

I started my internship with FSU’s Office of Digital Research Scholarship (DRS) in August. It was also my first semester starting life as an Information Science graduate student. Truthfully, there are few times in life where I have entered into a new position with absolutely zero expectations (because I had genuinely no idea what I was getting myself into), but beginning my internship with DRS’ new Digital Pedagogy initiative was one of those times.

If it is not yet clear, yes, Digital Pedagogy is really broad. While I was familiar with both terms separately, “Digital Pedagogy” was new. So, upon receiving the call that I would be working on this new initiative, I immediately began my Google search. I sifted through articles about using technology to enhance education and the philosophies that espoused beliefs about Digital Pedagogy meaning more than simply using technology in classrooms, but using it to expand critical thinking and provide opportunities for growth and development. It was a broad topic, but I was certain that my role in the internship would be more focused, so I entered FSU’s DRS Commons with confidence and just a few nerves.

On Day 1, I met Micah, one of the creators of this new initiative. Sitting in the DRS commons, he told me that my role would be to create a project dealing with Digital Pedagogy. Like Digital Pedagogy, there were no constraints, no rules, or requirements. Needless to say, this ambiguity was mildly alarming to my Type A personality.

Putting aside my sudden impending anxiety, I turned to Lindsey, the Distance Librarian, who was also pioneering the initiative. Lindsey sent me articles and research on Digital Pedagogy, and eventually, this led me down the Rabbit Hole of Research and I discovered Dr. L. Dee Fink’s 2003 paper “A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning.” This guide is designed to help college-level instructors design their courses so that students leave with more than a grade in the course, but knowledge and passion that extends beyond the semester.

It is no secret that many instructors do not consider pedagogy or educational theory when designing their courses, and this guide was created to help instructors think about these areas. Yet, I wondered, how many instructors have read the guide? How many instructors even knew it existed? Thus, the Canvas Module “Designing Courses for Significant Learning” was born.

17941

The note-taking process became extensive

The idea behind the module was that it would be a resource to instructors and the emerging Center for Advancement of Teaching on campus. For weeks, I drafted the module, picked apart the guide to decide which areas to keep and discard, learned how to create items on the Canvas LMS, and put hours of work into making supplementary materials for the module that did not exist in the original guide. After several weeks, the project felt complete. I included pre-tests to help guide learners to navigate the module and created navigation tools so that the material did not have to be read or completed in a linear fashion, as learning itself is rarely linear. I included graphs, videos, and personal writing assignments for users to work alongside the module. In the end, I was certain this would be a great resource and, perhaps, might help bridge the gap of how to bring Educational Theory to Higher Education instructors, using Digital Pedagogy.

(As reference, here are some visuals of things I created. The first I created using Canva as a short reference for instructors to take “on the fly” or to be used as a short reminder to instructors after they work through the module. The second and third are screenshots of something that I assumed would be very easy but ended up being the most frustrating part of creating the module- figuring out how to edit the navigation- without knowing HTML. Thanks to basic HTML YouTube videos and too much time spent playing with the system (far more time than I care to admit), I managed to somewhat break through the LMS-barrier and non-linear course structure actually became a possibility.)

Significant Learning Infographic-2  sigsig

If you are anticipating an impending but or however, here it is. I created the module with guidance from Micah and Lindsey for the Center for Advancement of Teaching and instructors on campus, but left out the obvious piece of the puzzle: meeting with the director of the Center for Advancement of Teaching. So, when this meeting finally happened in November, it should have been no surprise when she told me, regretfully, that the project was not one that aligned with the current work of the Center. In other words, the weeks of work, hair-pulling, and stress of beginning a new graduate program and internship while continuing my full-time job, suddenly felt ultimately and utterly useless. I told her it was fine. It wasn’t, really.

After some deep reflection and head-to-desk moments of frustration, however, I have come to the conclusion that the overall experience was a positive one. I learned much as a first semester Information Science graduate student taking on a library internship. Primarily, I discovered how self-directed libraries can be. Though I had guidance from Micah and Lindsey, the project was ultimately mine to decide, create, and implement. I also learned how, frankly, it does not matter how much momentum and excitement begin a project, these factors do not mean the project will be successful or go exactly as planned.

Like Digital Pedagogy, creating a project from scratch, for an initiative that has not been established in the library, is difficult. There is no how-to guide for problem solving through issues or getting everyone on board with an idea. It takes time, energy, and flexibility. When one idea falls through, rather than dwell on the failures of the past, there is no option but to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. If I had more time with the library, I would venture to do just that, but as the semester is coming to a close, I am ultimately grateful for the opportunities I had to experience the many facets of what it means to be in an Academic Library.

Open Access Week 2017

There is a serious, systemic problem in scholarly publishing that disadvantages academic authors, their institutions, the global research community, and the general public. The problem stems from the subscription-based model of scholarly publishing, whereby publishers place academic journal articles behind paywalls so that anyone who can’t pay can’t read them.

Open Access (OA) is a movement based on the principle that this situation is fundamentally unethical, and that the fruits of academic endeavor should be freely available to everyone. OA archiving and publishing are the two main strategies for accomplishing this goal, and they promise to benefit both the global research community and individual authors, moving published research into the open and thereby broadening its readership and generating more citations. OA is also fast becoming a requirement for recipients of research funding, as many public and private funding agencies have enacted public access policies to make the results of funded research accessible to all.

Open Access Week, Oct. 23-29, is an opportunity for the global research community to learn more about this important movement and the many ongoing efforts to make it the new norm in research and scholarship. To celebrate the occasion, FSU Libraries is hosting a number of workshops related to openness in research and education, and we hope you’ll join us to learn more about OA and how it can benefit you as a student, teacher, or researcher:

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free to access, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute. This workshop will cover the benefits of using OER, resources for finding and evaluating OER, and considerations for sharing OER-based courseware and assignments with the world. This workshop will also provide a brief introduction to Creative Commons (CC) licenses and their role in the creation of Open Educational Resources (OER).

Interested in Open Access (OA) publishing, but concerned about the growing problem of “predatory” publishers? What are the benefits of OA publishing, and what tools and strategies can you use to evaluate the quality of OA journals? What about options for funding (or obtaining waivers) to cover OA article processing charges? This workshop will provide answers to these questions and more.

Wondering how to find the best conferences and publication venues in your discipline? What about building your scholarly profile and communicating the impact of your research in ways that will resonate with a broader audience? And, once you’ve got your work out there, what can you do to assess and quantify the impact of your research? This workshop will cover a range of tools and strategies that early-career researchers can use to accomplish these objectives and more.

In addition, we’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight some important ways that the Libraries support the FSU community in taking action to advance openness in research and education:

So, what can you do to advance the cause of OA through your own research and teaching?

For more information, see our research guides on Open Access Publishing and the Open Textbook Movement , or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship. And don’t forget to follow the conversation on Twitter! #OAweekFSU

#Textbookbroke FSU

To celebrate Open Education Week (March 27-31), a team from University Libraries partnered with the Student Government Association to bring the #textbookbroke campaign to FSU. #Textbookbroke is a national campaign aimed at informing students about Open Textbooks, Open Educational Resources, and alternatives to traditional textbooks. It is also aimed at empowering students to provide feedback on their course materials and encourage their instructors to explore more affordable alternatives.

To that end, we organized two well-attended tabling events at Strozier and Dirac, with the goal of engaging with as many students as possible over the course of each event. We created an engagement display board where students could share the most they have spent on textbooks in a single semester, and we also encouraged students to complete a short survey on how the textbook affordability problem has affected them.

IMG_20170329_155358
Over the course of the events, we spoke with hundreds of students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and at different stages of their educational careers. 316 students contributed to the engagement board, and 350 submitted responses to the student survey. Overall, the data from the engagement board suggests that $407.32 is the average maximum amount spent by students on textbooks in a single term across all disciplines. Some of the more striking findings from the survey include the following:

  • 93% of students would use an online textbook if it was free
  • 97% of students feel that a $30 print textbook would reduce financial strain
  • 72% of students have decided not to purchase a required textbook due to high cost
  • 11% of students have decided not to take a course due to the cost of the textbook

These findings not only underline the impact of the textbook affordability problem on FSU students, but also suggest that the vast majority of our students would support broader adoption of OERs and Open Textbooks at FSU. We believe that students can play a key role in promoting such broader adoption by becoming advocates for OER on campus, and we hope that our many conversations with students during #textbookbrokeFSU will inspire them to take action to that end. At the same time, FSU Libraries is doing its part to support FSU instructors in adopting more open, affordable course materials through an Alternative Textbook Grants program that launched in late 2016.

This is an exciting time for open education at FSU, and our team is looking forward to continuing to advocate for change in this space, providing both students and instructors with the information and resources they need to make a difference! For more information about the open education movement and related initiatives at FSU, see our research guide on OER, or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship.

 

 

Open Education Week 2017

OEW_banner_865x180

Open Education Week, March 27-31, is an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness about the abundance of free and open educational resources (OER) available to teachers and learners around the world. OER are written by experts and often peer-reviewed, just like their commercial equivalents, but they are published under open copyright licenses so that they can be downloaded, distributed, and adapted for free. Many excellent examples of OER are available through online portals such as OpenStax College, the Open Textbook Library, OER Commons, BCcampus, and MERLOT.

To celebrate the growth of OER and the exciting opportunities they present, educational institutions from all over the world are coming together during Open Education Week to showcase what they are doing to make education more open, free, and available to everyone.

To mark the occasion at FSU, University Libraries and the Student Government Association are partnering to bring the #textbookbroke campaign to FSU. #Textbookbroke is a national campaign aimed at informing students about open textbooks, OER, and other low-cost alternatives to traditional textbooks. It is also aimed at empowering students to provide feedback on their course materials and encourage their instructors to explore more affordable alternatives. Stop by our event tables at Strozier Library on March 28th and Dirac Library on March 29th to share how much you spent on textbooks this term and learn about textbook affordability initiatives at FSU!

TextbookBroke-SocialMedia-smallSM-AltTextbookGrants

In addition, FSU Libraries will also announce the successful applicants for its Alternative Textbook Grants program, which was launched in late 2016 to support FSU instructors who are interested in adopting or remixing open textbooks and educational resources to replace commercial course materials. Based on the applications we have received thus far, participating instructors could save FSU students up to $100,000 by the spring of 2018!

For more information about the open education movement and related initiatives at FSU, see our research guide on OER, or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship. And don’t forget to follow the conversation on Twitter! #textbookbrokeFSU

Open Access Week 2016

There is a serious, systemic problem in scholarly publishing that disadvantages academic authors, their institutions, the global research community, and the general public. The problem stems from the subscription-based model of scholarly publishing, whereby publishers place academic journal articles behind paywalls so that anyone can’t pay can’t read them.

Content by Jill Cirasella and Graphic Design by Les LaRue,  used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Content by Jill Cirasella and Graphic Design by Les LaRue, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Open Access (OA) is a movement based on the principle that this situation is fundamentally unjust, and that the fruits of academic endeavor should be freely available to everyone. OA archiving and publishing are the two main strategies for accomplishing this goal, and they promise to benefit both the global research community and individual authors, moving published research into the open and thereby broadening its readership and generating more citations. OA is also fast becoming a requirement for recipients of research funding, as many public and private funding agencies are enacting public access policies to make the results of funded research accessible to all.

Open Access Week, Oct. 24-30, is an opportunity for the global research community to learn more about this important movement and the many ongoing efforts to make it the new norm in research and scholarship. To celebrate the occasion, FSU Libraries is hosting a number of workshops related to OA publishing, and we hope you’ll join us to learn more about OA and how it can benefit you as a student, teacher, or researcher. In addition, we’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight some important milestones in efforts to advance OA at FSU over the past year:

So, what can you do to advance the cause of OA and start taking advantages of the benefits it can bring to you as a scholar?

For more information, see our research guide on Open Access, or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship. And don’t forget to follow the conversation on Twitter! #OAweekFSU