These are exciting times for teaching and learning. The web and new media technologies offer a wide range of possibilities for enhancing teaching and learning. They are bringing continuous change to our classrooms and redefining the concept of learning environments. As we explore these possibilities for developing web-enhanced, blended or fully online courses, design issues often emerge that challenge us to re-conceptualize our teaching practice.
Together, as a teaching and learning community, we hope to investigate and design sound instructional strategies that respond to these changes. We hope you will join this new VCU community of inquiry. As Garrison (2013) noted in E-Learning in the Twenty-First Century, “Ultimately e-learning is not about technology, it is about flexibility, connections, and community…sound pedagogical ideas must be merged with the astounding capabilities of the new and emerging communication technologies” (pp. 73-74).
We invite you to join our regular Digital Design Challenge sessions. They are intended to serve as open conversations to identify questions, issues and design challenges that we can examine collectively to develop better understanding. Issues can range from the theoretical to the practical, and may include discussion of course design, teaching practice, use of digital technologies, and the future of higher education. These sessions are ideally suited for faculty currently exploring teaching and learning online, but are open to anyone with an interest in participating in the conversation.
Our first meeting will be Tuesday, September 17, from 2:30 to 4:00pm, at the Center for Teaching Excellence, 4100 Academic Learning Commons. We are especially excited about the possibilities these conversations will spark. We look forward to our problem solving. Hope you decide to join the group and bring a colleague along for the fun!