As always, I have spread myself too thin, so I don’t think I’ve given the CPLC homework assignments and reading the attention they deserve over the summer. I suppose that might indicate that I’m not “all in” with making sure our students have 21st century learning experience. However, I don’t think that this is true.
A clear benefit for me of participating in the CPLC experience was the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from other engaged faculty on campus who are passionate about student learning. Through the years, I have always found that face to face discussions with the chance to share ideas in both large and small group setting to be the best way for me to learn new material. As I look back on what we did during the three sessions this summer, in our first session (orientation) I learned a lot about the new educational language (definitions) surrounding pedagogies that are emerging on campus and had meaningful discussions about interdisciplinarity. Unfortunately, my commitment to my grant funded summer Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) meant that I missed our session in June. Just last week in our third session, I once again learned quite a bit about OER and helping students build their online professional networks. As I look back on all of this, I can safely say that if I had not joined the CPLC then I probably wouldn’t have had the time to engage with this material at all. In that sense, my participation in the CPLC had a distinct, if smaller than hoped, impact on me that I will carry forward through my teaching and research in the coming years.
I’ve learned that I have come about ½ way to developing courses that use OER materials. I don’t require textbooks any more in my upper-level courses and I often use links to online free resources in my Moodle sections for students to read/reference. Over the next year, I intend to explore this further and also look at the idea of having students contribute their work to the courses in an OER way. I also intend to participate more with this community by paying attention to the opportunities in the Co-Lab and really working to see how the meteorology degree program can be more engaged with the cluster ideas (outside of the use of research projects in our curriculum). The meteorology program is looking at a significant curriculum revision to ease our low-enrolled upper-elective course and one consequence is that I may have the opportunity to teach a section of Tackling a Wicked Problem in the near future. In which case, this will guarantee that I spend more time in those small group discussions that I have found valuable.