Coming Out Party for OpenLCC

So the journey that started with creating this blog back in 2008 is taking another big step.  Today I’m launching and announcing the OpenLCC network (openlcc.net).  Let me retrace a few steps and explain.

I started this blog with two purposes: teach myself what this “blogging” bru-ha-ha was all about and to see if putting my thoughts about economic news in public might be of interest or use in teaching my classes. Please keep in mind that back in 2008 the economic world was collapsing and we here in Michigan were at ground zero. The textbooks didn’t really have much to say about it. Well it was a rousing success. Students liked it. I liked it. I was hooked. And hooked is probably the right term. I kept going for bigger and bigger fixes. Next it was a self-hosted teaching portfolio & syllabus site at jimluke.com. Then it was trying to create a mini-MOOC (Little Open Online Course?) for my principles courses. Student success rose. Engagement rose. It was easier to manage. Then it was getting the students in on the fun.  I let them blog and write in public for my two gen ed -oriented courses.

All this led to an opportunity this year to take some “re-assign time” to create an Open Learn Lab here at Lansing Community College. By the way, for the non-academics, “re-assign time” is a polite way of saying the school lets you cut back your teaching load by the equivalent of approximately a day a week in return for you devoting 2-3 days per week working on some additional project.  Anyway, I did it. And now we’re doing it.  The Open Learn Lab is modeled after the Domains Of One’s Own programs that were pioneered at University of Mary Washington and now at several (20-30?) major universities.  We’re the first community college.  I’m really excited.

Of course this means I’ll likely be blogging about some teaching, higher ed, and open learning topics now. But I hope to also keep blogging about economics (I still do teach some classes!).  Anyway, here’s the presentation for the “coming out” party informational presentation on campus. Like most of my stuff, it’s Creative Commons licensed, BY-SA (attribution and share-alike).  If you want to download the PPT or speaker notes, click on the little gear.

 

Luke’s Law of Leadership

On my other blog (one of them) I once postulated Luke’s 7th Law (on Leadership):

The amount of true, effective leadership exerted in an organization is inversely proportional to number of times the word leadership is used by those at the top.

Our rhetoric about “leadership” really does get in the way of accomplishing the changes we want to see in our organizations and in higher education. Luke’s Law of Leadership on display and discussed in greater depth:

http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=65075

 

AAC&U Open, Networked, Connected Learning

Today I’m presenting at the AAC&U General Education and Assessment 2016 Conference with my colleagues Laura Gogia (@googleguacamole) of Virginia Commonwealth and Autumm Caines (@autumm) of Capital University. We’ll doing an extended “sequenced session” of part of the Plenary, an hour workshop, and an hour affinity session.  (and, shhh, but there will be a cameo appearance by Gardner Campbell during the workshop – shhh).

We’re talking about how our various uses of open, networked, and connected learning have boosted student engagement and improved learning.  These really are 21st century “high impact” practices for integrative learning that George Koh urged us to do in 2008.

Our joint plenary presentation:

One of the best parts of this presentation is that it is itself an example of the power of open networking and connected learning. Last July we didn’t even know each other! I was a total stranger to both Autumm and Laura. Indeed I only ever met Autumm in person this week at the conference! Yet we came together and have successfully collaborated because of our networking and connections on the open Web.

At the workshop, I’ll talk in greater detail about “my journey into open teaching”.

If you’re interested, I explained more in this earlier blog post.