The Instructional Design, Engagement and Support (IDEAS) team supports innovative strategies for teaching effectively with technology. One way we do this is engaging with instructors on a regular basis to talk about how they use instructional technologies to meet pedagogical goals. This Fall, the IDEAS team launched the Instructional Innovation Fellowship (IIF). The fellowship is modeled on the TeachMeet approach, which is about facilitating an organized but informal space for educators to share teaching strategies, build community, and learn from each other.
From the applications, 10 instructors were selected from across UMass. Fellows meet each month and present an innovative tool or method that they are using in their classes. Fellows have conversations around the topic, ask questions, and explore how to adapt or adopt strategies for their own teaching and learning.
Our kickoff meeting on November 4, included collaboratively establishing a social contract and community of practice guidelines for how the fellows respectfully engage with each other.
In our second meeting, the fellows had more of a chance to get to know one another. We posed a question to instructors about a quick tech or non-tech tip that they have found useful and effective in engaging students this semester. Instructors shared their ideas online in a Google Jamboard and had a generative discussion afterward. The great thing about Google Jamboard is that participants can post their ideas in short easily digestible sticky notes. You can also use a Jamboard in your own classes for an introductory activity or promoting community building, and students can participate using phones, tablets or their computers.
Three fellows also presented on the topics of using GIFs to create quick ‘ ‘how to” videos for students, using flipgrid for promoting student engagement, and ‘ungrading’ or student self-evaluations (details to come in next blog post).
All of these options allow students to revisit their previous answers. Remember, building a learning community is more than a once-off activity!
Look out for our upcoming IIF blog updates! We look forward to sharing some of the great work that is happening in the classrooms right next to yours. Our fellows look forward to sharing with you innovative teaching strategies and practice.