elearning participants discuss topics

Faculty members in the shared biology program discuss teaching strategies at a recent meeting.

Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) has been presenting the eLearning series this semester, which is a series of five workshops for faculty teaching in shared academic programs.

The series of workshops help address various opportunities and challenges that come with teaching in a degree program shared between two or more campuses, according to Julie Lang, instructional designer with TLT.

The workshops are being delivered face-to-face at five Penn State campuses involved with shared programs. Faculty members at the chosen campus attend in person and those from other campuses participate via Adobe Connect.

During the third session of the series, held Oct. 22 at Penn State York, the topic was facilitating student collaboration in shared programs, and Lang invited her ID-2-ID Buddy, Michael Jolley, an instructional design technology specialist at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL), to present. During his eLearning series presentation, Jolley shared his work with an instructor in facilitating student collaboration in SOC 320 Sociology of Sport, an online course at the University of Nebraska.

In the week prior to the October eLearning session, Lang attended an ID-2-ID Buddy course sharing discussion. “I saw Michael’s presentation and thought wow – this is exactly the kind of redesign example I’d like to share with faculty in the eLearning session on student collaboration,” Lang exclaimed. “I reached out to Michael and asked if he’d be willing to share. He said of course and we brought him in via Adobe Connect. It worked out so well.”

During Jolley’s presentation, he shared the process he worked through with Katherine Bass, an instructor in sociology at UNL, to develop a project in which students had to work in teams to create info graphics. His real-world example backed up the best practices in student collaboration that Lang had highlighted to kick off session three of the e-learning series.

After Jolley’s presentation, faculty had a lot of positive feedback, indicating it helped them think of ways to facilitate student collaboration in their own courses.

“Working with Michael was wonderful,” Lang said. “I think by including Michael, we had a very strong impact on faculty because he is at another institution. They were able to see the theory and science of what I was sharing outside of Penn State as a universal concept.”

Lang said without the ID-2-ID Program, faculty in the eLearning session would not have been able to see the concepts applied in a course at another institution. Lang and Jolley said they are very thankful for the experience of working across institutions that have been provided with the ID-2-ID Buddy program.

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