Extending impact beyond the event.
An "Open House" can extend faculty sharing beyond the location and schedule of the event itself. What could be done DURING and AFTER the event to enable and encourage MORE faculty members to take advantage of the options offered in that event to improve teaching and learning with technology? To try some of those improvements more than once? To collect feedback about their own attempts? To help some colleagues do the same?
Dave MacInnes (Guilford College) described several key factors during our online discussion of successful Nanovation last Friday (10/2/2009). For a few other lessons we learned (obstacles, ideas, strategies), digital archive, text chat transcript, etc., from that session, click here . And watch for future Frugal Innovation sessions. WHAT OTHER WAYS COULD HELP EXTEND THE REACH OF AN "OPEN HOUSE"?
Dave's recommendations for a Fluidly Structured Event with Carefully Selected Faculty Presenters.
- Schedule: 1-2 hours? No absolute starting or ending time for participants - can enter or leave whenever they wish, stay as long or briefly as they wish - low risk of being "trapped" and wasting time! Offer enough variety to engage most participants for 20-40 minutes if they wish to stay that long.
- "Presenters": Feature faculty members who are already recognized for strong personal interests in relevant topics, issues, etc.. Identify and invite 6-8 faculty members to be presenter/mentors DURING the event. Faculty members who are likely to be respected by colleagues and who are likely to be willing and able to respond to colleagues' subsequent requests for help with similar tasks AFTER the event.
- Mixture of major and minor presentations: Include some presenters/presentations about
A. "big" topics - activities or skills that take some substantial effort, time and obviously result in substantial changes in teaching/learning; and
B. "small" topics - LTAs, potential Nanovations - that can be introduced or "gotten" in a few minutes
- Like Poster Sessions: Encourage some presenters to prepare as if they were offering a poster session at an academic conference. Prepare some visual display and/or handouts to enable passers-by to make quick decision, quickly get enough to permit follow-up activities; prepare to introduce the main ideas, resources in a few minutes (<5). [This item added after the online session by Steve Gilbert]
- Advertise: Use email to advertise to whole faculty - emphasize flexible timing
- Location: Multiple rooms - further reduces fear of getting stuck in a session; emphasizes idea of multiple options available to meet varied needs, interests
- Repetition: At least once per year. Build expectations and reputation of providing useful info without wasting time of presenters or participants.