Orientation to Cluster Learning & Learning Communities
Activity: The Value of Community
We will split into groups of about 5 members each (in assigned Zoom breakout rooms); each group will be labeled either an “A group” or a “B group.”
If you are assigned to an "A" group
Work with What does a Learning Community Look Like? (Padlet) and Cathie LeBlanc’s essay Hope in Community.
If you are assigned to an "B" group
Work with How have you experienced learning community at PSU? (Padlet) and Christin Wixson’s essay Values Horizon.
Questions for Both Groups
- What are some recurring characteristics of a learning community that emerge when you look at your padlet? What are some of the more surprising things you’re noticing?
- How do you think what you are seeing in this padlet would be affected by an online-only learning environment?
- How is this particular remote learning situation— under the shadow of the global pandemic– shifting how you see the posts in this padlet?
- Consider the chapter by your colleague that your group has been assigned and chat about how its themes intersect with themes in your padlet.
- What could be the value of creating a learning community through the CPLC?
- (OR ignore one or more of these questions and talk about what seems more important or interesting to your group.)
Values Criteria (adapted from the work of Dr. Sidney Simon)
- It’s something you chose to value, not something imposed on you.
- You feel good about having the value, and you are willing to tell those you trust about it.
- You act on the value. It’s reflected in your life somehow.
For you, what are the values at the center of teaching and learning?
- Open the “Community of Values” google doc and find your table using the table of contents to the left of the document. Type a list. Try to list at least 5 things. (If you need a link to the google doc, just post a note in Teams and we will get it to you!)
- Reorder the list, in order of importance to you with the most important value at the top.
- Give each item on the list a score (0–10) based on how closely aligned it is with the actual orientation of the university, in your opinion. For example, if the value is something you think is not at all reflected in the actual mission, structures, practices, or approaches of the university, you would assign that value a 0.
- Put an asterisk (*) next to any item on the list that you feel you are personally able to live out, in a tangible way, in your own teaching at Plymouth State.
For Next Time
Watch the three short videos that your kind-hearted colleagues made for you to lay a foundation for the three key areas of Cluster Learning:
- Interdisciplinarity (by Matthew Cheney)
- Project Based Learning (by Cathie LeBlanc)
- Open Education (by Robin DeRosa)
You should also briefly review the slide decks from last spring’s Fast Blast sessions on each area:
- Fast Blast on Interdisciplinarity (by Matt & Robin)
- Fast Blast on PBL (by Brandon Haas & Elisabeth Johnston)
- Fast Blast on Open Ed (by Robin & Christin Wixson)
- The TWP track should also read “‘What is Tackling a Wicked Problem?'”
- The INCAP track should also read “INCAP Pilot Update.”
- The Open track should also browse around at The Open Pedagogy Notebook site.
- The Cluster Curriculum track should also read “Re-Imagining a University Education” and think about what it’s like looking back to 2016…
If you want a deeper dive (totally optional), feel free to read a bit more to wet your whistle:
- Slow Interdisciplinarity, by Abby Goode
- Authenticity, by Mike Davidson
- Who is Open For?, by Hannah Davidson
Now, engage! Reflect on this homework above, your experiences with Cluster Learning, your concerns or questions, how this all reads in light of COVID-19, and/or how you are feeling as we kick off a year of learning together. Find a channel by which you can share your reflections, a channel that puts you in conversation with this learning community, and, if you wish, with interested people beyond the CPLC. We suggest a post in the Assignment channel on Teams, or better yet a blog post (share a link in Teams, too!), but Moodle is also open, and there’s always Yammer ha ha ha ha ha. Use what you like (YouTube anyone?), but try to make sure we can find you!