This week I have the opportunity to participate and present at two sessions at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Faculty Institute on Teaching and Learning (FITL).
FITL is an annual two-day conference, where faculty members at RIT present to other RIT faculty (and this year to selected faculty from Nazareth College, SUNY Geneseo, Syracuse and other local colleges) on new research and the application of technology in the teaching process, while recognizing, sharing and celebrating teaching excellence at RIT.
On Wednesday, May 27 I will be participating in a panel discussion, ‘Using a Wiki in Your Online, Blended or Campus Course: RIT Faculty Explain Why, When and How’.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a huge proponent of wikis for use as a teaching and learning tool, and have made extensive use of the technology in my recent classes. In this panel, I along with three other RIT faculty members will discuss how wikis were used in our classes, offer some advice and recommendations for introducing wikis into a class, and finally do a brief demonstration of the wikis that were used in our recent classes.
As my last class did so many fantastic things in the wiki, I am really looking forward to the chance to ‘show-off’ their work a bit to a larger audience.
Then on Thursday, May 28 I will be co-presenting and facilitating a session titled, ‘Fostering Innovation at RIT: Best Practice Tools and Techniques’ with RIT Professor Donna Dickson.
This session reviews some leading theories on innovation, introduces some strategies and approaches that faculty may introduce to encourage increased student innovation, and finally discusses some specific tactics and methods that I personally have used in my classes to try and encourage more innovative practices.
My part of the session is mostly about the various ‘community outreach’ efforts that I have employed, facilitated certainly by use of social media (this blog, Twitter, SlideShare, etc.), to expand the depth and breadth of the course content. Some of the specific aspects I will discuss are my partnerships with the HR Technology vendor community, (SpectrumHR, Halogen, Tomoye), my use of this blog, and finally a bit on the vibrant community of HR and HR Technology professionals on Twitter that I have been able to ‘tap' for advice, support, and expertise that have all directly improved my knowledge, and the quality of the HR Technology course.
It should be a fun two days, and I am interested in seeing how the audience of faculty takes to some of the more unorthodox approaches that I have used in class. Hopefully, I can win some more ‘converts’ to the cause of technology, community participation, and transparency.