Here is a summary of several key items that transpired this week. Please carefully review this post (in particular the section that pertains to your participation) to ensure we are all on the same page.

Subject Matter Experts

After a few weeks on the bench, YOU ARE UP! As you saw this week in a prior post and email, we released the SME online survey to solicit your feedback. We estimate it will take you approximately 20-30 minutes to complete this survey. In addition, please forward this survey to other adult educators who you feel would offer relevant feedback to our design teams. Please complete this survey on or before Tuesday, September 22nd. Thank you to those who have already responded (8 as of this morning)!

Design Teams

A reminder to both of the design teams to please schedule an ad hoc meeting WITHOUT me within the next couple of weeks. I would like the design teams to begin contemplating their ideas as a design team, and work through how you would like to present your design pitches in October. In addition, here are some important updates and reminders specific to each design team:

Open ABE Team:

  • Canvas Update: This week, I submitted our proposal to canvas.net for our MOOC, which resulted in a great conversation yesterday with our assigned instructional designer at canvas.net. Her name is Hilary, btw. She had fantastic suggestions on course logistics that I will briefly summarize:
    • MOOC duration: Hilary felt it was a better idea to host the entire 12 weeks within canvas.net as a single course, rather than do a Phase 1 / Phase 2 split. She suggested setting a few milestones within the course to allow exit points / badging for those who may not have the desire / ability to continue to the end. For example, if the MOOC participant submits a design proposal, s/he would receive a design proposal badge, but those that don’t submit a design proposal at the end of the module are effectively considered “exited” from the MOOC, and we proceed with a smaller group (again, much the same idea in my earlier Phase 1 / Phase 2 concept).
    • Other MOOC recommendations: Hilary made a ton of other suggestions that I will integrate over the coming days into our Design Plan stored in the shared Google Drive. Of particular note, she suggested that we get each of you designers on the design team set up as users on the canvas.net platform so that you can run through their Canvas orientation module. Hilary indicated the orientation module is the best way to get up to speed on available features and recommended best practices. Therefore, keep an eye out for an email from Hilary and I with your login credentials.
    • MOOC Deadlines: Given this adjustment in course hosting (i.e. 12 continuous weeks), here is the design and implementation schedule that I committed to with Hilary:
      • December 7, 2015 – Canvas.net 1st course review (i.e. Hilary to review OUR design): Includes full set of orientation materials and Week 1 content as a proof of our design concept
      • January 11, 2016 – Course listed on canvas.net (i.e. open for participant enrollment)
      • February 1, 2016 – Canvas.net 2nd (and final) course review (i.e. Hilary to review OUR design): Includes complete course with all materials uploaded to canvas.net for Hilary’s review and sign-off.
      • February 22 – May 15th, 2016 – 12 week MOOC Implementation
  • Reminder – Our SME resources: As a reminder, we are keeping a roster of resource links within the Adult Basic Education Resources folder in our shared Google Drive. This week, Amanda (one of our SMEs) provided a roster of videos that you may find helpful as you familiarize yourself with the adult education learning environment.
  • Meeting Reminder: As a reminder, our design “pitch” meeting is set for the Open ABE Design Team on Wednesday, October 14th at 6:00 p.m. CDT. I’m looking for the team to be prepared to discuss the following for each of the assigned topics:
    • An overview of each designer’s general conceptual framework for his / her assigned week / topic.
    • What do you plan to focus on within your week’s topic (content areas, objectives)?
    • What types of resources do you plan to display / demonstrate / present?
    • What activities / exercises to you envision for the MOOC participants (i.e to support activation, practice, reflection, etc.)?
    • What plans do you have for learner-content interaction (i.e. individual reflections), or learner-learner interaction (i.e. discussion boards), or learner-facilitator interaction (i.e. feedback, guidance)?
    • What check-point (i.e. assessments) do you envision within your week, and how could that integrate with the overall assessment for the participant’s final certification or badge?
    • How should we structure a designer reflective journal that would be utilized at points throughout the MOOC? [Note: Here are some examples of reflection prompts used in the past]

Adult Learning Zone Team

  • “Make or buy” subgroup: I had a very informative conversation this week with one of our SMEs, Amanda. She recommended that we consider the OER Commons route. She indicated that it is a place adult educators already know about and trust as a repository of quality vetted resources. However, she really likes the general layout (navigation, resource categorization) of the adultlearningzone.org prototype, so she suggested we consider our own branded “hub” within OER commons that would replicate features of the adultlearningzone.org structure (i.e. the taxonomy / menu structure tied to the CCR standards, tagging resources by grade level, etc). Here is a link to other hubs on OER commons to give you an idea of how they are part of OER commons, yet customized for the needs of the hub “owner”. I ask that the design team chew on the notion of having our own separate Adult Learning Zone hub within OER commons. Please read up on what it takes to get our own hub, and get a sense of how much flexibility we would have to lay out the resources within the hub.
  • Deliverable specs subgroup: I also had a great conversation with Joe who is on the team working on the deliverable specs (and style guide, etc.) for the participants in the MOOC. We shared some ideas on what is needed, and I look forward to hearing the team’s ideas in our October meeting.
  • Meeting Reminder: As a reminder, our formal “pitch” meeting is set for the Adult Learning Zone Team on Thursday, October 8th at 7:00 p.m. CDT.

Comments or Questions?

Again, I’m really excited about how things are progressing, and I can’t wait to watch things evolve. Please touch base with any comments or questions. Thank you!

Jennifer Maddrell