3 min read
Outline of a few areas of strategic focus that are at the forefront of our thinking this month.
Our work with badging/competency-based learning continues to evolve, with a model for understanding the relationships between described competencies, experiences that support a student gaining some knowledge that they can then apply to creating an artifact (or set of them) which demonstrates the competency or sub-competency.
We are employing this model in the Globally Engaged Leaders (GEL) program and in the Citizen Scholars (CS) program to ensure our requirements are matched up with the competencies we seek.
We continue to think about ethics as they are connected to the increasing amount of data that faculty members and administrators have access to. Ethical uses of student data need to be at the forefront of our thinking in this area, too often we are providing access to data without considering the reasons why it might not be good for broad access.
Some thoughts I'm working on...
How can data be ethically used as a "flag" for courses further into a sequence? For example, can we understand through course-level data that a student who performs in X way during a 101 course may be in need of further help or at risk in a higher level course? What are the implications for a faculty member knowing this when the student gets to the higher course? Is it better if the data is not connected to specific students... e.g you have X number of students who are flagged for issues in this course due to prior course performance?
When we have detailed access logs for each student how does that affect the way we look at the students work? e.g. if I know that Howard didn't access the course until the day before, but that Kate accessed it every day, but they created a similar quality final product does it matter? if it does, how(?) does my knowing that Howard didn't access the course much affect my view of his work?
Data storage issues are also at play. If we are allowing people to download and move data from one space to another, how are we ensuring these data are kept safe? How do we ensure that student identifying information is not released inadvertently, or used inappropriately?
Accessibility for persons with cognitive disorders and returned focus on courses
Thus far our focus on a11y issues has been mostly on sight/hearing impairments, but a growing area we should be thinking about is a11y for persons with cognitive disorders. How does this affect our work both with a11y for teaching and learning sites, but also for more public sites? What considerations do we need to be taking into account, and how do these affect our strategy?
Also negotiating returning our focus to teaching and learning focused a11y projects. Now that the mar/comm team has a web developer to focus on the public facing sites we are able to return our attention to teaching.
Digital Scholarship Lab
As we get closer to the launch of the DSL, how are thinking about growing interest and engagement there? On the VR side of things, how are we demonstrating capabilities for interested parties? What are other topics and areas that are connected to this work?