Can students build their own textbook? The learning potential for such an endeavor is significant.
Having taken all manner of personality indicators, I agree with their consistent findings that people who do not perform effectively, in a collaborative fashion, nor with a proper prioritization of goals, are easily waived off in my brain as “morons.” I struggle to give second chances and I quickly look for workarounds to people and departments that appear obstructivistic regarding forward thinking initiatives, student support, or even student learning, etc.
For almost 25 years I have seen colleges and universities fail when it comes to any kind of holistic approach to the student experience. It doesn’t matter if it’s on-ground or online, students feel disconnected. (Heck, staff and faculty typically feel disconnected…) When someone needs help, it often feels like there is none. When someone is poking around on a computer at 3am trying to find support, there often is none. Why? Because education is a people business. There are only so many hours in the day and only so many channels by which to communicate. Students, faculty, and staff can go hours, days, and sometimes weeks before receiving help.
Profiles are more and more a crucial component of our lives. It’s not quite as reported today as it was five years ago when we were still figuring out just how profiles worked, but the web is littered with reports of people who lost jobs, scholarships, marriages, or worse, because a profile was not private enough, a person had multiple profiles, or because someone shared a profile of another person without their permission. Those things still happen, they just aren’t newsworthy anymore. But just because our information hungry brains also crave novelty doesn’t mean this isn’t an issue. Especially for younger parts of our society. It’s called impression management and it’s worth talking about.
Is taking a solution used at another school…or maybe a hundred other schools, and implementing that solution at your school innovative? You can argue that every school is a completely unique context. After all, your school has your own ecosystem filled with nay-sayers, accreditation concerns, nuanced courses, niche enrollments, etc. So, if that is your definition of context (instead of education vs health care, etc), then I guess EVERY school is innovative. But that seems like an incredibly watered down version of innovation to me. I don’t think that is innovative.
Higher education is broken. I’ve talked to educators and administrators from the most famous institutions on the planet. All of them have horror stories of how impossible it is to overcome the baggage, the traditions, the paradigm that is higher education. Not the Ivy Leagues, not the most innovative community colleges and not even the for-profits who were designed to do exactly that. The system is broken and at this point it’s hard to find anyone or any way to fix it.
The normal dysfunction of higher ed was clarified for me by a professor at ASU. He was explaining how impossible it was to create a curriculum map. He said that they have potentially 10 or more versions of any given class, often under different departments entirely. Those 10 versions of the class are taught 10 completely different ways with no more than a nod to outcomes and objectives. So, trying to find “the” course of truth to use for a large-scale experience is impossible. They ended up creating yet another version from scratch. That description is not only the opposite of innovative, it’s not even inline with the most effective practices for education.
He then showed a US map of social media sites trolling for young inductees which ranged from racist to anarchist. How were they finding new participants? Connection. They were working to connect these teens via social media to fallacious arguments that “felt good” to young, manipulable minds. They would find connection points with family, friends, religion, justice, and the list goes on. But the strategy was the same. Connect. Because once connected, it was very hard to disconnect.