One issue I have to deal with in my new job at Arizona State University (ASU) is learning about existing work and looking for ways to connect it. There is a famous quote from the early days of the field of knowledge management:
I was reminded of this when finding out about various innovations in teaching and learning occurring at ASU. If only ASU knew what ASU knows. As a result, the institute I now lead organized the ASU Learning Innovation showcase. I asked all the Deans at ASU to nominate people in their units who they thought were doing innovative work. I did not define “innovative” or set restrictions, given I wanted a diversity of things on show. Out of over eighty nominations we had fifty people agree to showcase. The work was showcased over a two-hour period using a posters and demos.
Many who attended remarked upon the variety of work on show and many were able to find new collaborators or others interested in applying the innovations to their own teaching. You can see a list of the presentations and more photographs of the event here.
Given I often promote active learning; I am glad that the event created an atmosphere of active learning among the participants. If we had adopted the more usual conference format only a handful of people would have been able to show their work and the level of participant interaction would be restricted to a few questions in between presentations.
We are now planning a similar event for next year, only on a much larger scale and in the spirit of the ASU design aspiration of being social embedded, we intend to involve not educators from the local community. So look out for ASU Learning Innovation Showcase 2, January 11, 2017.
Innovation is a constant theme at ASU: