MERLOT Conference 2009 – San Jose

A Team Always Wins: Students as Key Collaborators

Posted in Conference Info, Keynote, Session by vkwong on June 19, 2009

Victor Wong and Gerry Hanley

Prior to 2006, MERLOT was represented on our campus by one or two “lone rangers”, and MERLOT had limited impact on our large decentralized campus.

Fast forward to 2009.  Rather than “lone rangers”, we now have a team of a dozen faculty, staff, and students going to the MIC 2009, with a similar number of sessions/workshop accepted for the MIC 2009 program (see list below for a preview).

How did all this happen?  With some funding help and a lot of teamwork.

In 2006, we tried an experiment and sent a small selected group of faculty and staff, mostly first-timers, to explore the MIC 2006 and to kick-off a new team on campus for MERLOT.  We spent our first year together meeting and building a team – a cross-disciplinary MERLOT community of practice of faculty and staff on campus – and the team won the MERLOT Institutional Stewardship award in 2008.

Most importantly, through a grant in 2008, we added students to the mix and remixed the team to focus on the deployment of good learning objects in gateway undergraduate courses on campus.  We selected graduate students with tech savvy and domain expertise in these courses, and they became our key and fearless collaborators on the team.  Through this teamwork, the cross-disciplinary MERLOT community of practice on campus has grown in 2009 to include chemistry, English and composition, foreign languages, mathematics, medicine, nursing education, physics, psychology, teacher education, and statistics.

My point is simple.  If you’re a “lone ranger” on campus for MERLOT, and you want to see greater impact at your institution, my advice is “Get a Team!”  A team always wins.  Furthermore, make students the key collaborators on the team and, if at all possible, bring them to the MIC!

By Victor Wong, University of Michigan

Here’s a preview of the MIC 2009 presentations and workshop by faculty, staff, and students from the University of Michigan.  The graduate students, as key collaborators in this team effort, are in italics.

Joel Vaughan, Dave Childers, and Brenda Gunderson, “Bottom Up Faculty Development”, Saturday, 10:00 – 10:30 am

Jay Holden, “Creating an Interdisciplinary Collection of Learning Objects to address Basic Skills”, Saturday, 10:45 – 11:15am.

Irene Knokh, “Baby Steps, Introducing Instructional Technology”, Saturday, 10:45 – 11:15am

2-hours Hands-on Workshop:
Perry Samson, “Let Them Bring Their Laptops!  Incorporating Learning Objects into Lecture”.  Saturday, 1:30 – 3:30pm

Michigan MERLOT Team Award Presentation:
Nancy Kerner, Brenda Gunderson, Brian Malley, Lynne Crandall, “Innovative Use of MERLOT”, Saturday, 2:15 – 2:45pm

Tanya Breault and Nancy Kerner, “The Process of Integrating Learning Resources into a Large Introductory Course, Saturday, 5:30 – 6:00 pm

Perry Samson, “New Evidence from the Trenches: Laptops are Good!”, Saturday, 5:30 – 6:00pm

Plenary Presentation:
Carl Berger, “Recognition, Reward, and Tenure: You’ve Got to be Kidding!”, Sunday, 8:00 – 9:30am

Dave Childers, Joel Vaughan, and Brenda Gunderson, “Make them YOURS: How to Package LOs”, Sunday, 10:00 – 10:30 am

Jonathan Maybaum, “Giving and Getting Credit Where Credit is Due”, Sunday, 10:00 – 10:30am

Porscha McRobbie, “Actualization of mathematical and abstract subjects using computer-based guided tutorials”, Sunday 10:00 – 10:30 am