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Wednesday, November 2 • 3:15pm - 3:40pm
Running Errands for Ideas - How We Launched the Open Learning Lab at Lansing Community College

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In mid-2015, "open" was not a word anyone would use to describe Lansing Community College and its pedagogical practices. The LMS, closed classrooms, and closed attitudes kept student learning locked up and hidden away. Assignments were disposable. Classes were closed and shut off from the world. But a little over a year later, LCC is now among the leaders in open learning. Today LCC has hosted an OER summit for the state of Michigan, launched a Domains of One's Own project, an Open Learning Lab, and the openlcc.net network. LCC is developing innovative approaches to integrating general education curriculum that faculty are enthusiastically embracing. And it didn't happen because of a grand vision by the college leadership. It happened because of the concerted grass-roots efforts of faculty and librarians, led by 4 accidental heroes.

This talk presents the tale of how we did it and what we learned along the way - all with the intent of helping (inspiring?) others to follow suit and light a revolution at their own schools. In this talk I will focus on the promotion of open learning practices, creation of our Open Learning Lab, and the innovations we are developing for our school's integrated general education initiative. We will tell the tales of our adventures, hoping to inspire and empower others to emerge as heroes.

Our accidental heroes include:

- Regina Gong, a librarian who drives our OER efforts (about which she will likely present in separate talk at OpenEd16)

- Our faculty Senate president, an historian without a lot of technology background but a great understanding of social revolutionary movements

- Leslie Johnson, (@mtflamingo) who started as "only" a composition professor, but is really a pedagogical Lara Croft. Starting with her own explorations of the pedagogical uses of social media, she surmounted numerous obstacles to emerge as champion of open and connected learning. Today she leads our Center for Teaching Excellence, our Integrated Gen Ed initiative, and has integrated a public-writing essay assignment into our core faculty development course.

- and myself, who at one-time appeared to be an ordinary economist that just got bored teaching his classes the same failed way every semester. I started with an anonymous blog to assist his classes in 2008. The resulting engagement and response from students led to converting the principles courses into a kind of open, mini-MOOC on WordPress (nobody knew about on campus, but there were rumors). That led to student blogs, student public writing assignments, and "secret" efforts to help other faculty (like Leslie) to begin experimenting ....

...and when the four of us came together, we spotted an opportunity to light the fire of an open learning revolution that has now taken hold.

avatar for Jim Luke

Jim Luke

Prof. Economics / Open Learning Lab, Lansing Community College
Known as Econproph on the webs. I'm Professor of Economics & Open Learning Faculty Fellow in the Center for Teaching Excellence at Lansing Community College. I write about open and the economics of higher education and the commons - see my blog at econproph.com. Inventor & innovator... Read More →

Wednesday November 2, 2016 3:15pm - 3:40pm EDT