Last week I was very lucky to visit Galway and the School of Education at NUI Galway and St. Angela’s College, Sligo (via zoom link!) I was asked to talk about the emerging work of the Hub, specifically our adaptation of Scrum to guide and share our project work.  Below you will find the slides & abstract from the talk.  It was absolutely wonderful to reconnect with all of my dear friends in Galway and to meet new colleagues in Sligo. I sincerely appreciated the invitation and I hope we can continue the dialogue via twitter – or another Zoom session!


One year ago, Michigan State University (MSU) started a new campus initiative: The Hub for Innovation in Teaching & Learning (“The Hub”). The Hub’s mission is to “facilitate the passion and inventiveness of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders both inside and outside of MSU to create, identify, and accelerate new ways to collaborate, learn, research, and deliver instruction.” While the core staff of The Hub is quite small, many on campus are working with and through the Hub. To facilitate this campus change, the Hub leadership team has anchored much of its “getting started” work and processes to sound design theories and processes. One technique which has proven successful in sharing our work openly and strategically is “scrum” – a framework for project development. In this session, I will share the scrum process along with other lessons learned from our first year as a campus entity.



It’s always fun to see your name and hard work in print! Sincerely thankful to Drs. Ann Marcus-Quinn & Tríona Hourigan at the University of Limerick for the opportunity to contribute to the handbook and to my wonderful and amazing collaborators!

Heintz, A., Hagerman, M.S., Boltz, L.O., & Wolf, L.G. (2017). Teacher awarenesses and blended
instruction practices: Interview research with K-12 teachers. Handbook for Digital Learning in K-12 Schools. Springer.


In our research, we talked to four early-career teachers who have adopted blended instruction practices for their classrooms. Through systems-based thinking that held in view awareness of self, learners, context, pedagogy, and interaction, these teachers established a blended classroom driven by a consistent vision and manifested through complex and diverse means.

For friends at MSU, here is the direct link to the eBook through the library:


One of the tenants of the MSU Hub is “Collective Power.”  As a Hub we “leverage, coordinate and scale MSU’s existing energies and creativity by connecting people, designing opportunities and facilitating innovation.”

On November 11th, the collective power was summoned to the Hub by gathering campus stakeholders involved in online or hybrid MA & Graduate Certificate/Specialization programs at MSU. This is the first time this group has been intentionally gathered. The purpose of this meeting was to make connections and have guided discussions to share strategies for advising, program development, curriculum development, marketing, economics, program data & reporting and to generate questions and possible innovations to serve our students and programs.

The invitation was intentionally inclusive – we wanted to invite/anyone who would have insight into programs (graduate TAs, administrative assistants, department chairs, etc.) or people who are considering developing online MA or certificate/specialization programs. We did not include current students in this invitation as we were focused on inward facing issues (we plan to include students in the future!)  The list of invitations was gathered by researching programs listed here:

The structured portion of the meeting was kept simple – we divided the participants into 4 tables for a modified SWAT discussion focused on:

Table 1: Finance & Marketing
Table 2: Admissions & Registrar office
Table 3: Curriculum Development & Technology
Table 4: Advising & Student Experience

SWOT usually stands for Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats – we substituted Tensions for Threats.


A rich (and rapid!) discussion ensued as we had 20 minutes at the first table (then 10 minutes at subsequent tables) to discuss each issue.  The groups moved from table to table so everyone had the change to air out their SWOTs.

After the SWOT participants had a chance to network.  It was fantastic to see the cross collaboration & discussions happening.  I witnessed relief that others were struggling with similar tensions and joy to find immediate solutions to some challenges. Immediate feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive and appreciative of the chance to simply take time to meet and talk.

We ended the meeting by using the large whiteboards in the Hub and asked the following:

  • Did you know ……
  • I wish we could……
  • Help!!!!

More connections were made and the following comment in response to I wish made me very happy to have had the opportunity to facilitate the experience:

Response to "I wish" prompt

Looking forward into 2017 – more meetings will be facilitated and small working groups organized to discuss issues surfaced during the SWOT.


Working hardWell, it has been a few weeks since I’ve posted about our Online Presence and Public Scholarship Working Group.  From a meta perspective, have already learned some personal lessons about realistic expectations and time management. Time is always a struggle – which, we’re learning from the group. Dedicating the time alone to the group for 1 1/2 hours a week eats away at other things. While involved in helping/talking with others, that does not leave much additional time for me/us to reflect on the process! I am still going to do my best to blog on a weekly basis, but, will not beat myself up if I don’t achieve that goal as the primary objective of the process is to support and assist the faculty in the working group.

Initial feedback from participants has been very positive.  While attendance has dropped a bit due to fall conference season, we still have steady attendance and engagement.

Our discussions (as we had hoped) vary from philosophical to technical.  One hot topic of discussion has been the use of sites like or ResearchGate.  I had a chance to talk to Dean Long at the MSU Hub open house last week and he suggested these two pieces on which can provide insight into the complexities of using the site (something we have informally discussed):

On a technical standpoint, we’re digging into WordPress and discussing affordances and constraints of certain themes, the benefits of paying for cool ones, the use of tags & categories, how to integrate workflows with tools like IFTTT.

We are at a point (just past the half-way point) where we are recognizing a need to more thoughtfully work on enabling our participants to google the answers to some of their technical questions.  As an example – last week, one of the participants remarked that he watched a screencast that was created, but, he would prefer a hand out with step-by-step instructions on how to create a new blog post. I quickly pulled up support  and google and in about 1 minute had the step-by-step hand-out he was looking for.  As facilitators we’re trying to model how we solve problems and enable our participants to know where to seek help for the “easy” step-by-step type questions.  We don’t need to recreate wheels, SO much documentation exists online – however, I think the instinct to Google is a skill that is often taken for granted and needs to be coached.

On that point – we have had some requests for a curated list of helpful wordpress plug-ins, widgets & themes – any suggestions?!


UntitledWe are living in our new Hub space in Wells Hall.  For such a big shift of space and place, it has been (in my opinion) a very smooth transition. Our physical space is deliberately open and meant to be a co-working space.  People are coming in and out, working together, having chance collaborations and meetings or and getting work done and finding places to settle.

I seek out co-work spaces when I travel. I find them friendly, lively and conducive to collaboration or for productively working alone in a “nook and cranny.” When I was working at MYR Co-work (in Myrtle Beach) they had a great electronic check in system where you indicated your status when you checked in – open to collaboration, working alone, etc.  In the first few days of working together in The Hub, it quickly became apparent that we needed this messaging system. We may be in a group meeting, in the open, and focused – not wanting to be disrupted. Or, we could be working on a project independently and in desperate need for a collaborator or someone to bounce ideas off of (that’s why we are in this space!)  Co-work cups to the rescue!

This is not a new concept – I have seen this system used in classrooms and computer labs for students to indicate they need help. It’s a great way to make sure all students get help or to send signals without having to keep their hands raised.  To make our space accessible and conducive to all modes of work, we’re going to give the cups a try using this system:

G or Green = Open to collaboration & discussion
Y or Yellow = Working independently, but can be interrupted if necessary
R or Red = Please do not disturb

If you stop by to work with us, the cups can be found along the windows to your left when you walk in!




Thank you Dr. Sue Black @dr_black & Mary Carty @marycarty #ald16

On October 11, 2016, in Web/Tech, by Leigh Graves Wolf

It’s my 7th year blogging for Ada Lovelace Day! It’s one of my favorite days to blog & celebrate amazing women. This year I would like to thank Dr. Sue Black AND the amazing Mary Carty who introduced me to Dr. Black!

Dr. Sue Black is simply incredible – and generous of her time on social media and an inspiration to me! Dr. Black OBE FBCS FRSA (born 1962) is a British computer scientist, academic and social entrepreneur. She has been instrumental in saving Bletchley Park, the World War II codebreaking site. (wikipedia) She wrote Saving Bletchley Park.  You can find all ways to engage and connect with her here:

Mary Carty is also simply incredible.  Mary is Executive Director , CoFounder , Advisor , , speaker, author (twitter). The MAET program was extremely lucky to work with Mary & the LaunchPad team in Galway this summer and I was extremely lucky to gain a mentor, friend and champion.  My mind is constantly running with ways to continue collaborations and support in formal and informal ways.

Follow Dr. Black & Mary to be inspired to action!


Add your story!

On October 11th, 2016 write a blog post about your STEM heroine and add it to our collection: Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Write about a woman in science, technology, engineering or maths whose achievements you admire.
  2. Publish your story online.
  3. Add your story to our collection.
  4. Tell your friends!

2015 Post – Thank you Kimberly Bryant
2014 Post – Thank you MSU Women in Computing (WIC)
2013 Post – Thank you Dr. Kyla McMullen
2012 Post – Thank you Mary, Pam & Catherine
2011 Post – Thank you Dr. Caroline Haythornthwaite
2010 Post – Thank you Dr. Catherine Mohr


Working groupIn committing co-facilitating the Online Presence and Public Scholarship Working Group, I’ve also committed to meta & in-process reflection on the process so we can gather data and evidence to provide to the MSU Academic Advancement Network nodes as they’re engaged in finding ways to develop communities of practice that integrate across related disciplinary clusters in novel ways.

To start, I think Week 1 went well – kicking things off with Dean Long‘s workshop (link below) was a great conversation starter and I think helped to contextualize things to a wider university/academic audience, then, our smaller group can dig into their own goals.  The 1-hour and 15 minute cowork sessions were very well attended on Wednesday and Thursday and participants were engaged in the “digital hub visualization” activity (details below in slide deck.) I am hoping to foster more discussion in the coming weeks and I know one of our tricky spots as facilitators will be scaffolding these discussions – not everyone cares about say, Twitter, so how can we organize our coworking time to maximize benefits to all? We’re gathering some data from participation over the weekend and hope to use that to build a “schedule” for upcoming discussions. I put the word schedule in quotes because we are really trying hard to push against this being sit-and-get, we really want to create an organic responsive environment. I’m so excited to be working with Scott & Stephen on this because we have very different sets of skills and strengths and I think this will come in very handy as we flex and respond to requests from our 20 participants. (We also have a close eye at scaling this beyond 20.)  We all have networks we can rely on that we can bring into the conversation — which — leads me to my request to you, my network, this week:

The majority of participants are tenure stream faculty and we are talking about the use of social media (and blogging in particular) to help with the promotion and tenure process.  They have heard a lot about it can be useful, but, mentor texts would be very helpful in concretizing the benefits.  I provided this example from my own use of blogging to support my annual review process as an academic specialist.  Because I blog about every presentation, workshop, paper, etc. I’m able to gather evidence and artifacts quickly and easily and THEN take the time to do the reflection on those pieces (or just copy/paste from reflections I did on the blog.) Tenure stream friends – how do you do this? Do you have any suggestions? Tips? Tricks? Struggles?

Finally, we (Scott, Stephen and I) have decided to send out a weekly email on Fridays to recap the cowork sessions.  (Copy/pasted for you below with some of the internal links redacted.) We are offering two meeting times/week and need to find a way to connect the two groups.  We want to keep this fairly low stakes/tech right now – so we’re choosing to use email and a shared Google folder to serve as our main connection points.  Down the road a hashtag may develop or other collaboration platforms may emerge as being useful.

Happy Friday!


Good afternoon –

It was wonderful meeting all of you this week. We started our working group with an excellent kickoff on Tuesday by Chris Long, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, which helped showcase different faculty approaches to digital identities and scholarship. His blog about the workshop can be found here: and the Storify of the tweets from the session can be found here:

For those that were unable to attend, Scott has the recording and will be posting it soon.  We will be keeping an archive of all the weekly email/links/notes/recordings and meeting times and locations here: [internal link]

In this first week of cowork sessions we used post-it notes to visualize our academic products and piled & reorganized, sorted & interpreted them to make maps and visualizations for our scholarly presence plans. In short we tackled:

  1. How public or private you would like those artifacts to be and
  2. Types of tools that might prove useful in displaying and connecting those artifacts

Here is a link to the slide deck that guided our discussion:

We heard lots of questions arise across the two days– around sharing journal articles (should we use, our existing presence (who is in control of what is already out there?), what tools should I use? How are issues of accessibility addressed in our discussion? Should I start over with my web presence? Who “owns” your URL or web address? We will be using these questions to shape future discussions.

Finally, we promise not to survey you too much, but, we do have one quick survey for you. In the early stages of our planning your responses to this survey are very helpful in shaping the experience & people/experts we ask to engage with our group over the next few weeks. If you can fill this out by Tuesday, October 11, we would greatly appreciate it: [ internal link to survey ]

Have a great weekend –

Leigh, Stephen and Scott


I’m excited to kick off a new initiative today: the Online Presence and Public Scholarship Working Group.  In my new role as an academic specialist in the Dean’s office in the College of Education (I’m still with the Hub, 25%, 75% College of Ed!) one of my charges is to: Develop capacity and community among faculty, students and staff around innovative practices in teaching and learning to support innovation and inclusivity in instruction and program development. So, this is the first of many opportunities.  (I’m also really excited that A Domain of One’s Own is a part of this initiative.)

The Working Group is kicking off (right now!) with Dean Chris Long’s workshop: Cultivating an Online Scholarly Presence. We will then follow up with weekly co-working sessions over the next 9 weeks to support faculty in the development of their online presence. The original call for participation is below – we have 21 faculty members who will be working with us – along with others who will informally drop in and out when their schedules allow. The underlying purposes here are to provide a safe, fun, intellectual and supportive space to grow and to evaluate this facilitation format as a sustainable model for professional development.


Original Call for Participation:

Dear colleagues, we invite your participation in our newly created Online Presence and Public Scholarship Working Group during Fall 2016. We will be accepting five faculty members from our college into the program who will then participate with colleagues from the Colleges of Natural Science and Education in a semester long program designed to help you plan (or revise) and implement a digital online presence and public scholarship routines, mindsets and workflows.

Online presence and public scholarship are ways to enhance your own research and reputation, along with that of the University.  While many workshops start with the “how to”, this program is designed to help you navigate challenging and nuanced questions like: Why should you have a digital presence? Who is interested in my work and scholarship?  How can this work be recognized professionally? Once we navigate these discussions we will move on to discovering which platform(s) match your goals. In addition, this experience will provide you with resources and collaborators to start your presence now and help evolve and sustain your presence into the future.


The program will cover a variety of topics associated with planning and developing your personal public scholarship strategy. We will start by focusing on your pathway to intellectual leadership in your field and what the components of a successful strategy are, then moving into more of the detailed logistics of setting up digital tools and accounts to support the strategy you have developed. We welcome faculty at all stages of thinking about this work and will help ensure that each person is able to move forward with their own plans.

What is expected?

Fellows will be expected to attend two workshops over the course of the semester and 6 one-hour co-working sessions that will focus on a general topic and work strategy each week and provide an open dedicated forum for support. Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend other optional workshops, and will have access to one-on-one mentorship from the workshop facilitation team.

Applications are due by Friday, September 23 and we will be notifying participants early during the following week.

If you are unable to commit to the full time commitment of the fellows program, but are interested in starting to develop your online presence, please respond to this message and we will include you on an email list which details other learning opportunities.

This program is a collaboration between the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Education, and Natural Science, along with the Hub for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Main facilitators for the program will be Drs. Leigh Graves Wolf (Education/MSU Hub), Scott Schopieray (Arts and Letters), and Stephen Thomas (Natural Science). We will also be joined by guest facilitators and faculty from across campus. In addition to the specific goal of mentoring faculty in their online presence goals, we are experimenting with new models for faculty development and support structures and will be gathering feedback on this mode and method of training and mentoring.


Is Educational Technology a Discipline? Let’s talk.

On September 28, 2016, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

Yesterday this tweet:

Prompted this brief twitter conversation (click on the timestamp to see the conversation):

The title of the article begged the question – does this mean people do not see Educational Technology as a discipline?  I have a PhD with the words “Educational Technology” and for almost 10 years, I served as the co-director of the Master of Arts in Educational Technology program.

If you read the comments in the article (actually one time I will suggest reading comments!) you will see other people pointing this out as well. (Including a clarification from Eddie Maloney on how his opinions were represented and interpreted.) The voices on the panel are certainly not representative of the field – and many come from interdisciplinary or emerging fields.  This conflict/question has been brewing in my mind recently as I have been in conversations with, or have read pieces from, the User Experience (UX), Experience Architecture (XA), Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Instructional Technology, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Digital Humanities (DH) fields.  While the article that prompted this post is one singular article, from a non-scholarly publication, I think this is an area worth exploring/defining/discussing at greater depth.  How are the disciplines I mentioned different? Similar? Where do they intersect? Where should they intersect? Are they co-opting or competing with each other, when they should be collaborating?

So, I want to think out loud with my smart friends (beyond 140 characters) – let’s start in the comments here and see where that takes us!


Update :

Thank you to Inese Berzina-Pitcher for this reference:

Sugimoto, C. R., & Weingart, S. (2015). The kaleidoscope of disciplinarity. Journal of Documentation, 71(4), 775-794. doi:10.1108/JD-06-2014-0082 (link works w/MSU log in)


The power of sharing & collaboration (again!)

On September 14, 2016, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

Just (another) quick example of the power of sharing and collaboration.  I’m excited to be co-facilitating an Undergraduate Honors Research Seminar this fall with Jeff & Bill.  After all of my MAET years, I know how important day one, minute one are of class.  As I was thinking about first day activities (that do NOT involve reading the syllabus!!) I came across this post from Heather on Facebook:

Picture of chalkboard with post-it notes

I was immediately intrigued and the following dialogue ensued (I could summarize, but why not share!)

Facebook discussion

And, it’s as simple as that! Thank you Heather for sharing & for the inspiration!