Radical Nervousness (and some Openness too)

A few short weeks ago, the amazing Angela Gunder asked me if I could lend some time to the upcoming OLC Ideate event, and, of course I said yes – I would do anything for you Angela! Then fast forward another week or so and I found myself co-hosting an OLC Ideate Salon along with these amazing folx: Maren Deepwell, Robin DeRosa, Gerry Hanley, & Rajiv Jhangiani.

Here was our salon description:

Radical Openness
Community Salons are the opportunity for a group of thought leaders to engage participants in rich discussions around a broad topic intersecting with their scholarship and outreach. This salon brings together champions of open education and pedagogy sharing perspectives and guiding activities around the topic of radical openness, with a special focus on the ways that we can open doors for learners that are often hidden or closed to their success. Come with your ideas, challenges, and questions on the topic of openness, and take part in building new knowledge around open practices that will sustain us through and past these challenging times

I have to be honest, I was nervous. We didn’t have much time to prepare (end of semester + global pandemic.) Angela suggested that we repurpose an activity that I ran a few months back at OERizona. I’m so thankful she did, I’m not sure any of us had the extra brainpower or time to create something completely new.  However, I was surprised at how embarrassed(?) and uncomfortable I was repurposing my own work. I share everything openly, with the intent of it being reused, remixed, and recycled – why did this feel so uncomfortable?

As I started out the session, using the prompts that were reworked from the OERizona, I had a bit more internal panic. That session had been very strategically created to be inclusive of the in-person AND virtual/remote audience. More often than not, virtual audiences are usually a second thought (if at all) and I wanted to very purposefully make sure everyone felt 100% included in the activity.  I realized, very quickly, that I had not thought out how this would play out with a 100% online audience. I made a few adjustments on the fly to the timing and luckily I was co-leading with the most incredible people I could imagine, and they/we were able to adjust and create a robust discussion. (Mareen wrote this wonderful post as a follow up.) I just wish I had thought about how to be more inclusive of the 100% online audience in this scenario.

I’ve been trying not to get too down about it, realizing that the criticism and pressure is 100% self-imposed (we are in the middle of a pandemic) and trying to tell myself exactly what I tell my students and friends in these situations.  We are often our own worst critics. But, I also think I need to work more at sharing vulnerability and honesty. It’s ok to be self-critical, it’s ok that everything isn’t 100% perfect.

Now that that is off my chest – please check out the remaining days of OLC Ideate.  It’s a spectacular/stellar/exemplary model for how to run a synchronous online experience. As a teaser, here’s Angela’s recap of Day #4:

ASU Online Faculty Showcase for Excellence in Online Teaching Recap

Last week I had the honor of presenting at the Spring 2020 ASU Online Faculty Showcase for Excellence in Online Teaching. My session was titled Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses. In the description I promised to: provide pragmatic suggestions for building a sense of community between students, faculty, and course content. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet and learn from Khaerannisa (Nisa) Cortes who discussed Communication and Supportive Strategies in Large-enrollment Courses and Marcie LePine who talked about Successfully Building Group Projects into an Online Class. The recording of the session can be found here: https://asuonline.wistia.com/medias/j7ve6v36s1  and my slides are here: