Monthly Archives: June 2011

“7 Things You Should Know About the Modern Learning Commons” By Educause’s ELI group

This week’s post is the last before we jump into the “Faculty Speak Classroom Geek” series beginning next week. Educause’s Education Learning Initiative (ELI) group has published a paper by Joan K. Lippincott and Stacey Greenwell titled:

7 Things You Should Know About the Modern Learning Commons

It is available both in



It is a glimpse into what more traditional library spaces are evolving into at other institutions. It is a more institutional approach to conversations that I have heard in different departments on campus (School of Ed, Comm. Arts, Theology, etc.). Does this article resonate with thoughts or conversations that you have had?

Enjoy (and Comment!).

Announcing the “Faculty Speak Classroom Geek” Series beginning July 4!

We are launching a series of weekly posts in July by Malone Faculty who are using technology in their classrooms. The idea is to gather and share perspective about what technologies can be effectively used in the Malone classroom. Subscribe to the once weekly postings to hear more about:

  • Use of Texting as a Backchannel Communication Method in the classroom.
  • Admission or Prohibition of laptops and other technology in the classroom.
  • Chronological development of a blog as opposed to the more fixed notion of a traditional syllabus
  • Use of TurningPoint “Clickers” (Voting machines) in the classroom
  • Use of a SMARTBoard in the classroom
  • Implementing Google docs for different kinds of class-related items
  • Others?

You can subscribe to the blog using your favorite RSS aggregator (Outlook, Google Reader, Firefox, etc.). We will also make an announcement in Xpress and faculty/staff emails when a new topic is released.

If you read an entry, please let us know by responding to it. Perhaps you agree, perhaps you disagree, perhaps you can expound on similar ways you have used technology in the classroom. Let’s learn together and explore ways in which we might improve learning at Malone University.



Project Objectives

  • Engage in conversations about tools which increase learner-centric education
  • Identify examples of effective learner engagement and encourage sharing of ideas and “best practices” within that community.
  • Incorporate community outliers such as part-time and adjunct faculty into the community to maximize their effectiveness in the classroom
  • Extend the existing faculty learning community into a hybrid community of practice (CoP) with already established face-to-face development encounters (Brooks, 2010).

How do we define “Success”?
A successful series is one where we see dialogue regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the different tech in the blog comments. A secondary indicator of success is that you let us know that the information was useful to you in some way (email, phone, face-to-face).

Here’s the type of feedback we would LOVE to see from you (Boyd-Bastone, Larson, & Cox 2007 with additional thanks to Marti Snyder of Nova Southeastern):

  • Rumination – Your post shows your effort to better understand the topic. You write something that shows that you are forming or developing your own ideas about the topic.
  • Story-telling – You understand the topic within context. You demonstrate this by using personal examples or stories that relate to the topic.
  • Reference or Resource – Your post contains statements that go beyond our online discussion and reference the works of other experts in the field. You provide additional resources in the form of web sites, attachments, and other media.

Think about how you might use a variety of these types of posts. A variety of rumination, story-telling, and reference or resource posts about one particular topic tend to encourage more engaging and thought-provoking discussions.

I will add to this list and ask that you let us know that you are reading! – Write a comment letting us know you are reading or to encourage the author of the post.


Boyd-Bastone, P., Larson, L. L. & Cox, C. (2007, April). What is a quality on-line discussion posting? Testing the inter-rater reliability of discourse function rubric of on-line video case study (OVCS) discussion posted by pre-service teachers on-line discussion posting. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Chicago, IL.

Brooks, C. F. (2010). Toward “hybridised” faculty development for the twenty-first century: Blending online communities of practice and face-to-face meetings in instructional and professional support programmes. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 47(3), 261-270. doi: 10.1080/14703297.2010.498177


Thinking outside the Box: Experiential Learning…

…through Gaming:

5th graders develop problem solving, collaboration and reflection skills, and to become story tellers

This post comes from the K-6 realm but it demonstrates an alternative approach to education that some are exploring. David Warlick posts the following about 5th graders learning through gaming.

also this TED talk along a similar vein:

…through classroom design and community projects:

You may want to take a look at this TED talk about designing Educational Spaces and learning outside the traditional classroom.