Upcoming sessions focus on key areas for digital education plan

October 26, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Purdue University officials working to develop a digital education action plan are launching a new trio of focused discussion sessions.

"Support for Digital Education Teaching and Learning" is the subject of the first session scheduled for noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 28) in the Hall for Discovery and Learning Research, 207 S. Martin Jischke Drive, in Discovery Park.

The session follows up on one of three themes that emerged during general digital education discussions held in September. The overall plan is to create a digital education action plan to guide the university over the next four years.

Jon Harbor, director of digital education and associate vice provost, said there is obvious faculty interest in taking the next step in digital education.

"Many faculty have adopted digital tools and approaches already," he said. "But many more are saying, 'I'm interested, but how do I get it done and what support is there?'"

Examining the digital education resources available to faculty as well as developing and coordinating campus support for faculty will be the focus of discussion during Wednesday's session.

Harbor said the varying levels of student proficiency with modern technology and how to provide support for students engaged with digital education also will be discussed. It’s sometimes incorrectly assumed that students who arrive adept in modern technology can seamlessly transition to online learning.

"The fact that you're really good at the current apps and texting doesn't mean you can translate that immediately into success in an online course that involves new learning approaches, new tools and requires good time management skills," Harbor said.

The session is intended for interested faculty, staff and students. There is limited seating and advance signup is required online.

A flipped-classroom format will be used for the session, Harbor said, in which participants will review background information before they attend.

Those unable to attend the session in person can participate online. Virtual attendees will be placed in virtual discussion groups with their input to the session submitted simultaneously with input from in-person participants.

People can submit other ideas after the session via the digital education website.

Two additional sessions are scheduled for November: "Quality, Effectiveness and Affordability of Online Instruction" on Nov. 2 and "Broadening Access Through Digital Education" on Nov. 19.

Information about these later sessions is available on the digital education website.

"These discussion sessions are designed to ensure that the ideas and priorities of the faculty, staff and students are woven into this action plan for digital education," Harbor said.

A draft of the action plan for digital education is to be issued by the semester break. 

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu 

Source: Jon Harbor, 765-494-1255, jharbor@purdue.edu 

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