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The Faculty Academy at UMW
May 9, 2010 - 9:06pm

The list of ways that the University of Mary Washington sets the example in learning and technology is indeed long. UMW is at the forefront of a movement to provide open access to course material and faculty and student contributions through its pioneering UMW Blogs platform. Check out the "Courses" section of UMW blogs for an aggregated view of the most recent semester’s classes available for viewing on this open platform.

UMW is the home of Jim Groom, and the birthplace of the EduPunk movement. You can check out Jim's course on Digital Storytelling through its course blog, and judge for yourself what is gained or lost by going around the traditional LMS.

UMW is also the home of Steven Greenlaw, a leading thinker and practitioner of innovative teaching methods that leverage technology for learning. Some of Steve's amazing ECON courses can also be viewed on the UMW course blog site.

This Wednesday and Thursday (5/12 and 5/13) UMW will be hosting its 2010 Faculty Academy. UMW is streaming the keynote sessions so anyone can tune in to the video (as well as the twitter back channel using the hash tag #umwfa10). The Ustream channel for live broadcast will be: The page on the FA2010 site for the archives (as well as another place to watch the live broadcast) is here:

I'm particularly excited for Siva Vaidhyanathan's keynote on the "The Googlization of Higher Education." The session "Is Course Design Only for Online Courses?" looks amazing as well. The description of this session reads:

Formal learning design (e.g. clear articulation of course learning objectives, degree of passive vs. active learning to be employed, role of formative vs. summative assessment, etc.) is strongly associated with online learning, but is it necessary for face-to-face courses in higher education? If so, is learning design different for face-to-face courses than it is for online courses? Does it differ across disciplines? Should it differ? Does formal learning design/planning inhibit spontaneity of discovery? Are some fields sufficiently abstract that learning objectives cannot be articulated in any meaningful way? This panel will host a conversation to explore these issues.

You can check out the rest of the program at this address:

I'm sure that many institutions host their own versions of the UMW Faculty Academy. I hope the example of UMW of putting as much of the session online as possible, and encouraging back-channel conversation for local and distant guests, is replicated at other institutions.


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