Media, Technology, and Education
Cluster PedagogyIntegrated ClustersLearning Community

Values and Cluster Learning

For the second summer in a row, I’m participating in a faculty learning community at Plymouth State University focused on our cluster learning model. One of the exercises we engaged in during our June meeting asked participants to begin to develop some values for our group. For our homework in preparation for our July meeting, we asked all participants to “choose an artifact from your Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 teaching that contributes something useful to the intersection of one or both of your groupโ€™s values AND one or more aspects of Cluster Learning.” So this is my “Back to Values SHOW AND TELL” contribution to the community.

One of my values is that I engage with students holistically, seeing them as whole human beings with full lives outside of my class. I think I do a lot of things that relate to that particular value but I will highlight just one for this homework. For the Fall 2019 semester in my Tackling a Wicked Problem class, I administered a Learning Needs Survey on the first day of class (h/t to Pat Cantor for sharing hers with me). The first of the questions on the survey can be seen in the featured image on this post. For example, rather than call attendance from an official roster on the first day, I used this survey to take attendance and asked students what they preferred to be called. I think this is respectful of student choices about their lives and may be of particular importance to our students who are transgender. One student expressed surprise on the second day of class when I called attendance and used his preferred name. In the rush of the first days of the semester, he forgot that he had told me his preferred name but was pleased that I used it. The full survey can be seen here: Learning Needs Survey

Here’s a link to all of the materials that I used to teach the Fall 2019 section of the course: IS1115 Course Materialsย  The materials include the long-form syllabus, a syllabus one-pager, all of the daily activities and related resources as well as all of the assignments.

Image Credit: screenshot of the first part of the Learning Needs Survey

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I am currently Professor of Digital Media at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. I am also the current Coordinator of General Education at the University. I am interested in astrophotography, game studies, digital literacies, open pedagogies, and generally how technology impacts our culture.

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