Continuing our stories from the front line blogging project around the five main chapters from E-Tivities 2nd edition- Now AVAILABLE, we have a fellow Swinburne University Colleague, Professor Janet Gregory, who discusses her first hand experience of facilitating the Carpe Diem process in the university. We thank Janet for her hard work, great thoughts and personal insights!"
Professor Janet Gregory
Professor of Education Quality and Innovation
Swinburne University of Technology
Connect with Janet (links embedded):
LinkedIn: Janet Gregory
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your relationship to e-tivities:
I am currently leading the Capacity and Capability section within the Learning Transformations Unit in Swinburne University where I am involved in running Carpe Diem workshops and e-moderating courses for staff. I also manage the Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching and governance and quality assurance for the Unit, and sit on various University committees concerned with quality assurance. I also work closely with partner organisations as the Swinburne representative on the Academic Programs Committee with Open Universities Australia; and as the university convenor for a first year unit with Swinburne Online.
My introduction to e-tivities was in November 2010 when I was Deputy Dean and our Faculty invited Gilly Salmon to visit for a week to work with staff. I was immediately impressed with Gilly’s five stage model and the use of e-tivities for engaging students in learning and collaborating online and could see the potential for us to use this model in our teaching practice. I enrolled in the ATIMOD e-moderating course in January 2011 and in 2012 commenced running e-moderating courses specifically designed for Swinburne staff. I have developed e-tivities for the e-moderating course and as a Carpe Diem facilitator I have worked with staff to assist them develop e-tivities for their own teaching practice.
Interview Questions: Carpe Diem- A team based approach to designing e-tivities and online courses- Experiences, Reflections, Examples etc for Carpe Diems
1. Tell us about your first experience with Carpe Diems and how you came to be involved with using them?
I attended a Carpe Diem Facilitator Training Workshop run by Gilly Salmon and Professor Ale Armellini to learn how to run Carpe Diem workshops. I was then fortunate to have the opportunity to observe Carpe Diem workshops run by Gilly and also by Ale. Having the chance to train and then shadow two very experienced and knowledgeable Carpe Diem facilitators gave me confidence when I facilitated my first Carpe Diem workshop. In my current role developing staff capacity and capability at Swinburne University I am involved in running Carpe Diem workshops and also the e-moderating course to support staff in enhancing their skills in designing and delivering online courses.
2. What are the benefits to utilising a Carpe Diem approach to learning design?
The Carpe Diem workshops really do provide an engaging workshop for a group of staff to design their units or courses. There are great benefits in bringing together the content experts, educational technologists and librarians as all the different knowledge and skills create a very productive way of working that leads to good outcomes in a short period of time – much more fun than struggling to design on your own! I think the sense of achievement that the teams feel at the end of two days is very powerful.
3. What challenges have you experienced using Carpe Diems and what advice would you give to others in order to overcome this?
Every Carpe Diem workshop is different of course but a few key elements are important. One of the challenges is preparation and expectation management so it is really important to have a pre-Carpe Diem meeting and ensure all the teaching team attend as this is where the purpose of the day is established and expectations addressed.
Another challenge can be that not everyone who comes to a Carpe Diem workshop will believe that their unit/course can be delivered in an online or blended mode. As the facilitator it is important to allow this concern to be aired and to work with it throughout the workshop, letting people experience the possibilities and gain confidence in the design.
4. What (if any) unexpected outcomes (positive/negative) have you had with the Carpe Diem process in your learning design, courses, faculty relationships, or university culture have you experienced?
Not unexpected but some great outcomes in seeing staff change their minds about online teaching and get excited by the possibilities. Those staff have then gone on to champion other changes and engage other staff and this is where you can see the beginnings of culture change.
5. Do you have any specific tips or hints for developing good Carpe Diem practices or advice for Carpe Diem facilitators you would like to share?
Good Carpe Diem practices include making sure that participants are clear on what is required, ensuring that all equipment is available, understanding the Carpe Diem framework and the 5 stage model, and providing food for sustenance during the day!
As a Carpe Diem facilitator you really are drawing on excellent facilitation skills because, as I said earlier, every group is different and you need to be able to work effectively with what is happening in the group whilst following the Carpe Diem workshop framework. You need to enjoy the process and be prepared to work hard!
6. What reflections do you have on your thoughts of the future of processes like Carpe Diems and their role in the future of learning and teaching?
I think the model of using multi-disciplinary teams (content experts, technology experts and information experts) will become even more important as new technologies and resources are embedded in learning and teaching practice and universities race to stay up to date with new developments.
7. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just that I’ve really enjoyed both participating in, and facilitating, Carpe Diem workshops – I think they achieve great outcomes at the same time as being fun and a great way for staff to develop relationships and work effectively together.