Each year the TLC conference gets better and better, and this year is no exception! Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a presentation and workshop with Dr. Larry Ragan, of Penn State University, who helped us to tease apart some of the nuances and conditions necessary for innovation. Dr. Ragan brings a wealth of experience and education in the area of online learning innovation to Ashford University and shared a number of solid strategies for helping to evolve our learning model here and improve the experience and outcomes of our students.
Though the entire experience was engaging and interesting, Dr. Ragan made reference to a concept that I hadn’t heard of called the Medici Effect, a term coined by Frans Johansson, to describe innovation that happens when disciplines and ideas intersect. Opportunities for innovators and innovation favor the prepared mind he argues, and encourages us to scan for opportunities to blend and remix existing innovations and ideas to fit our own unique purpose.
Dr. Ragan also discussed the need for design thinking is a part of the innovation and design process and led a small group of on-site participants through a valuable exercise in generating potential innovations for Ashford students. I was tremendously grateful to be able to dissipate in this opportunity and hope to be able to continue this conversation into the coming year. Thank you to all those who work so hard to put this together every year for making it a worthwhile and enjoyable experience.
Dr. Michael Kolodziej
AVP, Learning Design & Innovation