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Challenging the Status Quo

Day 1 started off with a BANG! I was lucky enough to hear Dr. Jeff Borden talk with us 6 years ago, it was a pleasure to have him here at Ashford again. He shared many challenging comments to make me (us?) think about how we deliver education. (He told us he would make us feel uncomfortable…I don’t know if I was uncomfortable or that I was encouraged to engage in conversation with those in charge!) The premise of the Key Note was the importance of “Active Learning.” (Which can be a challenge in an asynchronous online environment…)

A few points that stuck with me were:

75% of our students leave school because of non-academic reasons. (So, not the classroom.) *So my thought is as instructors, how do we address this? How do we help them stay?

What if you learned something wrong? * Why do we keep doing things the same way, just because that is the way we started? How can we disrupt our teaching?

Do. Show. Tell. Review. Ask. *Which do I do most and which should I put first? As a learner, which do I want to do first?

Boredom creates cortisol in the brain, which can kill us. *Just reflect on this…

I know I am inspired to think out of the box with my next course design. I don’t want my students to produce any cortisol in their brains!

Interestingly enough the next session I attended was “Introducing the Applied Doctorial Project.” The presenters; Dr. Tim Rice, Dr. Peggy Sundstom and Dr. Rebecca Wardlow shared the new Applied Doctoral Project (ADP) which constitutes of a culminating research project in place of a traditional dissertation. The project allows students more flexibility throughout the program and with the program summative; they can do something as meaningful as program evaluation, create a training program, or complete a case study. The list is extensive and allows students the opportunity for practical application. They will still be completing the rigor and research that a traditional dissertation involves (one less chapter) but will have completed a project that can make a difference in their respective field.

Looks to me as if they listened to Dr. Jeff Borden first!

Lastly, I attended my own TLC (that counts!) The 2nd Annual Roundtable Discussion on Teaching, Service and Scholarship! It was hosted by the College of Education’s own Debbie Carpenter, who did an excellent job facilitating the winners of this year’s awards. The accolades were awarded as follows; Teaching, Dr. Emma Bate, Division of General Education, Scholarship Dr. Elaine Alden, College of Liberal Arts, and Service, Kathleen Kelley, College of Education, all award winners. Each shared how they are passionate about their particular area of expertise and how lucky they are to work with such dedicated colleagues to support their endeavors. The bottom line was each felt that they were supported by their peers and had in no way achieved this award by themselves. We have so many dedicated faculty members here at Ashford University!

Kathleen Kelley

Core Faculty, College of Education

Ashford University

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