Proposal To Create the Collaboratory for Innovative Design

Rationale:

The idea for the Collaboratory for Innovative Design is the result of several distinct yet related conversations that took place in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years.

  • The Stonehill Innovation Task Force, established in fall of 2014 by the President and chaired by Board of Trustee member Bob Rivers ‘86, recognized that there is a great urgency in pursuing innovative approaches to how the College pursues its academic mission;
  • In the fall of 2015, the Digital Teaching and Scholarship Lab Task Force, which was appointed by the Provost, invited extensive faculty and staff feedback about the digital needs of faculty and students for teaching and learning. In its final report, the Task Force made three primary recommendations:
    • Build a digital innovation lab;
    • Appoint an academic leader and hire instructional design resources for the lab; and
    • Articulate a coordinated digital strategy for the institution.

The Digital Teaching and Scholarship Lab Task Force found that the College needs to better align its use of technology with with its academic mission. The task force’s recommendations sought to reposition student learning and innovative teaching at the center of technology use at the College.

  • As these discussions were happening, the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) position became vacant, which presented the opportunity to rethink the mission of the CTL and its relationship to supporting digital and online teaching.
  • Simultaneously, a proposal to restructure the academic program into schools was brought forward. After college-wide discussion and deliberation, the College is moving towards establishing a School of Business and a School of Arts and Science in 2017.  With this restructuring, the present administrative organizational structure also must change to ensure support for faculty across the newly formed schools and to foster greater collaboration among programs and offices. 
  • The Honors Search Committee met in the spring of 2015 and identified the need for a larger campus vision and presence for the Honors Program as well as a need for a stronger collaboration with the CTL.
  • A new Director of the Integrating Democratic Education at Stonehill (IDEAS) Program began in the fall of 2015 with a desire to provide more pedagogical development for students selected to teach IDEAS courses.

Proposal:

This proposal outlines a vision for providing a 21st century Stonehill education, one that takes place in a climate where technology is ever present and rapidly evolving, and must be understood and prioritized to be effectively implemented.  In this changing landscape of higher education, support for innovation and pedagogical design are essential to attracting and retaining the best faculty and students. The Collaboratory will assist faculty in their roles as teachers and scholars to integrate new pedagogies as they design engaging learning experiences for students. It will also create opportunities for students to develop technical skills and habits of mind essential to success after graduation. As scholars, faculty and students will be encouraged and supported to test theories, assess practices, and communicate effectively in the classroom, lab, studio, and beyond. 

Our goal in establishing the Collaboratory for Innovative Design is to create synergy between faculty, staff, students, and alumni as they develop and hone new skills in the digital realm and enable innovations that transform teaching and learning.  Employing existing resources of faculty and staff to launch the Collaboratory, we can meet the needs of the Stonehill community today while anticipating and strategically planning for growth in the future.  The Collaboratory will provide space, resources, and opportunities for collaboration while offering needed centralized coordination.

The Leadership Team for the Collaboratory for Innovative Design will include:  

  • Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Director of the Digital Innovation Lab
  • Director of the Moreau Honors Program
  • Director of the Integrating Democratic Education At Stonehill (IDEAS) Program
  • Director of the MacPháidín Library
  • Director of Educational Technology and Support Services

The Director of the MacPháidín Library will serve as the Director of the Collaboratory for Innovative Design and will convene the Leadership Team on a regular basis. 

The Collaboratory Leadership Team will:

  • Develop and articulate an academic vision for innovation in teaching, learning, and scholarship at the College;
  • Promote an institutional culture that supports synergistic opportunities for exploration and innovation in the areas of teaching, learning, and scholarship;
  • Create a hub for collaboration that pairs the services and resources of the Library and Information Technology with faculty and staff leadership in transformative pedagogy that improves student learning and supports the teaching and scholarship goals of the faculty. These collaborations will:
    • Build on the existing librarian liaison program to guide students and faculty to appropriate reference and digital resources across campus;
    • Access expertise in instructional design to guide faculty and IDEAS facilitators through a backwards design process to establish learning outcomes and effectively employ technology where appropriate;
    • Coordinate support of online course design and delivery;
    • Build on the expertise of IT Staff with currently supported educational technologies; and
  • Coordinate IT, Library, and other Collaboratory staff and faculty in the thoughtful and innovative exploration of new tools and strategies for teaching, learning, and scholarhship;
  • Along with campus stakeholders, define the vision and values for the Collaboratory, creating a strategic plan and mapping goals to ensure outcomes are measureable and achievable.

Representatives from the MacPháidín Library and the Department of Information Technology (IT) will support the initiatives emerging out of the Collaboratory. As supporting partners, IT and the Library will work with the Academic partners to develop a detailed plan for how they will share their personnel and resources in order to provide expertise in outreach, project management, digital technologies, support for faculty and students to assist the work of the Collaboratory. The Collaboratory Leadership Team will establish partnerships with campus stakeholders and establish guiding principles, a strategic plan, and measurable goals informed by the Digital Innovation Task Force Report and the respective missions of the CTL, Moreau Honors Program, and IDEAS Program.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Collaboratory is to create space, resources, and opportunities for faculty and students to design learning experiences through innovation and collaboration.

Values Statement:

The Collaboratory values collaboration and encourages faculty and student exploration of innovative teaching and scholarship, and measures success by engagement and learning through successes and failures. 

Administrative Structure:

The Leadership Team for the Collaboratory meets on a regular basis to provide strategic vision, set priorities for projects, programs, and initiatives, establish and maintain workflows among the different groups in the Collaboratory, and facilitate communication and operational planning.

 

Academic Leadership for CID

Reporting directly to the Director of the MacPháidín Library and the Collaboratory for Innovative Design (NOTE:  In 2016-17, the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning will continue to report to the Dean of the Faculty):

The Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning (TBA) will develop and oversee programs to help faculty develop as excellent teachers.  The duties of the Director include:

  • Through workshops, seminars, consultations and other programs, increase faculty engagement with and integration of a variety of emerging pedagogies such as community-based learning, problem-based learning, cooperative/collaborative learning, contemplative pedagogies;
  • In collaboration with the Director of the Digital Innovation Lab, coordinate the seminar for Inclusive Online Education during the spring semester;
  • Assist faculty in course development and syllabus design with a special focus on General Education, Honors and first-year courses;
  • Oversee the administration of electronic course evaluations for all courses including those offered during the winter and summer terms and online;
  • Coordinate the New Faculty Orientation and the New Faculty Mentoring Program;
  • Serve as a resource and advocate for faculty pursuing the scholarship of teaching and learning;
  • Work with faculty to create inclusive and affirming learning spaces and environments; and
  • Keep engaged as a teacher by teaching one course per semester within the Stonehill College curriculum.

The Director of the Digital Innovation Lab (S. Cohen) will create a new collaborative work space where faculty, students, technologists, and others can pursue innovative and experimental projects and initiatives in digital- teaching, scholarship, and creation.  The lab will serve as a home to faculty fellows, student digital fellows and other specialists, and creators. The lab will direct special attention to building a robust online academic presence and student-centered digital pedagogy through blended, “flipped,” and face-to-face courses.  The lab will both nurture and expand digital teaching and learning at the College.  The lab will be the central hub for digital teaching & learning at the College, providing leadership and direction for educational innovation initiatives at the College. The duties of the Director include:

  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the Digital Innovation Lab;
  • Provide leadership and support for faculty adoption of digital tools and strategies for increased student engagement and innovative scholarship;
  • In collaboration with the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, coordinate the seminar for Inclusive Online Education during the spring semester;
  • Provide support for new faculty initiatives dealing with technology resources in collaboration with the Director of Educational Technology and Support Services;
  • Oversee the iPad initiative;
  • Work with faculty and student digital fellows, instructional designers, media specialists, and technologists to provide an inclusive and innovative environment;
  • In collaboration with the Director of the Library and the Director of Education Technology and Support Services, hire and manage instructional designers and academic technology specialists that support digital teaching & learning at the College;
  • Hire, train and manage student digital fellows and lab assistants;
  • Assist in developing and delivering a range of micro-certification opportunities for students to infuse liberal learning with skills and competencies essential to success after graduation;
  • Collaborate with the Director of the Library and the Provost to recommend to the President a charge for a Digital Strategies Committee to insure  a coordinated, integrated and inclusive digital strategy for the College. 
  • Collaborate with the Director of Education Technology and Support Services to utilize the resources in place for the management of courses such as the LMS when appropriate;
  • Collaborate with the Library, IT and Facilities to develop infrastructure and a collaborative space for faculty and students;
  • Seek outside funding to support large scale initiatives of the lab; and
  • Remain engaged as a teacher by teaching one course per semester within the Stonehill College curriculum.

Reporting directly to the Dean of Academic Achievement:

The Director of the Moreau Honors Program (A. Sheckler) provides leadership, mentorship, and assistance that results in Honors students developing lasting habits of reflection and a full, creative engagement with the world.  The duties of the Director include:

  • Provide opportunities that support Fr. Moreau’s vision of educating:
    • The whole person such that the “mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart,” which underlies the co-curricular and spiritual dimensions of the Program; and
    • Students to lead “with courage toward creating a more just and compassionate world.”
  • Meet regularly with and advise the Honors Advisory Council, and co-lead all aspects of mission- related activities with the Honors Advisory Council;
  • Oversee the one-credit HON 100 Honors Leadership Seminar in the spring semester and one-credit HON 400 Honors Thesis Seminar during the spring semester;
  • Advise all students in the Program about Honors matters;
  • Assist the Honors Advisory Council with the planning of events, projects and trips during the fall and spring semesters that benefit the Honors Program and the College community as a whole;
  • Secure lists of Honors courses for the fall and spring semesters and submit them to the Registrar;
  • Work closely with the Office of Admission in the recruitment and selection of Moreau Honors Scholar candidates;
  • Foster a close community of students and faculty; and
  • Coordinate the collaboration between the members of the Honors community with the other directors in the Collaboratory to ensure that Honors in-class and co-curricular activities:
    • Are measurably broader, deeper, and more complex leaning-centered and learner-directed than others at the College; and
    • Include a distinctive learner-directed environment and philosophy.

The Director of the Integrating Democratic Education at Stonehill (IDEAS) Program (S. Gracombe) leads an interdisciplinary, student-centered program that fosters engagement and active learning by creating an environment for students to share their passions, wisdom, and knowledge with one another through student-led courses.  The duties of the Director include:

  • Work to advance the mission of the IDEAS program;
  • Demonstrate interest and initiative in shaping a growing IDEAS program;
  • Coordinate the application and selection process for the two student Co-Directors;
  • Meet regularly with and advise the student Co-Directors;
  • Secure a list of IDEAS courses for the spring semester of each year and submit it to the Registrar by the appointed deadline;
  • Coordinate the course registration process with the Registrar’s Office;
  • Teach one section of the three-credit IND 333 Democratic Education course in the spring semester;
  • Oversee up to ten sections of APL 090 facilitated by students each spring semester, including administrative concerns and student issues; and
  • Coordinating the collaboration between the student Co-Directors and course Facilitators of the IDEAS Program with the other directors in the Collaboratory to ensure that:
    • The student instructors have the pedagogical and technological background, skill development, and resources to provide and lead strong and inclusive learning environments; and
    • Enrolled students are engaged in intellectual discussions and activities in which everyone plays an equal role in teaching and learning.

Supporting Partners

The MacPháidín Library

Libraries in the 21st century are centers of innovation with emphasis on digital access, copyright education, information fluency, instructional design, maker spaces and digital labs, institutional repositories and open access initiatives, and evolving systems of search and discovery.

The Director of the MacPháidín Library and the Collaboratory for Innovative Design (C. McGrath) will continue to lead the development of the strategic vision and plan for the Library.  At the same time, she will convene the Collaboratory Leadership Team.   The duties of the Director include:

  • Lead the MacPháidín Library
  • Convene the Leadership Team of the Collaboratory for Innovative Design
  • Collaborate with the Provost and the Director of the Digital Innovation Lab to recommend to the President a charge for a  Digital Strategies Committee to insure  a coordinated, integrated and inclusive digital strategy for the College. 

Information Technology

An Information Technology Department is an essential component to serving the academic mission of the College.  IT brings a variety of resources and professional expertise to the Collaboratory and will serve in a support role for initiatives emerging from the Collaboratory.  The department provides and maintins a robust infrastructure (e.g., network, data center, enterprise-level applications, etc.), an established suite of tools for teaching and learning (e.g., an LMS, a lecture capture system, licensed academic software, a collaborative productivity suite, etc.), and technology in learning spaces throughout campus (e.g., classrooms, computer labs, etc.).  In addition, IT offers a variety of services to support teaching and learning (centered on the service desk) and expertise with exploring and using educational technology for innovative teaching and learning. IT consults with stakeholders and clients (faculty) to develop requirement for 21st century teaching and learning; IT serves an essential support and consultory role in advancing the direction of teaching and scholarship as determined by the faculty and academic administration.

The Director of Educational Technology and Support Services (S. Hamlin), who reports directly to the Chief Information Officer, serves as IT’s representative to the Collaboratory.  The Director oversees the group providing essential services that help the college community teach, learn and perform their jobs.  The group provides the “main door” to IT at the Service Desk and oversees IT communication through Stonehill announcements and the IT website.  They also deliver educational technology systems and services related to educational technology, desktop computing, and technology in learning and event spaces.

The Director of Educational Technology and Support Services duties include:

  • Provide strategic and operational support to staff assigned to educational technology, media technology, and user support positions within IT, including overseeing the operation of the IT Service Desk to ensure high client satisfaction and continuous improvement;
  • Oversee the administration and support of educational technology systems and services including but not limited to learning management systems, web conferencing, learning analytics, and consulting support for course design projects involving technology integration;
  • Support the Collaboratory to plan and implement innovative programs to promote, support, and increase the use of educational technologies to expand online and blended course offerings and transform teaching and learning;
  • Develop and implement strategies for training students, faculty and staff to increase fluency with information technology;
  • Build cooperative relationships with key technology vendors and develop requirements of key stakeholders and in keeping with service level agreements that will determine the selection and purchase of new hardware, software, maintenance and services;
  • Keep abreast of emerging technologies and evolving client needs and plan for new technologies and service changes as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with the Director of the Library and the Director of the Digital Innovation Lab to hire and manage instructional designers and academic technology specialists that support digital teaching & learning at the College;
  • Serve as a supporting member of the Collaboratory for Innovation Design.