In the first activity of Module 4, the Collaborator Module, we are asked to think about the projects or ideas we collaborated on with others and then choose one to draw it out like a dinner table. At the centre of the table, we are to write out the modes of communication we used for that project
For this activity, I focused on the development of the Cambrian College Teaching & Learning Innovation Hub website, which I undertook last spring, almost one year ago. It continues to be a collaborative project amongst our team and others across the college to this day and will be into the future.
In my dinner table image above, I’ve identified all the people who I collaborated with to vision, conceptualize, build, modify and maintain the website we have today for the Hub. Various people came and went throughout the process but I find the majority still remain involved quite closely, especially our Hub team members.
Roles (a few listed below, among many more):
- Sarah (myself): project planner/manager & developer of the site
- Jess: design, layout, course planning & development materials, PD
- Mel: pedagogy, orientation, academic integrity, PD, book club
- Orville & Rob: menu structure, Moodle content, pilot projects, ed tech
- Jeff: help with video production, many of our PD recordings
- Laura: pilot projects, PD calendar, blog
- Amy: PD calendar, learning opportunities, videos, newsletter, Level Up
- Alison: our TFEE student developed the Hub Studio and most pages you see
- Lori: Our manager when we launched website, all elements, content support
- Joel: Web Developer in Marketing department, website hosting, CSS/styling
- QTRC Committee: faculty focus group during concept to completion, advisory
- Staff: PD calendar, newsletter, classroom bookings, Level Up, videos
- Management: academic calendar, orientation, faculty/student supports
- Senior Management: advisory on key academic needs of the college
- Full-time Faculty: ongoing advisors on website content and PD sessions
- Part-Time Faculty: ongoing advisors, especially for asynchronous PD videos
- Staff: ongoing advisors for PD calendar, learning opportunities, newsletter
As a new Instructional Designer at the college, I had experience building and maintaining websites so I gravitated to this idea. I’ve always been a collaborator by nature, so I wanted to involve as many people as possible, especially faculty and even more especially, part-time faculty who often have daytime jobs and can’t always come into the Hub. I wanted our website to be a place for asynchronous learning at all levels, where faculty and staff could find answers and get what they needed to feel confident in their teaching and learning.
Communication Modes & Tools:
I employed a variety of modes and tools to communicate and collaborate with the project group. In the middle of the table, I listed the most used channels. I circled the ones that were most effective. I found that most of our project team was available via email through Cambrian so I employed that as my most popular method of collaboration. Next, were focus groups where I could gather everyone in a room for opinions, usability testing, brainstorming and more. As well, the surveys were helpful in determining what the wider Cambrian population wanted, in what order, in what priority, and when. We also had success with our print materials such as postcards, where we could hand-deliver to mailboxes and offices and leave them on tables around the Hub and in break rooms, etc. Lastly, the other methods were less successful as we were just setting them up at the time and didn’t have a strong following (ex: social media, newsletter, etc.)
Thinking About the Future:
In the future, I hope to continue building our website as a valuable resource for our team, our faculty, our staff, our organization and perhaps for folks outside our organization. It has become our primary source of information whereby many of our other methods of communication lead back to our website. I would like to hold another focus group perhaps in the spring (maybe annually) to ensure we are remaining on track with what faculty and staff want to see on our site. We will also continue collaborating as a Hub team to ensure that content remains relevant to our audiences and think about how and what new content could be added regularly.
I’m very thankful, grateful and humbled to have had the opportunity to work with this large group in such a meaningful way. I’ve learned a lot from them, pedagogically, technologically and holistically.