As a synchronous learning opportunity, we suggest FOUR types of learning activities, including:

  • Participating in Twitter discussions about course-related readings and case studies;
  • Community-engaged research proposal (through blogging);
  • Intellections (through blogging);
  • Developing digital communication skills (through creative makes).

WHAT: We will meet on Twitter to discuss the week’s readings in the context of community-engaged research case studies. We will use Storify to capture the essence of each of the discussions and archive them for people who missed it. See Week at a Glance for details.

WHEN:
Weekly. See Colab Calendar for schedule and Week at a Glance for details.

WHY TWITTER?
Twitter is a public forum, so our open participants and other interested community members can join in on the conversation. Second, it encourages you to form concisely worded questions and points – sometimes this seems hard, initially, but it gets easier with practice. Finally, discussions on Twitter will increase your Twitter literacy. Since “academic twitter” is increasingly a “thing” for professional development, networking and research dissemination, it would behoove you to at least know about it and how it works. See @GoogleGuacamole’s site for how to build a better tweet here.

WHY STORIFY?
Storify allows the user to summarize and arrange pieces of an online conversation into a digestible story that can be preserved and shared with others. Storify is a great tool for disseminating a story over a period of time and what we learned along the way. With so much information and updates on social media, it’s easy to feel FOMO, especially in an accelerated online course. Have no fear – Storify will retrospectively connect you to the original conversation. Each student will Storify a (one) Twitter discussion to create an archive of discussions that may have relevance and importance later on. See aggregated Storifies here.

THINGS YOU MUST KNOW:

Course discussions will be aggregated around the hashtag #CuriousCoLab. This means that your tweets must include “#CuriousCoLab” if they are to be seen and counted as part of the discussion. If you have questions, please contact Valerie Holton prior to the first scheduled Twitter discussion.

These discussions are to help you engage with each other and the topic of community-engaged research. For advice on how to get the most (fun, learning, long-term and nuanced understanding) out of your Twitter discussions check out these recommendations for how to edu-tweet. Check out these recommendations for how to navigate a #CuriousCoLab Twitter conversation.

ASSESSMENT

You are responsible for participating in 6 of the 8 discussions and for completing 1 Storify. If you cannot be present during the scheduled time for 6 of the 8 scheduled sessions, all is not lost, but you must contact Valerie Holton as soon as possible but not later than June 3, 2016 to discuss the alternative assignments.

Prior to participating in #CuriousCoLab Twitter discussions, we would like you to evaluate your own readiness by completing Dr. Campbell’s APGAR assessmentIf you want to get credit for being in a discussion session, you need to submit a form prior to participating. Your actual APGAR scores are NOT part of your course grade. Rather they are way to help you assess your own engagement with the content and to take attendance.

Participation in the twitter conversations and completing a Storify (as determined by the submission of the APGAR assessments) accounts for 10% of your total grade. Participation of a minimum of 6 twitter conversations and 1 storify is required for you to receive credit. So, if you participate in 5, you will earn a zero. If you participate in 6, 7 or 8 of them, you will earn full credit AND enjoy the benefits of developing and engaging with your personal learning network.

 


WHAT:

Funding proposals are essential (and often intimidating) aspects of developing and implementing community-engaged research. Upon reviewing the weekly assignments, you might notice that many of the weekly assignments mirror the sections of a typical community-engaged research grant application. However, we added a twist: we want you to focus on developing your communication skills – that is your ability to communicate your research in terms that lay people can understand. After all, research is only as good as it can be understood by all people – inside and outside your area of expertise. Brevity, clarity, lack of jargon, and effective use of illustrations, videos, graphics, and other non-text based elements, are all important skillsets to have. Alan Alda shares some advice on how scientists can communicate more effectively with the general public.

The learning activity has 3 parts:

Weekly posts (25%)

Each week you will post a blog that mirrors sections of a typical grant application. The weekly assignments will encourage you to explore the role of the community partner and the collaboration in the development and proposal of a community-engaged research protocol. More information can be found in Week at a Glance.

Grant Reviewer (10%)

Each week you will serve as a grant reviewer because there is no better way to learn how to write a research proposal than to review a research proposal. Review panels are the gatekeepers who decide who will get the money to fund research, and it is a large amount of money, as universities consume over $67 billion in R&D funds annually (NSF, 2014). This opportunity will provide you with the chance to develop a more thorough understanding of the grant-seeking process and get a sense of the things that work and what definitely does not work. Strong research questions will stand out and give you ideas for developing your research questions. We learn together here as in our community-engaged research. Collaborative curiosity.

Using this grant review rubric [link coming soon], you will provide feedback each week to an assigned proposal. See Colab Calendar for schedule and Week at a Glance for details.

Reflect, Connect & Synthesize (25%)

The development of a community-engaged research proposal requires just that, development. It is a process that is informed by active engagement with previous work, critical reflection, integration of new knowledge, testing and creativity. Therefore, you will review all your previous blog posts (i.e. Research Proposal, Intellections, Creative Makes, and any other blogs you may have written related to community-engaged research) and tweets. As you reread them, reflect on the principles of community-engaged research, partnerships and your knowledge of research methods.

You will compose a short analysis and reflection on your community-engaged research proposal. If appropriate, you will also revise aspects of or the whole proposal. More information will be found in Week at a Glance.

 

WHEN:

WHY BLOGGING?

Like Twitter, open blogging platforms like Rampages or WordPress allow participants to share their work and receive feedback from a larger audience – instructors, other participants and a broader public. Blogging also allows for multimodal forms of expression – images, video, audio, graphic design. Finally, blogs and websites are becoming increasingly important in all community-engaged work, including as an essential aspect of dissemination.

THINGS YOU MUST KNOW:
You are responsible for finishing all blogging assignments on time. Look over the weekly assignments early in the week; many require digital literacy skills that you may or may not have already. Learning how to use certain digital applications will be useful to you in your future endeavors – your development of these skills are part of the learning objectives of the course. Therefore, if you are having difficulties you will need to contact Valerie Holton ASAP so that you can get the help you need and complete your assignments on time.

You are responsible for reading and commenting on at least two of your classmates’ blogs each week (and by classmates, we mean anyone participating in the course – for credit or not for credit). You will be able to find these blogsites easily through the bloggregate. “Commenting” does not just mean telling your classmate that you like their work. It’s about linking their thoughts to your own or others’ work. It’s about challenging them to take their thinking to a deeper level by asking questions. Be challenging, but be kind, too: Remember that these people are real, with real feelings.

When done right, commenting takes time, so make sure you set aside some time to do this. Also, remember that no one has time to comment on your blog if you wait until the last minute to turn it in, so try to get your assignment done as early in the week as possible. Finally, commenting is about dialogue. That means once you post or comment, you need to check the site frequently so that you can engage with your commenters – otherwise commenting becomes a chore, not an educational exercise.

When you complete a blog post, make sure to add tags (or labels). Tags are like keywords on an article – choose as many as you desire, covering all angles from which the blog post might be described or categorized. Make sure that one of the tags is the designated tag for the assignment. Tweeting about your blog post will let others know  see how you are thinking and then they can add to the conversation.

While finishing the blogging assignments on time is important, it is not the only way your learning will be documented. Remember that these assignments are to help you learn. For advice on how to get the most (fun, learning, long-term and nuanced understanding) out of your blogging, check out these recommendations for edu-blogging.

ASSESSMENT

Community-Engaged Research Proposal Project (60%)

  • Weekly posts (25%)
  • Reflect, Connect & Synthesize [3] (25%)
  • Commenting (10%)

Weekly CEnR Proposal Posts will be assessed on the following general criteria.

  • Completed all the aspects of the assignment
  • Contribution of knowledge to the discipline and to the community
  • Use of affordances of the blog (e.g. use of links, images, attributions)
  • Quality of writing (e.g. clarity, brevity, lack of jargon)

Weekly comments will be assessed using the following rubric. Read more about it here.

Rating

Characteristics

4

Exceptional. The comment is focused. It coherently integrates examples with explanations or analysis. It demonstrates awareness of limitations or implications, and consider multiple perspectives when appropriate. The comment contains appropriate links or images, with the image sources being acknowledged. The images and links are referred to within the text.

3

Satisfactory. The comment is reasonably focused, and explanations or analysis are mostly based on examples or other evidence. Fewer connections are made between ideas, and though new insights are offered, they are not fully developed. It reflects moderate engagement with the topic. The comment contains appropriate links or images and these are referred to within the text.

2

Underdeveloped. The comment is mostly description or summary, without consideration of alternative perspectives, and few connections are made between ideas. It reflects passing engagement with the topic. The comment may contain a link or image.

1

Limited. The comment is unfocused, or simply rehashes previous comments, and displays no evidence of engagement with the topic.

0

No Credit. The comment was submitted late or not at all, or consists of one or two disconnected sentences.

WHAT:
Merriam-Webster defines intellection as:

  1. an act of the intellect: thought
  2. exercise of the intellect: reasoning

This series of learning activities are developed to help you think. To think about the course content in a different way, to consider ideas and implications, to anticipate challenges and solutions. To reflect critically. 

But thinking is one thing, and communicating those thoughts clearly is another.These assignments we are calling intellections will not only encourage you to think, but also to communicate those thoughts clearly using blog posts and all the affordances of blog posts (e.g. links, images, graphics and other non-text based elements).  

WHEN:
Weekly. See Colab Calendar for schedule and Week at a Glance for details.

WHY BLOGGING?
Like Twitter, open blogging platforms like Rampages or WordPress allow participants to share their work and receive feedback from a larger audience – instructors, other participants and a broader public. Blogging also allows for multimodal forms of expression – images, video, audio, graphic design. Finally, blogs and websites are becoming increasingly important in all community-engaged work, including as an essential aspect of dissemination.

THINGS YOU MUST KNOW:
You are responsible for finishing all blogging assignments on time. Look over the weekly assignments early in the week; many require digital literacy skills that you may or may not have already. Learning how to use certain digital applications will be useful to you in your future endeavors – your development of these skills are part of the learning objectives of the course. Therefore, if you are having difficulties you will need to contact Valerie Holton ASAP so that you can get the help you need and complete your assignments on time.

You are responsible for reading and commenting on at least two of your classmates’ blogs each week (and by classmates, we mean anyone participating in the course – for credit or not for credit). You will be able to find these blogsites easily through the bloggregate. “Commenting” does not just mean telling your classmate that you like their work. It’s about linking their thoughts to your own or others’ work. It’s about challenging them to take their thinking to a deeper level by asking questions. Be challenging, but be kind, too: Remember that these people are real, with real feelings.

When done right, commenting takes time, so make sure you set aside some time to do this. Also, remember that no one has time to comment on your blog if you wait until the last minute to turn it in, so try to get your assignment done as early in the week as possible. Finally, commenting is about dialogue. That means once you post or comment, you need to check the site frequently so that you can engage with your commenters – otherwise commenting becomes a chore, not an educational exercise.

When you complete a blog post, make sure to add tags (or labels). Tags are like keywords on an article – choose as many as you desire, covering all angles from which the blog post might be described or categorized. Make sure that one of the tags is the designated tag for the assignment. You may even want to tweet about your blog post so others can see how you are thinking and can add to the conversation.

While finishing the blogging assignments on time is important, it is not the only way your learning will be documented. Remember that these assignments are to help you learn. For advice on how to get the most (fun, learning, long-term and nuanced understanding) out of your blogging, check out these recommendations for edu-blogging.

ASSESSMENT

The Intellections will count for 25% of your final grade using the following rubric. This rubric is adapted from the 5-point rubric created by Mark Sample  with inspiration from Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.

Rating

Characteristics

4

Exceptional. The blog is focused. It coherently integrates examples with explanations or analysis. It demonstrates awareness of limitations or implications, and consider multiple perspectives when appropriate. The blog reflects in-depth engagement with the topic. The blog contains appropriate links or images, with the image sources being acknowledged. The images and links are referred to within the text.

3

Satisfactory. The blog is reasonably focused, and explanations or analysis are mostly based on examples or other evidence. Fewer connections are made between ideas, and though new insights are offered, they are not fully developed. It reflects moderate engagement with the topic. The blog contains appropriate links or images and these are referred to within the text.

2

Underdeveloped. The blog is mostly description or summary, without consideration of alternative perspectives, and few connections are made between ideas. It reflects passing engagement with the topic. The blog may contain a link or image.

1

Limited. The blog is unfocused, or simply rehashes previous comments, and displays no evidence of student engagement with the topic.

0

No Credit. The blog was submitted late or not at all, or consists of one or two disconnected sentences.

 


WHEN: Creative Makes are due Fridays by 5PM.

WHY:
Creative Makes are meant to stir the creative juices, get you out of the traditional academic “box” and hopefully help you look at learning as fun. They help expand your digital skills so that you can expand beyond text and explore the power of images, audio, video, and graphics for spreading your message.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
While these assignments are important for expanding your digital toolkit and your creative expressions, they are not supposed to take a long time. Plan on 15 minutes. Plan on letting loose. Plan on having fun.

That being said, they are still required assignments. You must complete them by the specified due date and time.

When you complete the make, make sure to add tags (or labels). Tags are like keywords on an article – choose as many as you desire, covering all angles from which the blog post might be described or categorized. Make sure that one of the tags is the designated tag for the assignment. You may even want to tweet your creative make so others can see how you are thinking and can add to the conversation.

ASSESSMENT

Creative Makes account for 5% of your total grade. You will earn one point for each creative make that you submit on time.