Position: 4-H Youth Development Faculty
Hometown: Uruapan, Michoacán, México
# of years at OSU: It will be 4 in February 2015
Best part of your job: I love hanging working with vibrant, smart and awesome youth as well as colleagues that make me realize how wonderful knowledge discovery can be and how important is to stay open and enjoy what we do…
I really, really enjoy seeing a “discovery face” when working with youth in different settings.
Something someone might be surprised to know about you: I am a marathoner. I love running and will do The Boston Marathon on April 2015!!!
Favorite book/movie/album: I love non-fiction books, some of my lately favorite authors are Dan Arely and Charles Duhigg. I also love the “Freakconomics” podcast and book by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Ana Lu is a member of the first cohort of the division’s Leadership Development Program.
Position: OSU Crook County Extension, 4-H Youth Development Faculty, Associate Professor, College of Public Health and Human Sciences
Hometown: Prineville, Oregon
# of years at OSU: 7
Best part of your job: The best part of my job is working with the different people groups associated with Extension Outreach and Engagement. My job functions looks different nearly every day and I get the pleasure of interacting with a cadre of people including youth K-12th grade, adult volunteers, non-profit organizations, community organizations, and colleagues throughout OSU.
Something someone might be surprised to know about you: In the summer of 2014, with two days’ notice, I decided to climb Mt. Shasta. The second tallest peak in the Cascade Range. It was a difficult, and scary at times trek to the summit. It truly was an experience I will not soon forget.
Favorite book/movie/album: I am an avid reader and enjoy a plethora of different novels. My current favorite author is Daniel Silva. Though I will admit, I’m a major fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and enjoy reading the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I have read the trilogy nearly every year all the way through since junior high.
I also enjoy movies, and can quote line for line nearly every word of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
Jeremy is a member of the first cohort of the division’s Leadership Development Program.
The following interview is with Dave King, associate provost of outreach and engagement at Oregon State University. In a recent Q&A with The EvoLLLution, King outlined his Spectrum of Access concept, describing how an institution can use its content to meet a wide array of student demands. In this interview, he expands on the value of the Spectrum of Access concept, and shares his thoughts on the importance of operational efficiency to successfully meet student needs and support the growth of the institution.
1. How does serving a diversity of students across the ‘spectrum of access’ impact an institution’s relative market potential?
These days, you have to go where the learners are. Our goal with trying to create a more seamless Spectrum of Access was to provide a granular approach for students so they could find what they want when they want it. That’s the old adage that has come from online access; you get what you want when you want it.
Across the Spectrum, you should be able to find access to the kinds of things that meet your needs as a learner.
2. What are the biggest challenges administrators face when it comes to developing a range of programming in a subject area to meet the diversity of needs across the Spectrum of Access?
There are two major challenges we face. One is cultural. At one end of that Spectrum — on the noncredit, extension, continuing ed side — if you have programming that’s evolved there and then you take a look at the [other] side — with credit-based undergraduate and graduate degree programs — you have a huge cultural difference between the people who provide and develop those kinds of programming.
One of our biggest issues is: how do we share effectively across [these spaces]? How does that module created in a credit course translate into a continuing ed course?
Creating a seamless kind of approach is the first step in that direction.
3. How does this inability impact an institution’s capacity to serve a wide variety of students?
It just means you have to sit down and take it from a very open and transparent approach. You can’t just assume it’s going to happen, you have to manage it, you have to help people recognize the value proposition of their part of the enterprise [and show that it] matches the value proposition of the other parts of the enterprise. Once you start showing the similarities and continuities that are created across those lines, then you get people able and willing to step up but it’s a very actively managed process. It doesn’t just happen on its own.
4. How would improving the efficiency of the course and certificate program development process help to improve an institution’s capacity to expand its offerings?
Immediately there are two sides of it. One, there’s the technical side and part of this is common ways of viewing learning objectives, common platforms — or at least platforms similar enough so they can intersect with each other. Common technical approaches are a part of it.
The other side of it is actually helping people see you can build from the basics up to a more technical and sophisticated end of the learning experience by using modules. I talked about culture before, and there’s a whole lot of “not invented here” mentality in higher education. Just because I create a learning module on, let’s say, how a plant takes up nitrogen, does that mean some biology instructor across campus is going to say, “Oh yeah. I can use that in my class”? Not unless you sit down with them and help them understand how this modular approach actually improves their abilities to teach students and learners in the broadest sense possible.
5. Is there anything you’d like to add about the changes an institution can make to its operational efficiencies to allow more students along the spectrum of access to be served by that school?
We just have to approach it in as collaborative, interactive and coordinated of a fashion as possible. There are a lot of silos in institutions like ours, whether it’s the silos of undergraduate education or in continuing ed on another side. I’m not a big fan of silos, but I recognize silos have value, they help money flow, they help communication flow, but those silos have to be much more porous than they are right now. This seamless approach means they flow across silos. It takes leadership at the top as well as the grassroots level to realize we’ll take advantage of silos when they have value to us and then we’ll make them more porous and more able to cross over from one to the other when we can provide significant value to the learners.
- By reducing the silos that exist between divisions and units across the institution, it’s possible to serve a wider group of students with a more diverse set of offerings.
- It’s critical for staff, faculty and institutional leaders to overcome the “not invented here” mentality to help create those relationships.
- If institutions commit to improving the process of developing courses and programs, they will be able to serve more students with more options.
The video gets cut off at the end – sorry about that! To finish my thought, what I was going to share is that our OSU Open Campus team will be presenting at the Engagement Scholarship Consortium on Wednesday afternoon as they compete for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award.
For your reflection …
At last week’s OSU Extension annual conference the keynote speaker asked us to reflect on the organization’s core values, which are listed below and can also be found on the Extension website.
Are there some that are missing? Should these be revisited? For those of you who aren’t Extension employees, I’d welcome your thoughts about your own organization’s values and the role that they play in your work.
In 2007, Oregon State and other American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC) member universities began working with the China Central Agricultural Broadcasting and Television School (CABTS) on collaborative distance learning projects. Our partnership led to the 2014 International Conference on China-US Open and Distance Education in Beijing in August, during which we debuted the prototypes for six bilingual online learning modules.
- Engagement Scholarship Consortium 2014 Meeting
- Roads Scholar Engagement Tour
- 2014 Annual Extension Conference
- ALS Association
Win a prize!
The first three people to find and share the following from division’s 2013-14 Academic Report will win a to-be-determined prize.
- Topic of the University’s first MOOC
- Amount of external dollars targeted to outreach and engagement work
- Percent of Oregonians that reported that they had learned something from Extension in the past year
Some of you may have taken the time to participate in the recent Faculty and Staff Forum on Oregon State’s potential involvement in the Unizin consortium. It was lively discussion about the impact and merits of participating in this major university collaboration to build a “learning ecosystem.” If you missed it, the hour or so conversation is archived at: https://media.oregonstate.edu/media/t/0_d73ieyl2
In addition, you may or may not have seen the article in the OSU Barometer that reported on the learning management system change from Blackboard to Canvas. You can see that at: http://www.dailybarometer.com/news/canvas-to-replace-blackboard/article_565dd982-1c02-11e4-bb9c-0017a43b2370.html
It is fairly easy from these discussions to see the possible benefit to the campus as whole for these kinds of visionary changes we are suggesting, but what will this do for Extension and other non-credit programming from OSU?
I think there are (at least) two aspects of this evolution that will have a significant impact on both what Extension at OSU looks like in five years and, beyond that, our opportunities for success. They are access and analytics.
Up until now, the learning management system (LMS) of the University has been a sole domain of credit courses. The specialized tools for grading and managing curriculum for students were not available to Extension faculty and the learners we were trying to reach. If we used an LMS it was a one-off instance of some other tool—such as Moodle. Now, not only will the new Canvas LMS be open and available to Extension faculty and content developers, it will be available at no significantly increased cost. Access to a robust and constantly improving LMS will, over time, change the look, feel, and interactive nature of Extension faculty members’ relationship with our learners. In addition, it opens the door for much more interchangeability among credit and non-credit courses. We have talked for years about whether and how we can create a stronger synergy among the learning opportunities created in Extension and courses that are offered for credit in similar content areas. Access to the Canvas LMS and ultimately the foundation created by the Unizin learning ecosystem will provide common development approach that will allow much more cross-use of Extension learning objects, modules, and even fully developed programs in the credit environment, and vice versa.
The world of learning and education will be driven into the future by our greater ability to understand not just how people learn in general, but how individuals participating in our programs learn. Extension has been built over the last 100 years on the concept of personalized learning. Having people resident in our communities around the state has always offered the opportunity for local learners to find individualized solutions to the issues they face. As populations have grown more urbanized and concentrated, we have struggled to maintain that personalized approach. Our Ask-an-Expert initiative is directly related to the goal of personalized response. As embedded analytics become more of a reality in our programs—a direct outcome of working in the Unizin learning ecosystem—we will all be able to “see” more of what works with more granular groups of people when it comes to learning tactics. Not only that, but you will be able to see what others in the consortium are doing to address similar needs. The more we know about how individual people learn, the more we will be able to develop methods of reaching each of them in that individual fashion. Check out the Unizin web site for more background and information: www.Unizin.org. As we continue to step through the process of joining the Unizin consortium, we’ll look to you all for early adopters willing to test the waters of this new learning ecosystem.
Now is the time for us all to frame the future of Extension on an educational foundation that is developed and shared by all our colleagues at OSU and around the country. Watch for your chance to step up and help ensure the long-term success of all our programs.