Ask an Expert is a vital entry point for thousands of people to learn about OSU Extension. Kym Pokorny, Ask an Expert coordinator for Oregon, and Chrissy Lucas, an OSU Extension question wrangler, joined Vice Provost Scott Reed to reveal best practices for answering questions. More experts are needed. To join the ranks of Ask an Expert experts, please get in touch with Kym online, or at 541-737-3380.
Tell us the most unusual Ask an Expert question you’ve had to answer by posting a comment on the blog.
No commercially produced motorized wheelchairs are available for children under three years old with mobility challenges. That fact and his belief that mobility is a fundamental human right spurred Dr. Sam Logan to start Go Baby Go (GBG) Oregon.
GBG Oregon is a community-based outreach program that works with families and clinicians to provide modified toy ride-on cars to young children with disabilities. The ride-on cars encourage exploration and play. In Oregon alone, there are more than 3,000 children receiving early intervention services who might benefit from a modified rode-on car. To date, more than 200 Oregon families have received modified ride-on cars.
GBG Oregon was founded in 2014 by Dr. Logan, assistant professor, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Dr. Bethany Sloane, assistant professor, Oregon Health and Science University, joined the project as an equal partner in 2015. She oversees the GBG Oregon program that serves Portland-area families, including an advisory board that includes 10 clinicians, families, and community-member stakeholders.
The 15-member Children’s Adaptive Resources for Social Mobility (CARS) undergraduate club at Oregon State—for which Dr. Logan is founder and faculty advisor—supports the work of GBG Oregon. The club’s mission is to customize ride-on cars for a child’s particular disability. Dr. Logan also developed and taught an Honors College colloquial titled “Toy-based technology for children with disabilities.” This is an experimental learning course where students learn the science behind Go Baby Go, modify ride-on cars, and interact with families to customize ride-on car modifications for their children.
Logan published three peer-reviewed articles in Pediatric Physical Therapy, collaborated with Dr. Bill Smart (Mechanical Engineering, OSU), and published a technical report in Frontiers in Robotics & Artificial Intelligence outlining advances in modified ride-on car technology. He also collaborated with Dr. Kathleen Bogart (Psychological Science, OSU) on a research study that found caregivers’ attitudes toward disability and mobility may be related to the opportunities they provide to their children to use the modified ride-on cars (positive attitudes, more opportunities).
In addition to other scholarly activity, Logan represented OSU while conducting more than 20 Oregon and national workshops teaching the science behind GBG and the skills required to modify the ride-on cars. Dr. Sloane also leads monthly community workshops to modify ride-on cars.
Based on an abstract for the 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence. Go Baby Go Oregon received a 2017 Vice Provost Award of Excellence. Click here to see the Go Baby Go Oregon presentation at the awards celebration.
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
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.
Access 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.
Analytics 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.
By: Emily Henry, OSU Open Campus Coordinator in Tillamook
We had a great week at Oregon’s first Tech Trek camp here in Tillamook at Tillamook Bay Community College! Tech Trek is a nationwide science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) camp for 8th grade girls that we brought to Tillamook through a start-up grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
Tech Trek at TBCC is the only Tech Trek camp in Oregon and the only such camp in the country that is at a community college rather than on a university campus. We had 34 girls from rural, coastal Oregon communities who spent a week immersed in STEM activities—from using the Pythagorean Theorem to build kites to investigating the effects of ocean acidification on the shellfish industry to learning about women pilots and astronauts at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.
The girls left with new experiences, new knowledge about STEM subjects and STEM careers, and new friends and mentors. Eventually, we hope that we will see these girls go on to take more math and science courses in high school, be more likely than their peers to major in science and math subjects in college, and eventually increase the number of women in the STEM workforce here in Oregon. After just a week, I had a camper tell me ‘I want to learn to fly a plane now’ and another say ‘I think I want to be a computer scientist when I get older’ and I think, we are well on our way to this goal.
This camp would not have been possible without the support of the community; grants from AAUW, Ford Family Foundation, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, OSU Precollege Programs, and Tillamook School District #9; individual donations; and the work of our camp planning committee, staff, and volunteers—thanks to everyone for this amazing week!
By: Keely Moxley, OSU Open Campus Coordinator in Klamath Falls
Rebecca Brooksher, a 28 year old mom of two, was the first graduate of a new agricultural sciences degree completion program, offered in Klamath Falls through Oregon State University and Klamath Community College (KCC). This is the story of her busy graduation weekend.
Friday, June 14: Rebecca received her KCC diploma from Vice Provost Scott Reed and Dean Dan Arp. We had to leave their commencement a little early to make the four hour drive up to Corvallis.
Saturday, June 15: Rebecca’s daughter, Madisyn, loved that everyone knew who her mom was. She asked if her mom was some kind of celebrity.
Look who we found!
At the Ecampus reception we got to meet with Rebecca’s on-campus advisor, Melanie Jones, who was instrumental in guiding Rebecca towards her degree.
Of course, we had to decorate her mortar board.
Rebecca’s family went to save seats at Reser Stadium while we got her lined up for commencement.
I asked Rebecca what her favorite part of her weekend was. She said, “I think seeing the impact that OSU had on my family was the coolest part. However, Dean Arp recognizing me and giving me a hug as he handed me my diploma was a close second.”
Rebecca’s parents, grandparents, husband, one of her daughters, and a few friends watched her walk across the stage in Reser Stadium. They were incredibly impressed by all facets of the commencement as well as the OSU campus.
As Rebecca’s mentor and coach here in Klamath Falls, I am so proud of all the work that she has accomplished for herself, her family, and her community. Her goal is to obtain her Masters of Science in Agriculture Education so that she can share her passion for agriculture as a high school agriculture teacher.
Thank you so much, Rebecca, for sticking with the program and encouraging others to do the same!
I recently traveled to China to train faculty at the Central Agricultural Broadcasting and Television School (CABTS) on Articulate Storyline – a software solution that enables the creation of learning modules using a friendly interface. The training was sponsored by Oregon State University and the American Distance Educational Consortium.
I flew to Beijing on March 21st and was picked up at the airport and taken to dinner before settling into my hotel to rest after a long flight and losing a day. I have to mention that this meal was the first of many that the beginning topic of conversation has something to do with my skill with chopsticks. Really! I had different dinner companions at almost every meal and they were all impressed. I didn’t realize this was such an admired ability, but several commented that I was better with them than they were.
It seems that over the 10 days I ate more food than I normally eat in a month, but it was all good, healthy food. Each meal consisted of 10-15 dishes and each a Beijing specialty. I ate everything from fungus to grass carp to tripe and some things I am sure I am better off not knowing, but it gave them such pleasure to keep me sampling everything while being asked, “Do you love it?” My answer was usually, “Yes!” The food was fresh and simple. It’s not the Chinese food we are served here. They took great delight that I photographed every dish and if I forgot, someone would remind me before a serving was taken. The Peking Duck was fabulous. There is actually a ritual to eating it.
In between training times, I was taken to the Great Wall of China and we walked five miles of it. After training was finished, I had an afternoon of bartering at the market with my friend Zhou Xiao (Kitty) who had previously visited OSU. I spent my last day with Julia (I can’t even begin to transliterate her Chinese name into English letters). We walked over 10 miles that day as we went to the Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and of course, short visit to Chairman Mao laying in state in his crystal coffin….
….But, the training….
The workshop participants were faculty members who are responsible for delivering education to the farmers in their provinces.
I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to go to China and work with these faculty members who became my students for the week. They had a wide-range of ages and were from five different provinces.
The group went beyond what they were taught and sought out advanced techniques on their own and found delight in sharing with the others.
I did not know what kind of students I would find in the class. Would I find students who were there because they were told to be? Was this a mandatory training? I am excited that I found a group of students who were eager to learn, who were very smart and who took the initiative to solve problems and create solutions.
The presentations were the beginnings of what would eventually become learning modules that would be packaged for farmers to access.
The topics were crop rotation, integrated pest management, corn borers, silk worms and the ever present smog. I enjoyed working with them, teaching them, and then watching them work with each other as they created their projects and then presented them on the last day.
The learners exceeded my expectations for their learning and the staff of CABTS exceeded my expectations for hospitality. I look forward to continued collaborations.
Guest post by Dave Landkamer, Sea Grant Aquaculture Extension Specialist
“Let us have colleges as might rightfully claim the authority to scatter broadcast that knowledge which will prove useful in building up a great nation — great in its resources of wealth and power, but greatest of all in the aggregate of its intelligence and virtue.” – Representative Justin Smith Morrill, pleading for passage of the Morrill Act of 1862
When Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862 and the subsequent Hatch Act of 1887 the foundation of the Land-Grant College System, which would transform our nation into an agricultural, industrial, and social powerhouse, was in place. Continue reading →
We have a lot going on with Oregon Open Campus (OOC) these days, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some exciting news.
On March 18 Oregon State University, through the OOC initiative, and Klamath Community College (KCC) signed a memorandum agreement to pilot a new degree completion program in agricultural sciences.
Over the past year, with leadership from Willie Riggs – the OSU Extension Service regional administrator and director of the Klamath Basin Experiment Station – OOC has been working in partnership with KCC to finalize the details of this program.
Our ultimate goal is improved student success and retention.
Currently KCC students have the option to enroll in the Degree Partnership Program, which allows them to be jointly admitted and enrolled at KCC and Oregon State. Through this new degree completion program, students in Klamath and Lake counties who are interested in pursuing a degree in agricultural sciences can now travel a straight path from high school to an Oregon State degree, all without leaving the Klamath Basin.
The program, which begins this spring, makes it possible for high school students to earn 11 college credits, move to KCC’s agricultural sciences program, then complete Oregon State’s agricultural sciences program offered online through OSU Ecampus.
One unique component of this program is the “high touch” cohort model.
Students will meet regularly with Oregon State and KCC faculty, giving them access to mentoring, advising, ongoing encouragement and tutorials throughout the program.
This seamless approach should significantly reduce the
cost of an undergraduate education. KCC college credits in high school come at no cost, community college credits are about one-third the cost of university credits, and eliminating the relocation costs for students by staying in their home communities further reduces the total cost of an undergraduate degree.
We are currently exploring how this model might be replicated in other communities.
Oregon Open Campus in Tillamook County is in conversation with Tillamook Bay Community College to find a way for their students to transfer into OSU’s fisheries and wildlife sciences online degree program. Similar conversations are taking place on the south coast with Southwestern Oregon Community College.
Last week we celebrated Open Education Week, an annual worldwide event to raise awareness of the Open Educational Resources (OERs) movement and the opportunities that OERs create for teaching and learning around the globe. So, you may be wondering …
Who is doing open education?
We are! Universities worldwide are creating and using OERs. Land grant universities in particular are taking on the creation of OERs as a part of their mission to educate and share research with the public and K-12 schools that might need access to materials for high-achieving students. The OER Commons is a great place to see what is out there and search for items that others are creating.
A funny thing happened to me on my way to hear Sebastian Thrun speak in October. Thrun, you’ll remember is the (former) Stanford Artificial Intelligence professor, whose free online course went viral last year, starting the frenzy over Massive Open Online Courses, known by the acronym MOOCs. These are super-large enrollment non-credit courses offered for free. Thrun’s AI course attracted around 160,000 enrollments. What is seldom added to that fact is that around 133,000 dropped out of the course. Nonetheless, 28,000 students are more than Thrun would ever reach with his in-person lectures during his lifetime.