The rise of distance education is perhaps simply foregrounding new spatial understandings which are impacting on all forms of higher education, on‐campus and off‐ ~ Bayne, Gallagher and Lamb, 2013
Increasingly, students of all ages are engaged with the digital world. Yes, they still need to do things in a physical space, but the imperatives of social media and their digital lives command more of their attention. The physical campus finds it difficult to compete for attention. Online education has created an even larger gap. ~ Luke, 2017
Bayne et al. (2013) and Luke (2017) words highlight the complex relationship between the university as institution and as place. At the core is a set of deeply held beliefs that universities are special places. They are stable places in an uncertain world. Building on the framework developed for an earlier workshop Creativity at a Distance (opencreativity.trubox.ca/creativity-at-a-distance), this workshop will engage participants in an exploration of the university as place and the role of open, distance and online learning is supporting, challenging and/or changing them.
This experimental workshop builds on the success of v-Connecting, “a connected learning volunteer movement that enlivens virtual conference experiences by partnering those that are at the conference with virtual participants that cannot attend” (Bali, Caines & DeWaard, 2016). In this case, however, this experimental workshop’s goal is to “go beyond the hallways” (Bali, personal communication).
The workshop’s facilitators will be both onsite and offsite and we will run a series of different activities associated with this workshop before, during and after the conference that will be coordinated through a workshop website whose goal will be to actively engage participants both onsite and offsite.
Before the workshop: In the weeks leading up to the conference, we will conduct several activities to generate discussion and gather ideas about the role of place in education. Students and those unable to attend OER18 will be especially encouraged to participate. The submissions from these pre-conference activities will then form the basis for workshop activities.
During the workshop: The goal is for onsite and offsite participants to get actively involved in a series of hands on activities together to explore the role of place in learning. While the actual acitivities will be aligned with the preworkshop input, we expect that the workshop activities will include opportunities to draw, move, create and share. Anyone offsite can join the workshop at any time, for just a few minutes or the whole workshop.
After the workshop: Extension activities will be built into the workshop website with the goal of carrying the conversation forward. As part of this conversation, we hope to explore how extending participation beyond a conference site and dates changes the nature of participation possibly both for better and worse.
Bali, M., Caines, A.L.A., DeWaard, H. and Hogue, R., 2016. Ethos and practice of a connected learning movement: interpreting virtually connecting through alignment with theory and survey results. Online Learning, 20(4).
Bayne, S., Gallagher, M.S. and Lamb, J., 2014. Being ‘at’university: the social topologies of distance students. Higher education, 67(5), pp.569-583.
Luke, Jim., 2017. Commons of Our Own, Retrieved from https://econproph.com/2017/11/26/commons-of-our-own/