ATI 2020 Recap

Audrey Watters' Keynote Speech 

'All Watched over by Machines of Loving Grace': Care and the Cybernetic University

Richard Brautigan's poem, "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace"


ATI Faculty Ambassador Presentation Slide Decks and Resources

ACCESS: Support students and facilitate greater access to learning in your course by replacing textbook(s) and/or other paid course materials to reduce or eliminate cost barriers

Drew Conroy, University of New Hampshire

"Writing a Dairy Cattle Judging and Evaluation text with original materials and sharing via OER Commons"
Slide Deck
Highlights from break out session:

  • OER Commons is a free, simple platform for OER.  Drew used this instead of Pressbooks because his institution didn’t have Pressbooks available.  (Editor’s note: we now have the NH Open Hub on OER Commons. It will be simultaneously available to the public on OER Commons.
  • OER Commons allows you to print and download.
  • Provides possibilities to collaborate with other faculty who teach the same course
  • Students resisted buying the old textbook which is one of the reasons why he switched to an OER.
  • You can create a "tailor-made" textbook.

Julie Robinson, River Valley Community College

"Promoting Equitable Access; OER in Science Courses (and more) at River Valley Community College"
Slide Deck
OER Resources
Highlights from break out session:

  • Social justice underlies the reasons for switching to OER. Some students are working 20-40 hours per week so they can afford school.
  • Open Stax accepts updates quickly. (Editor's note: OpenStax has created peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks, which are available in free digital formats and for a low cost in print.)
  • Developing OER is a way to rebel against that commodification of education.The professor teaches the class, not the textbook.
  • OER can feel really threatening to the work completed in this traditional system. 
  • Some faculty are already working with some open concept without realizing. 

AGENCY: Support student agency by redesigning your course to increase student control over policies & practices, grading & assessment, and/or activities & assignments

Karen Cangialosi, Keene State College

"Student Agency" 
Slide Deck
USNH Ungrading Webinar
Highlights from break out session:

  • The more we let go of students ‘getting away with something’ you will find students would rather engage. Students self assess pretty accurately.
  • Q: What most concerns you about giving over control in the design or execution of your course? A. Increasing levels of anxiety among our students, especially in the NCLB era: many do not LIKE having choices; some don’t even like “Ungraded” or low-stakes work., A. Assessment, A. Quality
  • Q:  What are ways for your students to co-create the course syllabus with you? A. Reserve 1-2 classes that will consist of readings, TED Talks, etc., that they nominate and make a pitch for as a mini-assignment early in the semester.  If more than one student nominate the same text that is a good sign, and I cull all the nominations in a series of ‘pages’ on Canvas with an excerpt of the student’s pitch and sometimes student choose to write on the optional/recommended reads for one of their essays.
  • Q: What might you change about your current grading processes or other policies that gives more agency to your students? ​A: I actually allow students to resubmit an assignment for review and regrading based on the feedback I gave them from the initial submission. The way I get them to consider a resubmission is to never penalize them by giving them a lesser grade.

Stephen Pimpare, University of New Hampshire

"Rethinking Assessment: Ungrading to Foster Student Agency & Engagement"
Slide Deck
Jesse Stommel Ungrading
Highlights from break out session:

  • Self- and peer-assessment can help reduce the burden on the instructor, engage students in the work, avoid assessment getting in the way of learning.
  • Q:  What to do when students don’t know what they don’t know/need to know, or if they don’t care about the course? A: Can build in more traditional options for assessing some content. Can require students to demonstrate specific learning but provide flexibility in how it is demonstrated.
  • Student reflections are real, actionable feedback.
  • Q: Can deeper student feedback be hurtful? A: Yes, especially when challenging things that you hold dear. If you have strong relationships with students they will be more likely to be both honest and constructive.
  • If you build an environment where students want to do the work and trust them to do it they are likely to do it.

COMMUNITY: Support students joining a community of scholars and contributing to the knowledge commons by creating or contributing to open resources or sharing and discussing their work on the web

Phil Lonergan, Plymouth State University

"A Textbook = A Community; Foundations of 3D at PSU"
Slide Deck
Highlights from break out session:

  • Q: How do you integrate Pressbooks into the class? A: Student assignments submissions are shared with the class for review. Student editors, “Art Docs,” evaluate the student posts and select the best to be uploaded into the shared Pressbook textbook, with student commentary/interpretation. In this way, student work becomes part of the teaching material for the class, growing over time with subsequent classes.
  • Students were already using Domain of One’s Own (student websites for sharing their work). For the first month of class, Phil worked to frame and prepare for the transition to working in the Open (via the Pressbook); he built the community first, and then offered students the opportunity to either take a traditional quiz (disposable assignment), or post the same material in the Pressbook; students appreciated the value of the authentic and meaningful experience of sharing knowledge openly within the Pressbook, rather than taking the disposable/isolated quiz. This helps prepare students for the eventual reality of sharing work with the public (the ultimate “open” context). 
  • Q: What is a realistic timeline for implementing moving into the Open?  A:  As faculty, we ask ourselves, do we have to take separate time to build community? In the Open, the process of contributing to the shared Pressbok textbook pulls the group together as community organically.

Carolyn Cormier and Emily Gannon, Granite State College

"Community Building in the Open"
Slide Deck
Spark Takeaway Page 
Highlights from breakout session:

  • Commonly used open tools: Facebook, Twitter, Padlet, Flipgrid, Google Suite
  • Q: How do you start? A: Create sample posts as model, students may be missing out on larger communities but may be best at the beginning and introduce larger communities later...take the leap and require it, they will be thankful later. 
  • Allow a choice of platform/when students don't want to be public on social media - allow them to use an alias and share the name. 
  • Q: How to grade? A: Met/Not Met 
  • Building Communities in courses; LinkedIn. Use during coursework to build portfolio, make contacts, culminating with the capstone and continuing through their career.

New Hampshire Open Education Public Consortium

NH Open Hub
Guide to Adding Resources to the Hub
OER Commons Webinars

Resources mentioned in ATI chat

Insights and Comments on Keynote from ATI Chat

  • Panopticon was designed by 18th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham...and is a prison complex that worked by making prisoners feel always-under-surveillance.
  • I think about how the online proctoring software industry has exploded since remote learning started. No sense rethinking our assessments.
  • "Use your body as friction to the machine." Whew
  • The more that COVID has stolen my connection to my colleagues and students, the more I am convinced that education is most about humanity and care. And so many solutions to teaching during COVID don’t focus on either.
  • Should higher ed be in the business of humanity and care, or in conferring degrees? Or are the two in separable? When >50% of residential campus revenue is in non-education related services, is it sustainable?
  • I think without humanity at the core, learning becomes automated and algorithmic and we have google and calculators for that. I think we need to think first about learning as a human act. And conferring degrees as a mark of that process/experience.
  • I actually have always found “machines of loving grace” a beautiful, poignant line with echos of the time period in which it was written, and much of Brautigan’s work.  But, that’s just me!
  • What is the difference between CARE and the PERFORMANCE OF CARE? I am thinking about that in my own teaching. So fascinating.
  • I have found that when I “perform care” (usually b/c I’m in a bad mental space myself, and care seems beyond what I can do), I quickly start to care.
  • Sometimes, there is enhanced transparency that is revealed through digital communication as F2F barriers many be reduced.
  • A McLuhan-y response to the keynote: Machinery are extensions (and therefore inventions) of the perception of human need. It is not fair, IMO, to attack "machinery" when the root of the issue are the factors the generate the perception of need.
  • John Kenneth Galbraith said "We are becoming the servants, in thought as well as in deed, of the machines that we created to serve us."
  • I don’t think she is attacking machines per se. I think she is questioning the ways they are used in our institutional contexts to routinize our work and rob it of its humanity.
  • I’m not sure Audrey’s point is to attack the machine — but rather the contexts that we often embrace that result in the rise/dependence upon the machine.
  • I think that's part of the call to action -- to work to create the institutions and society we need to make sure we don't cede "care" to machines
  • Reminds me that my connection with student is more important than the technology.
  • Another perspective from a communications perspective: There is no difference between the machinery that mediates our interaction today and the ones we have invented since written text. Rather, it is our attitude about machinery (not machinery in itself) that determines its value to human well-being.
  • The LMS in its current state is quite primitive: it is an administrative tool - not a platform for communication in the metaphor of actual human communication. Teaching through an LMS is like writing a letter in a distance romance. You have to compensate for the shortcomings of the technology to convey meaning (and care).
  • Can machines or tools be created or used in ways that increase care and compassion among humans? Isn't it the human intentions that we need to focus on?
  • Although there were some exceptions, I primarily interpreted the “machine” less in the concrete, literal sense and more as the antithesis to humanity (broadly speaking) within an educational context.
  • An analogy: Can motion picture film be used to increase care and compassion among humans? I think we would agree that the answer is “yes” but it took a certain number of years for both filmmakers, the technology, and audience literacy to converge upon a cinematic “language” that is successful in achieving this end.
  • Yes, I feel that there can be an intent of administering care in the creation of machines. as radiology equipment saves lives, robotic surgery, even the normalization of Lasik surgery and laser treatments for varicose veins. These inventions absolutely enhance day-to-day quality of life. I think 'care' in the LMS era can entail responding to students in a timely manner, making time for one-on-one conferences, letting them lead part of classes in Zoom. It's still disembodied, of course, but a big part of care as I see it is listening and these tools do enable their voices to develop and take space.
  • Yes, agreed. The problem is outsourcing the human to the machine. Less the machine as a problem.
  • I was struck by Audrey's point when she said, "We expect more from machines than we do from each other."
  • A less-directly pedagogical example: the TEV.  On my campus Women’s and Gender Studies resisted those damned things for years, preferring a rich, nuanced narrative evaluation form. We got GREAT feedback on our teaching. Eventually our Provost forced us to use the TEV. Almost overnight, our discussions about teaching and how to evaluate it were degraded into numerical calculations of “fairness” “enthusiasm” and “availability” rather than WHAT STUDENTS ACTUALLY LEARN
  • In this case “the machine” interfered with our ability to be HUMAN
  • The TEV is such a broken practice.
  • IMO, it was not the machinery, but the framework of communication that failed. The system could easily have been designed to solicit indicators of well-being.
  • The TEV framework, as you described, it was developed in the lens of the values of the administrator.
  • Scaffolding the technology such as hybrid flipped classroom to begin critical inquiry opens the door for deeper conversations in the class.
  • I agree with you - and the idea of that "space" of needing to sit with the question brings in other layers of problem solving, and advocacy.  Instead of getting the answer immediately, needing to think about where to go for the answer, how to frame the question, and then seeking out the answer.  Ahhh - information literacy!

Insights and Comments on Faculty Presentations and Breakout Sessions 

  • So much OER is peer-reviewed. And some commercial materials are not. Cost and peer-review are not natively linked.
  • I love it when people have been making OER and didn’t even know that’s what they were doing. Instinctually, they just know that this practice matters and is good. And, so often, we find those faculty who understand this instinctually at community colleges — because they are so student-centered and focused on what is best for their students.
  • Some of my most impactful and ultimately high-quality OER projects were really not good at all in their first drafts. But I love the idea that OER can always be in draft form, so it’s less intimidating to share when I think of it like that.
  • “Outside the classroom” is such a resonant and weird phrase now. Love thinking about what it means.