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Reflection: Exploring the DigPINS Course (Digital Pedagogy, Identity, Networks, Scholarship)

Before I get to my reflection, a bit of background:

I’ve been an administrator for my favorite professional learning community, Pedagome, for about three years. Pedagome, which was born right out of CU Denver, is a grassroots PLC for learning design and related fields. We’ve always had representation from around the country, but our membership has grown across the United States (and is starting to reach beyond).

Last October, members of the Pedagome PLC connected with the creators of DigPINS, a faculty development experience created by Autumm Caines and Sundi Richard that focuses on the growth of digital identity and presence.

Since meeting the DigPINS founders, the Pedagome team has talked off and on about hosting DigPINS as both a self-development opportunity and as a chance for members of the Pedagome community to check out the course for applications at their various home institutions. This month, we finally teamed up to make it happen.

It’s exciting to host events and discussions with the Pedagome community because working together informally in the PLC makes it easier to construct new and better perspectives on our profession. Additionally, so many of my colleagues are working as individual experts in their units or departments, and our shared experiences help reduce feelings of isolation and give our peers more motivation and momentum in their work.

Plus, we really like to geek out on instructional design and technology together.

I jumped in on the planning and facilitation end of the DigPINS/Pedagome mashup to get a more complete idea of how an experience like DigPINS could benefit our faculty development offerings through the Office of Digital Education. Not only has it been fun and interesting to organize, it’s also led to some excellent conversation between individuals representing a range of instructional design and technology in higher education.

On the practical applications front, ODE’s most similar current offering to DigPINS is the Online Skills Mastery (OSM) course, which is open to any interested faculty member (as well as the occasional resident or grad assistant). The eight-week OSM course emphasizes online pedagogy over tools, while also giving faculty the experience of being a student in our university’s LMS. It is like DigPINS in that they are both heavily influenced by the Community of Inquiry model and emphasize deliberate practice.

The two courses diverge in that OSM centers most of the learning experience around course design and development, while DigPINS embraces a more abstract exploration of instructional identity in the digital realm through the lens of personal identity, digital networks, digital pedagogy, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. While parts of the curriculum lend themselves to exploring tools like social media, synchronous communication tools, and asynchronous collaboration spaces, it’s a very philosophical experience.

I’d be interested in trying a version of DigPINS at here at CU Denver|Anschutz because as we have more and more faculty who are experienced online instructors, I think we’re going to want to continue to diversify how we explore the scholarship of teaching and learning in our online spaces. I love our OSM course, and I love the idea of expanding to incorporate different aspects of digital learning and teaching. I’m also excited for more opportunities for combining our ideas and experiences. More chances to innovate and create together!

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