Using Research and Practice to Create Change
My work in academic innovation has bridged scholarship and practical development, starting with augmented learning environments at the OLC Innovate conferences (2016-2018) designed to address conference topics in real-time by using physical and digital space to supplement the conversation. That work and subsequent research has led to a manuscript (publication 2020) addressing how we can recognize the history of academic innovation in order to harness its best qualities.
Much of this work is dedicated to grounding academic innovation so we can best engage it in our practice. Innovation in education takes many forms: a desire for creative as well as critical thinking, flexibility in operations, nimble administrative engagement, coupled with the ability to sponsor and support work across the curriculum, the campus and the greater educational world. These values are vital to the future of higher education as a social good, to help citizens to become publicly useful and privately happy. However, without a conceptual framework, inquiry and actions around the future of higher education are funneled through a traditional lens: How does this particular innovation align with existing understood structures of assessment, accreditation, technological platform or discipline standards? Stretching these boundaries can help us better deploy innovative projects and procedures for our students and communities.