A Little In-House Connected Learning

By now most of you who might be reading this know that I am working on developing an assessment ecology (new term) or system (too “institutional”)  or protocol( too “linear”) or toolbox  (too “technology” focused) for connected learning.  I am doing this for my dissertation research and as part of my research agenda as the graduate fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University’s ALT Lab, where we are all about connected learning for a networked world.

But in my spare time, I’ve been working on a little side project with an ALT Lab colleague, Enoch Hale.  Enoch Hale works across the hall from me. His thing is critical thinking and faculty development. His favorite professional phrase is “intellectual move.” He asks questions.

About a year ago Enoch developed a blogging project called the 30 Day Question Challenge.  He blogged every day around provocative questions on teaching and learning – like Day 10 – “What do teachers and serial killers have in common?” The series got a lot of attention at the time but once the series ended, attention faded. The questions- the kind of questions that we should all wrestle with every day… they just sat there.
About a week ago, Enoch and I went on a coffee run.  The 30 questions came up.  Also, I told him how this tweet

inspired me (along with Maha Bali’s blog post on hijab)to try www.notegraphy.com to express my feelings about culture and clothing.

And, of course, all that talking ended up in connection-making and collaboration, which went something like this:

“Hey Enoch, do you mind if I make a virtual quilt out of your 30 questions using notegraphy? I think people would find it visually appealing.  Do you mind if I use your stuff?”

And he said ok and, using notegraphy and www.canva.com, I made this

I’ve been rolling out the quilt pieces daily via Twitter. 


I’ve also been thinking about making this a Pinterest page if Enoch could use it in his faculty development work, and, of course, I’m ordering paper posters for our doors. Enoch is very happy.  I’m very happy.

Here’s why this story is important.

1. I love the number of connections that took place to trigger this project. It just goes to show how reading widely, experimenting, and talking with your colleagues can make great things happen.

2.  I love the collaborative component of this project. Enoch had some content.  I’m a graphic-designer-wannabe. Not all collaborations have to be formalized or specific to formal work duties.

3.  I love that this project convinced Enoch of the importance of visuals.  Enoch is a text-based guy, but he says that this experience has convinced him that aesthetics really matter.  Given that Enoch is the most cheerful skeptic I’ve ever met – and that he demands that others provide him with experiences (not logic nor argument) to make him change his mind…this is big news. I’m patting myself on the back.

4.  I love that Enoch thinks that this quilt will help him engage faculty in provocative questions around teaching and learning.

And finally,

5.  I love that I get a new poster.

If you want to download this as a pdf or a png, feel free to do so here .

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Alan says:

    I love all of this.

    You and Enoch took a dip into a serendipity pool. What ever we can do to increase the amount of Potential Sererndipity Energy is groovy


  2. Laura Gogia says:

    Thanks, Alan. The collaboration is getting even better – our real graphic design expert, Alana Robinson(@anrcreative) is jumping on the bandwagon to clean up my edges in Photoshop so that we can turn this into a big and beautiful poster.


  3. Classic example of the adjacent possible.


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