Notes for Session A
Citizens Building Communities: Collaborative Relationships
W, Th – Conference center: Classroom B
Facilitated by Lea Wells and Steve Breiner
Start 2:35 / May 23, 2001
Teaching on-line courses, no one responds.
Some people (4 of 13) have experience designing web pages.
Started by having people introduce themselves, mentioning experiences with collaboration and elaborating on their expectations for this workshop.
Some expectations for workshop:
1.“building synergies amongst groups,”
3.“building a better, healthier system in North Carolina,”
4.“see how faculty can break out of their paradigms, if you will, and reach out to other campuses to build relationships, to bring expertise to others,”
5.“would like to develop projects designed around collaborative efforts,”
6.“would like to get a good look at a collaborative that is already up and running, and that is currently seeking means of improvement,”
7.“working on collaborative strategies in the library, an information commons that reaches out to many different departments at UNC-Charlotte, and looking to see what sort of collaborative projects have worked effectively for others,”
8.“looking to collaborate between people at other universities, looking to explore any possible opportunities,”
9.“worked in distance education in the library, and looking for ways to utilize collaboration as a means of better serving the students and faculty,”
10.“member of teaching, learning task-force, designing web pages and developing ways in which to reach out to faculty members, make opportunities for faculty development,”
11.“communities are building, developing expertise, and I would like to see people pool their efforts, databases, and practical guides, especially for library tools search as EBSCOHost,”
12.“help to train people how to train others, not necessarily content instruction,”
13.“familiar with collaboration from prior experiences at the library at ECU,”
14.“looking to collaborate to develop courses and to expand statewide collaboration amongst libraries,”
15.“looking to share more information with libraries so students have more access to information from other institutions,”
16.“looking for the more timely release of funds for collaboration, and universities are too insular,”
17.“professors need to be more proactive in seeking ways to increase collaboration between departments and other universities,”
18.“can check out books from any of 16 campuses in the UNC system, however, a stronger collaborative relationship needs to be fostered in the university itself,”
19.“came here to find ways in which to get faculty behind e-learning programs…need to built a virtual partnership,”
20.“Carolina Colloquy at UNC-G, and was a good example of collaboration which involved the sharing of resources, and has now evolved into a stronger program, PLT Collaborative,”
21.“looking for the most effective collaborative model for PLT Collaborative,”
22.“sometimes forcing collaboration that is not system-wide, looking for a way for TLT to emerge as a whole unit in a university,”
23.“very difficult for one campus to give money to another campus, and this causes a breakdown in the collaborative process,”
24.“looking to expand TLT into the human resources area in the university,”
25.“want to collaborate with the universities as they collaborate with themselves,”
26.“looking to solve financial and motivational problems the underlie many TLT programs,”
27.“have had success in implementing on-line courses, and are now looking to implement solid programs based on collaboration,”
28.“UNC-Charlotte and UNCW are looking to collaborate with certain programs, and are looking for ways to streamline the collaborative process,”
29.“much more difficult than just getting the funds for a collaborative project…looking for an effective model to apply to this alliance between these two universities,”
30.“might use a model that working in a Kansas nursing school that reached out to student-nurses in small-town communities that had no access to higher education, and this worked well, and was noted in Time magazine,”
31.“one complication: who is going to provide these services to the students,”
32.“another problem: students at one university want to get a certification at another university, and schools should create programs that meet the specific needs of their audience,”
33.“students decide which campus they want to be associated with, and specific departments at universities handle their needs,”
34.“developing IT departments based on collaborative models that have had ‘decent’ results,”
35.“TLT should take a project-based approach, something that I feel is missing from the whole process,”
36.“Speech Pathology course was one of the most successful programs that I’ve seen…Same accrediting body, and started from this point…Accrediting body decides whether or not prospective students are going to be successful candidates for the degree…One problem is that the program relies wholly upon grants.”
·Their courses are different from our courses, even though they are under the same accreditation board, because people believe that they have the most effective model and philosophy being used.
·Long history of 16 independent units, lots of competition between campuses for everything, like students, funds, ect.
·Tenure.What is my teaching load this semester?I have students all over the place, and am I getting credit for my teaching?
·Long term, short term goals.It isn’t always clear what direction the campus or university system is taking.
·Lack of support throughout the various hierarchical levels in the university.
·Lack of contact with colleagues.
·Lack of a common calendar, course numbering system, and course fee inconsistencies.
·Talent, resources, and responsibility: three areas of concern in relation to failure in the collaborative process.
·Who’s the boss?Who do we look to, because the tendency is to look outside of ourselves?
·Different computer configurations and programs.Articulation agreements can be a problem.
Figure out whose responsibility it is.Start looking at where these decisions get made.If one doesn’t have the rights, then initiating an effective program is futile.“Colleges thought of students taking on-line courses as being ‘out there,’ but this is no longer the case, they are real students, a student is a student.”
10-15 minute activity in which attendees select a partner they do not know, and discuss a collaborative project that was successful, thinking about the elements that did and did not work.Guidelines for this discussion included, but were not limited to, characteristics, buy-in, rewards, and strategies that worked towards the common good.The following list contains some of the elements that contributed to the successful nature of these projects:
·Similar procedures (D)
·Clear leadership [There was a discussion about whether or not leadership comes from one or many.Everyone who is taking part in the project has some sense of ownership, but everybody agrees that one person takes charge, as decided by the collaborative group.Some leadership emerges simply because the group agrees that he/she will speak in the best interest of the group.This champion sells the idea in and out of the group; this champion has an aura of talent and sincerity that others in the group recognize.The champion also knows how to use crisis in the best interest of the group.](E)
·Interested faculty (participants) (E)
·Defined core working group, with a champion of cause. (E)
·Central portal of information exchange within the collaborative group
·Mutual respect (E)
·Obvious benefit to the collaboration to the participants
·Defined affiliation (where the degree came from)
·Having resources, intellectual, monetary, ect. (E)
·Top administrative support (D)
·Know that they can get more done collectively than alone (D)
·Establish some basic interaction guidelines (E)
·Creating a safe environment where one knows that they are safe and needed (D)
·A goal oriented structure for collaborative effort
·Lots of time and many interactions amongst participants
Key: (E) Essential and (D) Desirable: A discussion as to whether or not the above characteristics of a successful collaborative venture were either essential or desirable was enacted.The labels indicated above were agreed upon by a general consensus.Not all were discussed in this fashion during the workshop.
Commentary on characteristics:
1.“Hard to sell faculty on interdisciplinary programs, unless you’ve got someone totally driven to see this process through,”
2.“One of the ironies involved in the collaborative venture is that the youngest professors are too busy working on publications to achieve tenure,”
3.“One problem with tenure, being a very competitive process, is that you have two different energies working against one another,”
4.“Who controls tenure?…faculty, they don’t get recognized for collaborative projects, yet they are their own peer group,”
5.“It will be interesting to see after a few more generations of turn-over, if indeed collaborative ventures will be the dominant forum of scholarship,”
6.“Flexibility in tenure policies exist, but behind closed doors, are people willing to make the changes necessary to allow collaborative ventures count as viable work for tenure,”
7.“Broadening the definition to allow for projects that would promote professional development, not necessarily basing tenure on solitary, competitive scholarship,”
8.“Maybe the changes necessary to promote collaborative work between faculty members could be mandated by a supra-organizational principle,”
9.“Building an on-line course might be counted as three publications,”
10.“But some professors might note that since they’ve jumped through certain hoops, the pressure for other new professors seeking tenure will be to do likewise,”
11.“Don’t do these collaborative projects unless the rewards are clearly visible.”