The Continuing the Conversation webinar series recently completed its third season. Hosted by Gina Londino, faculty fellow and lecturer in the IUPUI School of Science, the series provides faculty across the IU campuses with multiple opportunities to share and augment their expertise in online education. Five hundred and fifty participants from all IU campuses have viewed 17 series sessions since 2019.
Conceived as a continuing of the IU Online Conference, the semester-long series generally focuses on a common thread that reflects a current topic in online education. For example, spring 2021 webinars focused on tools, technologies, and practices proven to engage students in online learning. The sessions are practical, often including an interactive presentation where participants can try a tool like the whiteboard system Google Jamboard, discuss how to use it in the online classroom, and ask questions. Londino says that participants appreciate the interactive, open-discussion aspects of the sessions. They can have an immediate and direct impact on their teaching.
The webinars have opened doors to creating a community of IU online educators. According to Londino, "The series has built, augmented, and made public a community of experts on how to teach online and how to engage students in online learning. It has broken down silos across campuses, departments, and disciplines." She credits the series with allowing educators to meet colleagues, see what they're doing, and engage in collaborative work. It was this community that helped ease the transition to all-online learning in spring 2020, because faculty new to online teaching could more readily identify experts and get immediate and directed help. "Peer-to-peer communities are powerful networks for conveying expertise," says Londino.
Take part in the conversation
Spring 2021 webinar topics included empowering students through creative technologies, tools for fostering inter-professional education in the online classroom, social annotation to support learning and engagement, and enhancing learning with Google Drive.
Have you missed the webinars? You can find recordings on the Continuing the Conversation website. Want to contribute? Faculty across all IU campuses are welcome to share their ideas. If you have an idea, contact Londino at email@example.com.