The EdTech Connection (ETC) sat down with Ashley Kehoe, Instructional Designer and lead for the Dartmouth Digital Learning Media Fellows program. We asked Ashley about how the program got started and what we can expect from it going forward.
ETC: Ashley, tell us a bit about this program. What are the program’s purpose and big goals? Where did it come from?
AK: The Digital Learning Media Fellowship (DLMF) is an effort to tell the stories of innovative teaching and learning at Dartmouth while giving undergraduates the opportunity to gain applied experience in film and media production. This program fuses two major initiatives - experiential and digital learning - and meets an institutional need for agile, responsive storytelling about the high-impact teaching and learning that happens here. The idea came from a collaboration between Ed Tech and the Media Production Group (MPG), where course teams are working with faculty to produce media content for the Gateway Initiative and Dartmouth X courses. We started imagining how we could do that for more courses and programs, and how we could better tell the many compelling stories of innovative, active learning happening here at Dartmouth. Creating a program that unleashes the raw talent, energy, and ideas of Dartmouth students while providing them with any necessary equipment and training seemed like a good place to start.
ETC: What does this program look like beyond the first term?
AK: In spring ‘15, we’re piloting the DLMF and just recruited our first team of student fellows, who are all incredibly talented and passionate about this work. In this start-up term, we hope to demonstrate proof of concept and show how powerful experiential learning programs can be for students - and for the institution as a whole. What this program will look like beyond the pilot is still unknown, but I hope it will grow to expand experiential learning opportunities for students, better tell Dartmouth’s teaching and learning story, and build capacity in media and learning support services including the Jones Media Center (JMC), Ed Tech, and MPG. I also hope to engage faculty as partners in this program, to make the DLMF an integration of academic and co-curricular learning.
ETC: What excites you most about this program? The student fellows you’ve hired?
AK: The most exciting aspect of this program for me was getting the green light to let students loose to show what they can do, while providing them with structured opportunities for training, support, and reflection on their learning. In my experience working with Dartmouth students, if you empower them to be creative and take ownership of a project, they’ll come up with ideas that we as professionals may never have imagined. Sometimes just getting out of students’ ways is the best thing we can do for them, and I’m excited to show how that can work in practice. I also think the collaboration between DCAL, Ed Tech, MPG, and JMC is important, because it brings together a range of professional skills and resources from across campus to support student learning and development, while capturing and sharing the work of our faculty, instructional designers, librarians, media production professionals, and campus partners. The DLMF is a way for us to model high quality experiential and digital learning, while telling the story of it.