I am now almost a month into my new role as acting dean of the School for Graduate Studies at SUNY Empire State College. I had hoped to slip in quietly after the faculty had gone off for their summer reading period. As the saying goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men [and even women] often go astray.” An accreditation project that was way behind will squeak out the door before the close of the month, an awesome feat that took a lot of teamwork. It always feels good to achieve what looked impossible.
Oh! The faculty have returned, the terms starts in a couple of weeks, the last day of regular registration is on Friday, and I still have a number of student theses to read. I have visions of enhanced learning design, weekend residencies, faculty load reports, and of course enrollments in my head. Just over the horizon is the budget. The academic year seems to be spoken for already.
Still, I still have hopes for what we can do in terms of connectivist learning and for developing robust community spaces for our programs. Our new Master of Arts program Learning and Emerging Technologies, still in its infancy, is most exciting in this arena. Our transition to Moodle/Mahara will open some doors into a broader learning environment. The MBA faculty are developing a course that will be published in an OER. The teacher education faculty are building a Virtual Teaching Incubator that will connect us with the schools and teachers. So wemake progress on some open learning projects. I will learn some more about Openness in Education through another MOOC offered by George Siemans and Rory McGreal at Athabasca University.