VIU_logo_1.pngThe 5 X 5 X 25 Challenge!

 

Wanting to do something a bit different this term to engage more than just teaching faculty in our offerings, I found an idea on Faculty Focus about a college in the US who issued a 9 X 9 X 25 challenge to their faculty – blogging 9 times on 9 weeks with 25 sentence posts. I really liked how this pushed the discussion about learning teaching out there and made it more public. Faculty were able to read each others’ work and enhance conversations around being a professional educator. So I took the idea and changed it up to 5 week, 5 post version for my institution and I also broadened it to include any employee. I am working on advancing a culture of teaching and learning and this seems like a natural fit to help in this way. However, I strongly believe that it is an entire institution’s responsibility to educate students and provide meaningful learning experiences so I am liking the variety of folks who are signing up from all departments and faculties. I’ll report more on this challenge as we undertake it. Thank you Tom Conway at Yavapai College for the idea!

 

What is the Challenge?
We invite any Vancouver Island University (VIU) employee to create 5 pieces of casual writing, at 5 separate times this term that are 25 sentences in length on the topic of learning and teaching!
 
This is not just for teaching faculty – but any support staff, lab technician, Dean, employee from any Faculty or Department such as Student Affairs, Regional Campuses, Facilities, Finance, Research Office, VPs, etc . Aside from the required 25 sentences for each of the 5 pieces of writing, the only other requirement is that the writing must be about learning and teaching. That gives you a lot of latitude to write about classroom experiences, student learning, your own learning, successes, challenges, hopes and aspirations! You can write about personal experiences, classroom stories, student aha moments, experiences with using technology, learning new skills etc. Anything to do with learning and teaching!
 
What are the Challenge Outcomes?
The short term intended learning outcome of the challenge is to give employees a playful space to share and see what colleagues across a teaching-focused institution are saying about our main activity – learning and teaching! The  long term goal of the 5 x 5 X 25 Challenge is to push us to be reflective practitioners in the field of post-secondary education and to share reflections with our colleagues. While the five times will be a good start, we hope that some of the participants will continue to write and share their thoughts about the educational landscape, the classroom and student learning.
 
How Will it Work?
Before each of the 5 deadline dates, you will simply submit an email to teachlearn@viu.ca with your 25 sentence writing piece. You will want to ensure it reads well, but you do not need to be an accomplished writer! I will post it on our teaching and learning blog site (http://wordpress.viu.ca/ciel) and make sure it looks presentable and functions on the Internet. That’s it…just write and send an email to teachlearn@viu.ca (an email I manage). You need to be okay with your writing being posted on the Internet – as this is how we will share with each other and make it a more social-media friendly for others to read, reply and share.
 
If you wish to create your own blog post on our site, and feel comfortable with WordPress, just let us know and we’ll get you an account and set you up! Or you can blog/write on another website and send me the link to repost your content.
 
Are you up for the Challenge?
We know you are super busy. We know you already share your ideas with colleagues in the hallways, over coffee and in the cafeteria. But we challenge you to use 25 sentences or more as a way to reflect and share your thoughts about teaching and learning with a broader audience. If we had 40 employees writing 5 pieces – we’d have 200 pieces of writing from VIU!  We will publish all participants’ work from this challenge in one document to share with others about what VIU is doing in teaching and learning.
 
Are you wondering what 25 sentences looks like? Well you just read them! It is that easy.
 
To sign up:please email me before Friday, January 17th. The first post is due the following week!  
 
25 Sentence Writing Reflections Due Dates:
1.       Wednesday, January 22
2.       Wednesday, February 5
3.       Wednesday, February 19
4.       Wednesday, March 5
5.       Wednesday, March 19