Teaching and Learning Awesome People Exchange Program

This week, I spent two days this week in Ottawa, consulting with the staff from the Educational Development Centre at Carleton University.

A number of Ontario Universities are in the midst of a review of their Learning Management Systems. I was honoured to be asked to visit so that they could “pick my brain” to see what they could learn (good, bad, scary, and exciting…almost exciting) from my experiences and reflections having recently been involved in the University of Guelph’s migration from Blackboard/WebCT to Desire2Learn.

I was able to share some ideas around implementation and configuration, as well as communication and training/orientation plans. I’m far from an expert in LMS administration, but after over a decade of working with features, bugs, and the occasional “gotcha”, we easily filled a couple days of conversation about lessons learned and best practices (or at least ”better practices”).

Finishing up, I started to turn an idea around in my head that’s been lingering for awhile now. Let’s call it the “Teaching and Learning Awesome People Exchange Program” (which conveniently can be shortened to TALAPEP. Catchy? Not really, no.

So, under TALAPEP, awesome people working in Teaching and Learning (or similarly-mandated) centres would be given the opportunity have placements in other centres or exchange jobs with people nationally or internationally who work in similar (or almost similar) capacities. “PEPpers” could be matched up according to technologies used, or projects underway, or whatnot.

Do programs like this exist already? They should.

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