Edudemic posted an article recently called, Time Banking The Next Big Innovative Learning Technique. I have been thinking about this idea lately in the B.C. Post-Secondary system context around professional learning, and what it might look like if we adopted this “innovation”.
Most institutions routinely offer a variety of professional learning opportunities on key topics in teaching and learning, course and activity design, technology, etc. Since they’re all doing it in one way or another, it seems like a great opportunity to continue the growing movement of sharing: send your folks to our workshop on X, and we’ll send some of our folks to your workshop on Y. No charge!
More than concerns about “keeping score” (for which we could work out a system, if needed), the key challenge is likely overcoming concerns around context-specificity (i.e., “we’d love to share, but what we do is really different here…”). The broad success of the Instructional Skills Workshop gives me hope, however. Even though that workshop is often “customized” in some way locally, the “bones” of it are universal (hence its success – and, navigating this is something a skilled instructional designer/workshop facilitator could do). Also, it’s not like one’s home university is ever the only source of learning/ideas – faculty and educational developers go to external conferences and workshops, talk to colleagues at other institutions, watch YouTube, play with tools online, and so on – we already learn from many places.
The potential benefits could be great: networking among faculty and educational developers across institutions, cross-pollination of good ideas, sharing resources, more options (time and topics) for faculty, and, Teaching & Learning Centres could get a bit of a resource break.