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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Trip the Boundary: A Passport to Cross Learning Spaces

Stacy Greathouse (Texas Woman's University, USA)
Session Information
July 7, 2015 - 3:30pm
Teaching & Learning Effectiveness
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Innovation and Experimentation
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Plaza Ballroom F
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Concurrent Session 2
Virtual Session

Revive the field trip and discover a way to dissolve the idea that an impermeable border exists between digital and in-person learning environments.

Extended Abstract

For blended and hybrid courses, content conception, delivery, and assessment remains primarily confined to two spaces, one physical, traditional classroom in a building on a campus, and one digital classroom in some form of Learning Management System [LMS] accessible usually anywhere there is an internet connection. Dr. Greathouse poses that we have ways to reconfigure these spaces for the needs of learners' minds and bodies. The notion of the field trip brings together multiple learners' bodies into new spaces to maneuver as a community through relevant and dynamic geographies. In its revival, we can consider how to broaden the scope and functionality of the trip notion in a more digitally savvy educational field.

The topic of this session merges theories of democratic (Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1970) and disruptive (hooks, Teaching to Transgress, 1994) pedagogies with psychology and embodied cognition. Using field trips in this way is based on two premises. First, humans are primarily embodied learners, acquiring knowledge through sense and physicality, then cognitively self-aware and linguistic. Second, acquiring knowledge emerges out of the challenges in multiple perspectives and contextually driven social interaction.

An argument supporting the field trip technique comes via de Souza e Silvas and Delacruzs (2006) article, Hybrid Reality Games Reframed: Potential Uses in Educational Contexts when it offers: "The bridging of digital and physical spaces can make learning more meaningful by situating the content in actual physical space, rather than in computer-simulated environments" (p. 232). It's possible to reconstruct the ideas of the field trip for andragogical purposes and put bodies in authentically relevant spaces with relevant content and simulated challenges. As a counter to de Souza e Silva and Delacruz, however, reimagining field trips can expand the notion of the field to consider digital geography as a location itself. Such strategies allow information to be distributed in three different sources: physical local spaces, digital spaces, and students' prior knowledge (Souza e Silvas and Delacruz, 2006, p. 232).

The idea of reviving the field trip responds to the OLC's requests to examine the integration of activities across online and face-to-face components of blended courses and pedagogical strategies that enhance learning in blended courses/programs. For this reason, the session's objectives are to:
- Define embodiment as it relates to learning across environments.
- Identify qualities of the two primary spaces that construct the blended learning experience.
- Examine the function of the field trip in traditional education.
- Explore the field trip crossover strategy and technology for active content uptake and assessment.
- Discuss the limitations and opportunities that this strategy can offer relative to attendees needs.

Some questions include:
- How do educators view and think about their spaces of instruction?
- Where does blended learning display an assumption that is directly at odds with its very definition?
- What strategies can clarify and amend this assumption?
- What other spaces can educators appropriate to take advantage of instruction possibilities?

The session will begin by reviewing instances where course components disassociate the space of the traditional 4-walls and a chair from the boxy digital devices with or without the chair. Even in courses that use different content presentation media, chunking subject matter in single modes of delivery, including some online as voice-over PowerPoints, some from tangible books, and some through in-class lecture, establishes hard lines between pieces that may be otherwise interconnected. This compartmentalizes the uptake of new content by the body's intake of environmental factors. These hard lines disrupt a continuation or carryover to process and construct knowledge with the same community, just in different environments.

The problem this poses is an inability to compensate for the sensory and physical learning gap. Proactive design can structure and implement strategies to bridge the two spaces via active content uptake & learning tasks. The spaces don't have to be mutually exclusive, nor do they have to be limited to only 2 environment ideals. In order to focus on opportunities and challenges specific to blended teaching and learning, there is a way to revive the concept of the field trip and its ability not only to transition learners between spaces, but also to integrate human field experts in conjunction with the instructor and complementary technology as guides.

The session also presents an experience where a field trip melded content with geography, pulled from the expertise of a content expert in and of the field, and integrated relevant technology. The experiment included collaborating with a children's librarian in a children's library, fusing the library space with the concept of a museum, and adding a digital interactive that was then easy to access and interact with via the digital classroom.

The outcome removed the learners' need to keep information inexorably linked to the space in which they received it; instead, they were immersed in opportunities to engage the subject in several spaces simultaneously. The addition of a Choose Your Own Adventure format also meant they were also able to choose their level of interaction with the content across its forms and in their own order. By its end, the experience provided the physical and digital embodiment of content uptake, and both environments permitted simultaneous ongoing formative assessment.

In field trip revival, it is possible to find invigorating visual, aural, and kinesthetic opportunities complemented by digital interactivity. The activity offered a glimpse of how it is possible to dissolve the boundary that can dissociate the physical room from the digital box. For that reason, the hope is to conclude the session discussing other possibilities for this strategy, including how a field trip can address content-specific learning outcomes across disciplines; how it can invite multi-audience appeal; and where field trips can include digital realms, assistive technologies, and/or social media components. The hope is also to invite the drawbacks, such as architectural challenges relating to partnerships, time management, and technology assessment.

Lead Presenter

Sailing beneath the flag of piratical pedagogy, Dr. Stacy Greathouse currently serves as an Instructional Designer practicing the art of innovative instructional navigation and curriculum mapping with Texas Woman's University. Able to chart courses literally and figuratively, she swears to the duties of aligning educational objectives through and around learning obstacles. She pressed into this calling owing to a PhD in pirates, pedagogy, and children's literature granted by Illinois State University in 2013. Having sailed with Carnegie Mellon University to reap the treasure of Master's in Literary and Cultural Theory, she barters in skills concerning literature, history, public speaking, composition, drama, and counseling. Still, her most satisfying accomplishment has been to emerge as Dr. Pyrate through writing, instructing, and presenting about pirates as they appear across genres in history and literature.

For a time, Stacy settled in ports as curriculum developer, computer instructor, early childhood teacher, and career counselor. Now, she continues to build an educational atlas through work with faculty in Education, Dental Hygiene, Nutrition and Food Sciences, Kinesiology, Communication Sciences, and more.