This Web page:
Engage the Next 10%

Frugal Innovation for Student Engagement [FISE]

Different Teaching, Learning, and Technology for Different Times:

Planning, Strategies, Resource

The first six explanations are central.  
The remainder follow in alphabetic order.

  "Start small, but start"   - Deb Gilchrist, ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Institute 

Challenge of Frugal Innovation: Continue to improve teaching and learning with technology in colleges and universities when money and time are scarce.

Discuss, develop and share FISE resources, practices, policies, and ideas for colleges, universities and individuals within them. Encourage and enable participants to help colleagues use, improve, and share further some of the participants' own favorite under-utilized low-threshold resources.

Frugal Innovations:  

Worthwhile, low-threshold, shareable improvements in teaching and learning.

Student Engagement:  

"Student Engagement" is a combination of students' commitment of their own time and energy to useful educational activities and students' attitudes toward those activities. 

Note:  No widely accepted definition yet available.  Related references, resources...

Strategy of Frugal Innovation:  Take advantage of over-abundant,  under-utilized, "low-threshold" resources for improving teaching and learning with technology - in small steps.   
  • Identify (or create) small, important improvements
  • Use them
  • Confirm, improve, or reject them
  • Share them widely, easily, and effectively 
  • Make a difference soon

"Spirit of Open Source":  The "Small Steps for Frugal Innovation" Website, Workshops, and Workbook are being developed through a continuing cycle of improvement, collaboration, and sharing - three essential elements of "open source" software development.   Everyone is invited to improve this Workshop, adapt it, facilitate similar workshops, and share insights and results - that is the spirit of "open source."  See Wikipedia, et al.

TLT Roundtable 2.0:  Update, Adapt:  "A TLT Roundtable (TLTR) is a diverse group that meets regularly, considers issues, and (usually) provides advice to the Chief Academic Officer, other leaders, and many constituencies" about improving teaching and learning with technology.  More…from the 1990s to 2009   [Work in progress]

Brief Hybrid:  A session of 15 minutes or less that Introduces useful information, tools, ideas or resources.  Participants watch a brief media clip (eClip), interact with each other (face-to-face or online), exchange insights, give feedback, and receive a few options for going deeper into the subject. 

Compassionate Pioneers:  Those who not only reach beyond their own limits and lead the way in developing or trying new options, but who also encourage and help their colleagues to take the same path.

Extermission:  A planned interlude of 1-5 minutes when participants in a class, presentation, or workshop are invited to share something they have just learned - often with colleagues who are not in that session.

Faculty Sharing Further (FSF):  Encourage, enable, and support collegial sharing of low-threshold improvements in teaching and learning (LTAs) - among faculty members.  Use informal but intentional strategies, activities, and new technologies to multiply the effectiveness of faculty development and similar educational efforts. Reduce obstacles, lower risk, increase incentives/respectability, and...?

Frugal Innovation Approach:  How to continue to improve teaching and learning with technology when money and time are scarce - especially by taking advantage of abundant low-threshold resources. 

Frugal Innovation Resource:  An improvement in teaching and learning with technology that is worthwhile, low-threshold, and shareable.  It can be implemented and shared widely even when money and time are scarce. See also Low-Threshold Application/Activity (LTA).

Fundamental Questions:   The TLT Group's Fundamental Questions have  proven especially valuable to institutions (or groups of almost any size) that are facing rapid and unavoidable changes - changes that cannot be managed effectively by current organizational structures.  The Fundamental Questions remind participants that information technology can be used appropriately and effectively both for transformation of what needs to be changed and for preservation of what is most cherished in teaching and learning.  

1.   What do you most want to gain?

2.   What do you most cherish and want not to lose?

These two questions are usually most powerful when presented first for individual reflection, then for candid small group exploration, and finally for more general discussion.  At each stage, participants are guided to increase mutual understanding and to appreciate surprises of convergence and dissonance.  The TLT Group has developed a variety of tasks, materials, and additional questions extending the Fundamental Questions for different circumstances and purposes.

Low-Threshold Resources:  Are reliable, accessible, easy to learn and share, non-intimidating, and low-cost (incrementally).  They include many free online tools and services and Low-Threshold Applications/Activities (LTAs).  [And even more broadly, for planning purpose, consider: "compassionate pioneer"  faculty members, "small step" strategies and activities, friendly administrators and other academic professionals, etc.]  

Low-Threshold Application/Activity (LTA):  An activity or application of information technology that is reliable, accessible, easy to learn, non-intimidating and incrementally low-cost in time, money, and stress.  Each LTA makes easily observable contributions to important long-term improvements in teaching and/or learning.  First described by Steven W. Gilbert in an article "The Beauty of Low-Threshold Applications".

Nanovation:  Sharing small improvements in small ways - widely, intentionally, repeatedly, collegially.  Using resources designed to support the sharing, adaptation, and use of specific improvements in teaching and learning with technology.  Expanding peer-to-peer dissemination and implementation of small, important steps on a path to bigger improvements in teaching and learning with technology - to incremental exponential revolution. 

Built of the smallest units that can sustain exponential improvement.   I.e., those units which can enable and encourage individual faculty members each to:
  • Make one low-threshold improvement in one course.
  • Get a little feedback and use that feedback to adapt and try that improvement again. 
    [Or decide to reject this improvement - and explain why to colleagues.]
  • Help two or three colleagues make similar improvements. So that those colleagues are each similarly enabled and encouraged to try, adapt, retry, and help two more colleagues ... and so on.

Shareworthy (i.e., Share-Worthy) LTA:  At least one person cares enough about the LTA to help some colleagues learn about it and begin to use it.  The sharer's commitment is justified by both the importance of what the LTA can help accomplish and the ease with which it can be first learned and used.

A Few Rights Reserved by the TLT Group, A Non-Profit Organization

Note:  You can probably create a Web page more visually appealing than this one.    
Please send us a link when you do.  Steve Gilbert, President, TLT Group, 301 270 8312