About my CILD Project

My project:  Self-Directed Professional Development:  Personal Productivity and Innovation in an Age of Smart(er) Machines.

Recently I was named as a faculty fellow of the Center for Innovation in Learning Design. CILD is designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to explore, prototype and test new learning designs. Fellows are selected based on their ability to identify and carry out innovative projects that enhance learning in K-16 “schools and classrooms”. My project focuses building a professional development model that will help administrators carry out individual and collaborative learning projects the will help them grow and develop professionally.

In some ways, I’ve been working on this project for at least 30–and maybe 50–years.

This project builds on my doctoral training in adult education and self-directed learning and on a series of projects that I participated in at Hamilton College early in the days of the internet.  Hamilton had just connected to the net, and a few of us (very few) had the sense that this new level of connectivity was going to drive some major changes in higher education. For a couple of years we had a small cross-disciplinary study group that worked to develop focused workshops and materials on how we might build on these new connectivity tools to enhance our professional growth.  (To give a hint of how long ago that project was launched: our first workshop activity focused on “how to say your email address” and the rest of the content included how to use this “powerful new tool called the gopher.”)

That small study group spawned some very significant projects including the creation of the “Electronic Career Center” workspace at Hamilton, the Liberal Arts Career Network and, most likely, my own migration to William and Mary.

My goal is to use this long-neglected WordPress site to consolidate the support materials and document any progress in accomplishing the project.

Here’s the way I described my CILD project:

This project will be a three-year program to develop, field test and disseminate a professional development model that focuses on helping mid-level college and university student affairs staff use technology to increase their personal effectiveness and become more innovative in their work.  Existing staff development models fail to take into account the need to individualize professional development to respond to the rapid rate of technology change, the exponential expansion of the amount of information available to students and faculty, continuing financial challenges for individuals and institutions and shifts in student demographics.  The project will include individual faculty and student research integrated into formal coursework and ongoing professional development efforts.