My how I have fallen down on my presentation archiving. I joined Tom Woodward and Amy Rector Verrelli on the last day of Open Education 2015 to present The Great VCU Bike Race Book: Connected Learning meets the UCI Road World Championships.

Imagine your university was going to close for a week in the 1st month of the semester because the UCI Road World Championships was overtaking your city. Residential students could stay in their residence halls, but classrooms were to be closed and traveling to campus would be extremely difficult for non-residential students. Next, imagine you are charged with considering how you might turn that situation into one or more learning experience. The open Web to the rescue, #amiright?

The Great VCU Bike Race Book (#vcubrb) was borne of this opportunity. The Great is a unique Connected Learning experience at Virginia Commonwealth University that will take place during the Fall 2015 semester. There are three purposes for the . 1) To provide a purposeful, enjoyable learning experience during the Bike Race week, especially for residential students who would otherwise not have any academic work to occupy them. 2) To give students an opportunity to participate in an innovative online course that aligns with the VCU Quality Enhancement Plan’s goals of integrative learning by means of digital fluency. 3) To provide a unique faculty development experience that will advance VCU faculty’s involvement in distinctive online learning.

My hunch is the “#amiright” in the abstract meant Jon Becker wrote the proposal, and we missed Jon and of course Gardner Campbell who were unable to attend the conference- leaving Tom to represent the ALTLab, Amy as one of the faculty who taught a course, and me who remotely worked on the web site.

After two days of sessions and some conference grumbling about “too much open textbook” stuff, Amy and Tom were keen to go with something different… and literally we came up with the idea on Thursday over some street tacos from a truck behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.

We each had our different roles in the project, but felt a 3 way slide deck walk through was not tasty. How could we do it more conversational? If you overly generalize presentations, the person in front comes in with a pre-planned stack of stuff; the audience listens or tweets, and maybe there are some questions at the end, or just polite clapping.

With us being three Americans recently crossing the border for the conference, the customs desk experience made think of a different modality.

So there is this set of official paperwork, the conference session presentation, maybe itself a paradox of content? (leave that for another day)

What if we said to the audience, rather than us coming in with our set of presentation content, what if we asked for a volunteer to come u0 and ask us a series of questions as if they were the customs/presentation agent? Just to make sure this did not flopped, I pre-enlisted a willing (Canadian) volunteer…

Grant Potter will always play along. I sent some suggested questions.

  • Who are you people?
  • What is this Bike race thing? What is “UCI”? (Tom can answer)
  • How did you get involved?
  • Why is a university even doing this?
  • What kinds of courses were created? What was it like for faculty (Amy’s response key)
  • What do you have to show for this?
  • What was the experience like?
  • What happened for the students?
  • What is this book thing? Why are we talking about books?

We might have done 2, but it was enough to set the discussion in motion. No slides. No script. Just Tom, Amy, and I conversing about this project we were part of, as we had the day before outside eating tacos.

Just for reference, as I have really said nothing about the project…

There you go; a pile of web links- no slides, no audio recording, not even a photo of us yacking on stage.

It was as great as the tacos.

Stay tuned, as we move early next year into producing the “book” (again, not a textbook 😉

Top / Featured Image Credit: You should envy those street truck tacos! flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as

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