Thought Leaders Blog

We are grateful to all of the individuals that contributed to the TLC Thought Leaders Blog. In these blogs, contributors offer their take on sessions beginning with the 2017 TLC. Click on "Read More" below to view the full content of each blog.

Learning is a Lifelong Process!

Two More “Chunks” From Day # 2 – 2018 Ashford TLC In active learning, what is “chunking?” This is simply grouping individual “bits” of information into larger, more meaningful “chunks.” The rationale is simple, by doing this, you allow for efficient encoding and storage of information, and you lessen the burden on working memory. Here are two “chunks” of gold I took away from yesterday’s sessions. There are a lot of gold “chunks” in the 2018 Ashford University TLC sessions! Storytelling is a Great Tool to Influence Learning and Positive Engagement Dr. Karen Ivy delivered an exceptional presentation. She shared a TED talk by novelist Chimanda Adichie titled “The Danger of a Single Story.” Th

Our Stories are Not Yet Complete

Dr. Karen Ivy, Associate Dean and Program Chair of BA in Business Information Systems, was the keynote speaker for the second day of the 2018 TLC conference. Dr. Ivy’s presentation was, “The Danger of a Single Story: Storytelling in Education.” Dr. Ivy showed a TalkTed video from novelist, Chimamanda Adichie, who described some of her experiences that shaped her as a writer. “Story” is the metaphor for “perception.” If we know the background of a person, that is only one story. There are many, many stories for each person. I was enchanted by the idea of our life’s experiences being described as our stories. It made me begin to reflect on my own stories. The underlying theme was to listen to

Deans on a Mission!

In life, we have learned that one thing is certain: change. While we have heard of how things will happen, when they will happen, and generally what it means for our University, there could still be some angst among staff and faculty because change no matter how great the opportunities that come along with change, it is also accompanied by challenges. But it is not about the challenges that we will face us or the amazing opportunities that change will bring; it is about how our leaders accept that change and present it to us. The Dean’s Panel at the TLC learning conference was a session that did not merely respond to questions presented by faculty and staff, but rather, they provided a sense

Making a Positive Difference in Student Outcomes

Wow, is the only thought I have at the conclusion of Day 3 of the TLC at Ashford! I am honored and happy to be a part of such an incredible conference that is every bit as rewarding, meaningful and inspiring as any professional development event I have attended. Having been a part of Ashford University starting in 2008 I have an amazing sense of pride and history to see how far our faculty, support staff, students and administration have come since our inception! The messages were inspiring, the faculty presentations motivating, and the knowledge shared amazing. A special shout out to Andrew McCain as the closing session speaker for the 2018 Teaching and Learning Conference. As always, h

Ashford Dean Panel

When I reflect on the past two days I have spent participating in the 2018 TLC Conference; I cannot think of a better way to kick-off the final day than listening to 7 Ashford University Academic Leaders share their thoughts and answer questions submitted by our academic community. The theme of TLC this year is: Educate, Connect, Inspire. Being able to have the opportunity to hear specific examples of these three words in action is something I do not take for granted. During the panel, I heard how Ashford is committed to educating, connecting, and inspiring our students by utilizing technology tools such as Civitas, Tutoring and Data Analysis. These tools allow faculty the ability to meet ou

Reshaping our Identity by telling the Many Stories of Us

As I reflect on the questions posed to attendees from the keynote speakers, the theme of telling stories seems to emerge for me that are relevant to the journey we have ahead of us as we embark on our new path as a combined university that is separating from Bridgepoint Education. Reflecting from Maurice D. Wilson, MCPO, USN (Ret) talk on the social-technical approach to successfully transition active duty members from the Armed Forces into the workforce, we as Ashford University can utilize this approach to discover of our new identity as a non-profit university. This is important because it will allow us to define how we want to move forward as an education provider. But as Dr. Karen Ivy

Worth a Second (Or a First) Look

Student Panel Discussion Presenter: Erin Walter, Francine Sweet, Zamora Brinkley, Katrina Beyah I was blown away this student panel discussion! Zamora and Francine were articulate, authentic and oozed care for their fellow students. They had wonderful tips and tricks for managing “when life happens”, and advocated some of the specific University resources that have helped in their academic success. Although I have not had them in my specific classes, I was extremely proud of them for their willingness to be of service and support to their fellow classmates. I would love to have a video snippet of their presentation to share with my students who are facing similar challenges. What a power

A Mindful Opportunity for Reflection

Day two of the Teaching and Learning Conference at Ashford University has truly transformed my educational perspective and has made a forever imprint on the way that I think, learn, grown and engage with students, faculty, staff, and colleagues. My experience began with a presentation from Dr. Karen Ivy, who kicked off day two of the conference, with a long-overdue conversation about the “Dangers of a Single Story”. In a reflection of my takeaways from the session, I recognize how impactful stereotypes and beliefs are, that I have established in my professional practice, in my everyday interactions with students, faculty, and staff. This was a mindful “ah-ha” moment that was perfect to start

There’s no such thing as the “average” Ashford student

Day 2 of the Ashford Teaching and Learning Conference kicked off with an excellent session led by Dr. Karen Ivy. Her talk about “The Danger of a Single Story” connected me back to Dr. Jeff Borden’s opening keynote on Day 1. In Dr. Borden’s session, he led an activity about “averages” in education. He asked those in the room to stand up as a list of “averages” for men and women were displayed. For example, the average man is between 5’9 and 5’11 tall. As each “average” was revealed, attendees were asked to sit down if they were not within the average range. After only a few questions, most of the room had already sat down and no one was left standing by the 5th question. The point of the a

Diverse, Cross-Functional Presentations

It’s been such a pleasure to attend the TLC sessions. As a contributor to the Discovery Session, I appreciate the diversity of participants and presenters. Hearing from these cross-functional groups highlights the focused efforts of the university leadership. Authentic, Innovative Assessments & Learning Outcome Alignment (Innovation) Introducing the Applied Doctoral Project (ADP) Presenters: Timothy Rice, Scott Burrus, Peggy Sundstrom, Rebecca Wardlow In this session, the faculty from the College of Doctoral Studies shared the innovative summative assessment known as the ADP that they launched in 2017 for students in the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program. It’s so exciting to see the facult

Question Our Own Single Stories

The Danger of a Single Story: Storytelling in education Presenter: Dr. Karen Ivy This was another powerful presentation. The word powerful can sometimes be overused, but not in this case. Dr. Karen Ivy brought passion, humor and expertise to a message that resonates with us all as educators, and citizens of our communities. She shared her personal experience of the impact of stories, and how they can truly transform us and those around us. That segued beautifully into the TED talk by novelist Chimanda Adichie on “The Danger of a Single Story”. In it she describes being on both sides of the “single story”, and some of the outcomes of that. What resonated most is how many of us have likel

Research and General Education

On Tuesday, the committee members on the Institutional Review Board (aka: IRB) gave a presentation on the IRB process at Ashford. In the presentation (The IRB application process at Ashford: The Why, how and when), they discussed the reasons behind a university process for protecting human participants when it comes to research endeavors. There were several questions from participants concerning differences between the IRB process for Ashford doctoral students (former Rockies students) conducting research and full time Ashford faculty who are conducting research. Currently, there are two IRB panels at Ashford, one that deals with the former situation and another that deals with the latter. I

Learning is a Lifelong Process! 10 Things Learned During Day # 1 - 2018 Ashford University TLC

Kate Johnson, Ashford’s Manager of Faculty Engagement stepped up to the mic this morning to kick off the 2018 Ashford TLC, Kate welcomed us and she reminded us of the purpose of TLC, which is educate, connect, and inspire. Kate was spot on! Day one of Ashford’s TLC Virtual Conference did just that for me and much more. I felt connected virtually like I was right there in the room with speakers, thanks to technology. I attended three sessions, “Inter-Connected Education,” by Dr. Jeff Borden (our keynote speaker), “How Do Students, Faculty and Programs Benefit from Online Student Organizations,” by Dr. Lisa Johnson, Ben Gothia, Dr. Ron Beach, Lang Hagerdorn, Jaime King, Lynn Haines, Destiny Ba

Perspectives on Learning & Technology

I’ve had the opportunity to see Dr. Jeff Borden on a few occasions and always appreciate his perspectives on learning and technology. Today was no exception. What I love about Dr. Borden’s presentations are that he doesn’t just preach, he shows and encourages the audience to experience what being discussed. One example of that was an exercise that illustrated to the audience in 30 seconds, what it had taken many years for people to realize as a whole. People aren’t average! Jeff described the phenomenon of Ergodic Switch the idea that averages, though useful in understanding the world, can oversimplify the reality and suggests that average is an adequate representation of the whole. The

None of Us is as Smart as All of Us

What a great kick off for the 2018 Teaching and Learning conference! The sessions were engaging, informative, and loaded with great information! When I think about the overarching themes for the sessions I attended I came up with two that stood out to me: Connectedness None of us is as smart as all of us The two themes seem very timely to me as we are in a very transformational period for both Ashford University and Bridgepoint Education. As Ashford University returns to its roots as a non-profit university and Bridgepoint Education moves to an OPM it is imperative that we stay connected to a common mission and purpose of not just having students but having graduates and that we continue t

Sessions That Inspire

I had the great honor and opportunity to attend a few sessions today of the 2018 Teaching & Learning Conference. The first session was the 2018 TLC Keynote from Dr. Jeff Borden. Dr. Borden did an amazing job kicking off the 2018 TLC event. He was energetic, enlightening, and connected really well with the audience. His talk on Inter-Connected Education did an outstanding job helping me think unconventionally on how we can break down the silos in education and help our students to embrace the purpose of education, which is learning. His talk constantly reminded me of the” Ashford University value “ingenuity” inventive and proactive. The second session I attended was How Do Students, Faculty a

Challenging the Status Quo

Day 1 started off with a BANG! I was lucky enough to hear Dr. Jeff Borden talk with us 6 years ago, it was a pleasure to have him here at Ashford again. He shared many challenging comments to make me (us?) think about how we deliver education. (He told us he would make us feel uncomfortable…I don’t know if I was uncomfortable or that I was encouraged to engage in conversation with those in charge!) The premise of the Key Note was the importance of “Active Learning.” (Which can be a challenge in an asynchronous online environment…) A few points that stuck with me were: 75% of our students leave school because of non-academic reasons. (So, not the classroom.) *So my thought is as instruc

Achieving Balance in School

Dr. Oscar Lewis Helping Students Achieve School-Work-Family Life Balance I attended several sessions today and enjoyed each one! I also had the honor of presenting today and I am looking forward to attending sessions tomorrow! I appreciated Dr.Lewis’s approach to helping students achieve school-work-family life balance. I have heard several presentations on this topic and Dr Lewis provides a practical approach to helping students address their challenges. Listen! to student needs, and what they are asking. Help support their personal journey and provide them with a chance to “try again”. For some students, their lives are filled with normal life events, family life events, work and school

Starting the Day with Student Learning

Opening Keynote-Inter-connected Education: This session was presented by Jeff Borden. Jeff started off the 2018 TLC conference today! What an exciting session on student learning. Mr. Borden reviewed issues that impact student learning, and the role of the instructor. Connection! Connection! Connection. The importance of connecting with students at all levels of their university experience, from advising to instructing. He stressed the importance of doing what we know is best for the student. One important component of the session was Mr. Borden’s review of connection killers, such as the anxiety a student can experience and the importance of helping to reduce student anxiety. More import

Breaking the Mold and Fostering Innovation

I was fortunate enough to catch the opening key note speaker, Dr. Jeff Borden. His passion for innovation in education is obvious. He had many talking points and I intend to share my takes on a few of them. First, there is a myth that we can teach a specific way because it reaches the “average” student. Unfortunately, the research shows there is no true “average” student. Each learner is unique and we must accept and embrace the diverse learners in our virtual classrooms in order to help them reach their individual goals. Next, Dr. Borden discussed the history of the educational model in America. He noted that many of the rigid structures implemented in public education were establishe

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