Considering the two Es, experience and environment

The Mosaic Initiative leads university-wide conversations around active learning and the evolving needs of IU's learning environments. The Mosaic Faculty Fellows program inspires many of these conversations through opportunities for faculty to explore active learning approaches, to reflect on how these approaches work and change in different learning environments, and to influence course design and technology selection at IU.

This year, the Mosaic Faculty Fellows program is moving away from its usual single, campus-specific cohort of fellows to three cross-campus cohorts of fellows, with expanded focuses on engaging students everywhere they learn and placing more emphasis on inclusion. Each cohort is exploring active learning in a particular area—hybrid learning environments, online learning environments, and inclusive and accessible learning environments.

Miranda Rodak, hybrid lead, reflects on Mosaic's evolution

Whatever the modality, I think everything begins with the two E's: experience and environment. It can be overwhelming to think in terms of all the technology and tools available to us. Instead, I encourage faculty to start by asking "What kind of learning experience do I want my students to have?" "What kind of learning experience supports my students' needs and goals, and drives my learning outcomes?"

From there, it becomes much easier to then take up the question of learning environment. With a clear vision of the experience in mind, you can then think creatively and practically about what kind of environment best serves that experience. Alternately, if you don't have a lot of control over the environment, then having that vision equips you to analyze your environment—whether it's online, in-person, or blended—and determine how both the affordances and limitations will impact the delivery of your intended experience.

IU has incredible resources—not just technologies and tools but people and support programs—to help faculty think through this relationship of experience and environment. Mosaic is powerful because it provides a hub where faculty can come together to learn from each other, collaboratively produce new ideas, models, and knowledge, and get plugged into IU's rich resources to empower active, engaged, inclusive learning experiences for students.