This week, I’m taking my annual walk on the academic side of the street – attending the Academy of HRD conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. As I write this, I am, in fact, looking out over the Tennessee River (from the windows of my hotel room).
Academic conferences have a whole different vibe from the practitioner conferences I attend. Oddly, I sometimes have trouble finding the symposiums or research roundtables that will expand my thinking about topics of immediate interest. So this time, I plan to approach the conference differently. As an adjunct faculty member, I don’t get to “hang” often enough with academics, and here they are! I find I have a lot of opportunity while breaking between sessions, hanging in the lobby, or chatting over meals to connect with my academic counterparts, and I want to take advantage of that.
So I’ve brought along some conversation-starters, things I’d like to discuss a bit…
>> How is the education of professionals in our fields changing in light of new technologies? I am especially interested in how we prepare master’s candidates in instructional design and adult learning.
>> Informal learning is getting a lot of attention from the practitioner side… what are other professors advocating along these lines?
>> How do other professors teach adult learning orientations? Do they advocate one perspective (cognitivism, constructivism)? Or do they try to bring out the best from all of the various learning theories that have been offered?
>> I love teaching online, but it does have its challenges. What instructional strategies and projects have other professors found to be particularly impactful?
Those questions should give me an opening or two when the opportunity arises!
The other facet of this conference that I am really looking forward to is continued discussion of the role of the scholar-practitioner. We have a terrific pre-conference event planned as well as a number of innovative sessions that will discuss the responsibilities and challenges of this role. And the Scholar-Practitioner Special Interest Group has a couple of events here as well to connect and plan next steps.
It should be a good week. I hope to “live-blog” a bit, so stay tuned if you’re interested.