Volunteer Team Announced

We are pleased to announce the team of volunteers (see team roster here) for our next Designers for Learning service project. As part of our recent Call for Volunteers, we received applications from 31 experienced instructional designers and professional educators with academic and work backgrounds in either adult basic education or instructional design. Most applicants had advanced degrees in education, and all had years of applicable work experience. While we will have opportunities for everyone to participate in the future, those applicants with the most relevant experience were selected for the available positions on this project, and we are thrilled to benefit from their expertise.

Design Project Overview
Starting this week, this team of volunteers will design (and later facilitate) our early 2016 service project. Building on recent Designers for Learning projects, this service project will focus on the instructional design of open educational resources (OER) for adult basic education. While our service focus is similar to past projects, our service-learning facilitation approach will be different. Our aim in changing our process is to include more service learners to help us expand the number of deliverables we can offer to adult learners and educators. To that end, we will be running the service-learning experience in two phases:

  • Phase 1 – Open Online Course: In early 2016, the first phase of the service-learning experience will begin with a 5-week open online course. Unlike our prior service-learning projects, this open online course will have no prerequisites for participation and no application / selection process. Everyone who enrolls in the open course will be immersed into a real-world authentic instructional design challenge that centers on the design of instruction on a topic that aligns with an anchor standard in the College and Career Readiness standards.
  • Phase 2 – Selected Cohort: Service learners who complete the course requirements in the Phase 1: Open Online Course will be invited to submit their design proposals for selection consideration to join a smaller cohort of service volunteers. By limiting this 7-week cohort to a smaller number of volunteer designers who submit promising design proposals, the facilitators and subject matter experts will be able to provide greater one-to-one feedback and support than is possible in the larger open online course.

Grace Centers of Hope News
We would also like to send our congratulations to our wonderful client over the past three service cohorts, Grace Centers of Hope. Last week, they celebrated the grand opening of their revamped career and education center in Pontiac, Michigan. As noted in a recent article in the Oakland Press,

“The homeless shelter operates the career and education center to provide technical resources and training to residents enrolled in the One Year Life Skills program. Computer training, work readiness, workshops, tutoring, GED classes, reasoning skills, resume building and mock interviews are among the services offered … 85 percent of children at Grace Centers of Hope are honor roll students, and adults have been able to get sober, earn their GED, and attend college.”

We congratulate them on their accomplishments, and wish continued success in their new surroundings! In addition, we thank them for their pioneering spirit as partners with us on our early attempts at facilitating virtual service projects.

Comments or Questions?
Please contact us with any questions or comments. Thank you for your interest!

Jennifer Maddrell
Designers for Learning.org

Designers for Learning is organized as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Illinois, and operates exclusively for charitable purposes in accordance with section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Designers for Learning promotes service-learning opportunities through collaboration with schools, students, and volunteers.

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