By Jackie Heyman and Erica Venton

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Intergroup dialogue goes against the grain of our day-to-day lives and how many of us grew up learning in the traditional format of digesting and regurgitating information. Conversation challenges us to reflect and iterate on our own lived experiences, values, beliefs, and ideas in order to share and connect with others. It is this model of carefully framed conversation that can also offer the greatest impact, especially with topics tied to our individual identities.

At Michigan State University (MSU) we’ve created an engaging series called “MSU Dialogues” to open pathways of sharing, listening, and…


by Ellie Louson

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My favorite description of mentoring comes from Dr. Beronda Montgomery, eminent MSU plant scientist and writer, who has written widely on mentoring and calls it “an opportunity to connect meaningfully with individuals in service to their pursuit of personally-defined goals or aspirations.” The university is a setting for many types of mentorship. A more senior student can mentor someone more junior, faculty or staff members mentor students, and colleagues mentor each other (near-peers with different skills to teach and learn, or a more senior person to someone more junior).

Mentorship happens at different levels of formality and…


by Erica Venton

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Superpowers cards from SYPartners

How good is Hulk without the Avengers? It’s great to have a superpower — might is a good thing. But when Hulk is paired with the swift action of Agent Romanoff and the ingenuity of Iron Man, the Avengers as a whole are much more effective. We see each other’s abilities as strengths because they are so different from the things that we can do. That’s the way it is using superpowers within your team.

No, your colleagues can’t fly even if they do appear to be at a tropical location during one Zoom call and their…


If Google Trends is any indicator, people are about three times as curious about “design thinking” as they were five years ago. So what’s all the fuss about?

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The IBM design process: “The Loop.” Source: IBM.

“Design thinking” is having a moment. Once the purview of engineers, creatives, and (unsurprisingly) designers, the phrase has become ubiquitous where people are untangling complex problems. If Google Trends is any indicator, people are about three times as curious about “design thinking” as they were five years ago. So what’s all the fuss about? If you work or study at MSU, you can answer that question at no cost, with a course delivered by one of the world’s foremost design giants.

IBM is offering a suite of online courses that take participants through a comprehensive design thinking journey. The introductory…


by Jeff Grabill, Director of MSU Hub and Associate Provost of Teaching, Learning, and Technology at Michigan State University

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When we left campus in March of 2020, few of us imagined more than a year of learning and working from home. But that is precisely what we are facing. Unhappily. Personally, I am unhappy. I haven’t hugged my mom and dad in nearly 8 months. My children are away at school and in “bubbles,” so I can’t hug them either. I miss my colleagues. I miss seeing and talking with students. …


by Jeff Grabill, Director of MSU Hub and Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Technology at Michigan State University

“We can and should design the next iteration of higher education.”

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There are all sorts of fun things embedded in that sentence. Can higher education institutions change? History shows us they do (see my first blog post), but can they do so reasonably quickly? Can higher education change in response to needs that move faster than the time it took to develop the modern research university? Then there is the ethical imperative in “should.” Why should we? And who gets to…


by Makena Neal

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#iteachmsu Commons is a social and professional development platform created by and for Michigan State educators.

Our mission: create a way for Michigan State University educators to connect, share, and growth in their teaching practice.

Ultimately, we created a platform model that places educators in the designer seat and leads to a product they will use.

At a large, decentralized institution, it can be challenging to recognize and leverage the high impact practices of educators in varying roles working in discipline focused units and departments. Through recent history however, we knew that there was a desire amongst this group to engage in ongoing professional development. We also knew that some really outstanding practices…


Michigan State University is offering a new training for educators to solve community challenges through basics of design and coding within the iOS ecosystem. Using Apple’s Challenge Based Learning curriculum, this training guides educators in understanding the app development process, practicing coding in Swift, and designing viable prototypes.

Computing in the 21st century

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U.S. society is surrounded by the Internet, apps, social media, and a multitude of other technologies. …


“To provide students with transformative experiences at Michigan State University, the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology commits to advocating for design practices that support equitable learning opportunities.”

At the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology, we recognize that the higher education system we are a part of contributes to social inequities, racism, and violence. We recognize in the recent protests against police brutality and racial injustice the demand to think and act differently. We acknowledge that the design methodologies we utilize with partners on campus to define, develop, and deliver learning experiences are themselves embedded within paradigms…


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There is no question that higher education in the US faces significant challenges. An October 22, 2019, Inside Higher Education story is typical in naming those challenges. The article presents survey results from the American Council on Education, Huron Consulting Group and the Georgia Institute of Technology that indicate our lack of preparedness for issues like demographic change, continued defunding of public education, cost pressures for both public and private institutions, and the opportunities and challenges of educational technologies. Then, of course, we have the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will reverberate for years.

Historically Dynamic Higher Education

Higher…

MSU Hub

MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology

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