In March, as much of the university community shifted to remote work, this regular meeting time took on the additional purpose of keeping folks connected when it seemed easier to slip into departmental silos.
Throughout this process, the group learned a few lessons. One challenge with collaborative learning is perhaps its greatest strength as well; the fact that members come with different backgrounds and skillsets. To bridge gaps between skills, members paired up to work on specific tasks during the days between check-ins. While this was beneficial, it could have been leveraged more throughout the project.
One of the major successes, noted by Peter Knoop (LSA Technology Services), was that “working on a common task, with folks bringing different areas of expertise to the table, was rewarding both in terms of learning new skills and producing something greater than what we could have accomplished individually.”
The group is using this model for additional professional development projects moving forward, and hope to inspire others to do the same. There is a wealth of knowledge here at the university, and setting aside just one hour a week to share expertise can have a huge benefit.