The Fusion Project

The next Fusion course will take place in Winter 2018.  More details to be released soon! 

Nationally nearly 30% of higher education students now take at least one course online, and 63% of higher education institutions say online learning is a critical part of their institution’s long term strategy. In a parallel development, faculty across the country have been adopting service-learning/ community engagement as a strategy in their face-to-face courses to improve engagement with the curriculum, the learning environment, and to educate students for citizenship in any discipline.

The Fusion Project’s 2 week (25 hour) online course teaches faculty how to effectively incorporate service-learning/community engagement into the online classroom. Our specialized trainers will support and train faculty in this rigorous academic pedagogy, and provide insider tips on creating a more engaged online course. After the 2 week training participants will have a completed blueprint of an infused service and online learning course.

Through this online service-learning course you will…

  • enrich your curriculum
  • learn a rigorous teaching method
  • receive training on how to infuse this pedagogy into the online classroom

which will….

  • strengthen student learning and 21st century skill development
  • increase student retention and engagement
  • provide hands-on, real-world experiences for students that make a difference!

We are presently updating our curriculum and will post our updated syllabus and course description shortly.  Please find our course details from last year below. Thanks for your patience!

Course Overview:

The Fusion Project aims to integrate two fast-spreading and maturing instructional approaches: service-learning and online learning. Nationally, nearly thirty percent of higher education students now take at least one course online and sixty-three percent of higher education institutions say online learning is a critical part of their institution’s long term strategy. In a parallel development, faculty across the county have been adopting service-learning as a strategy in their face-to-face courses to improve engagement with the curriculum, the learning environment, and to educate students for citizenship in any discipline. Through this faculty development course, faculty will learn how to infuse service-learning components into online courses to give students hands on, real-world experience to strengthen learning, create connections to the larger community, and improve student retention rates.

Course Goals:  

The curriculum for this program aims to:

    • Introduce faculty to best practices in service-learning pedagogy;
    • Introduce faculty to best practices in engaged online teaching and learning;
    • Explore the potential benefits and challenges of using service-learning in online courses;
    • Introduce faculty to helpful online learning tools and technologies.

Course Objectives:

As a result of their participation in this course, each faculty member will:

  • Identify a course in which they could fuse service learning (SL) with online learning (OL);
  • Learn about and select resources, tools, and strategies that will help to implement that course;
  • Create a blueprint for a future course that combines SL and OL.

Course Format:

This course will be broken up into 5 units to be completed autonomously over a two week period. The course will be completely online, giving faculty participants the opportunity to experience online learning from the student perspective. Participants can expect to spend a minimum of 20-25 hours developing their Online Service-Learning Course Blueprint (the primary product of this course) including reading, discussions, writing, group work, practicing technology tools, and reflecting.

Unit 1: Getting Started (5.5 hrs)

Unit 2: Project Design (5.5 hrs)

Unit 3: Preparing Learners (3.5 hrs)

Unit 4: Harvesting & Assessing Learning (4.5 hrs)

Unit 5: Course Blueprint (4.5 hrs)

Dr. Lois-Ann Kuntz

lkuntz@maine.edu
Lois-Ann is Professor of Psychology at the University of Maine at Machias and Chair of the Arts & Letters Division. She has been teaching both online and using service-learning for over 10 years, and has received Maine Campus Compact’s highest faculty award, the Donald Harward Award for Service-Learning Excellence. She coordinated the process of the Psychology & Community Studies major becoming an Engaged Department for both campus and distance tracks which is discussed in her chapter in Service-Learning and Civic Engagement: A Sourcebook, SAGE publications.  Lois-Ann has delivered online courses with service-learning components since 2010, and has been a developer and facilitator for the online FUSION courses since 2012.


Dr. Ed Laine

edlaine@bowdoin.edu
Ed is retired (“Hold the envy, remember, you have to grow old to retire”), formerly Bowdoin’s Chair and Associate Professor of Earth and Oceanographic Science and another Harward Award winner. He has directed the college’s Environmental Studies program and has been engaging students with the local community through service-learning projects for 22 years. He has facilitated over 20 workshops and institutes on service-learning for Maine Campus Compact, and has delivered an online course on service-learning. Currently he is a member of a National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine committee to organize and deliver a workshop on Service Learning in Undergraduate Geoscience.