University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Innovations in Practice, Teaching, and Learning

August 23, 2016Patrick NunnallyProgram & AnnouncementsComments Off on Innovations in Practice, Teaching, and Learning

Given what we do–that is, explore innovative ways to manage, understand, and teach about the Mississippi River, we find ourselves learning about innovations of all sorts.  If you, also, are in the “innovation business” (or, with a nod to our NPS partners, in the “forever business” but looking for new ways of working), then the newest online seminar offering from the University’s Center for Educational Innovation may be for you.  The focus on intercultural inclusive teaching and learning makes this work strongly align with our emerging focus in this area.  Here’s the blurb for the course and links for more information:

The UMinnesota Center for Educational Innovation is offering an open, online seminar focusing on Intercultural Inclusive Learning and Teaching in higher education. The seminar involves participants in active discussion of the basics of universal design for learning as a foundation for discussing key contemporary issues in promoting social justice in the classroom.  From these discussions, participants build their own teaching and learning materials for current and/or future courses.  Past participants found seminar discussions deeply thought-provoking, shared materials diverse and useful, and badge-earning activities to practically assist them in developing better courses:

One thing that is bubbling up for me is the idea that discussion (in varying formats) coupled with some form of reflection (also in varying formats), offers tremendous potential to harness the power of difference….Sharing thoughts and ideas with a community so genuinely and deeply committed to this work has left me with much more than a set of ideas I can put into practice.  I am committed to helping build “a curriculum that deeply includes everybody.” – 2015 seminar participant

The seminar is designed for graduate- and professional-level learning, and we welcome multiple modes of participation in the seminar:

  • Participating in the forum discussions during some or all of the five modules to reflect on specific, personal or professional interests.
  • Using the module discussion forums as a springboard for participation in the badge-earning activities, which include peer and facilitator responding to teaching/learning artifacts or documents participants create.
  • Inviting a small group of peers to form a learning community, making use of the seminar materials for their own local conversations.
  • Drawing on the seminar modules as the base for a credit-bearing or professional development endeavor at their own institution.

To learn more visit To register as a participant complete the Google Registration form at To discuss earning graduate course credit at the University of Minnesota contact Ilene Dawn Alexander, the U’s instructor of record for this seminar.

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A joint project of River Life, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Minnesota Libraries, Open Rivers is an interdisciplinary online journal that recognizes the Mississippi River as a space for timely and critical conversations about people, community, water, and place.