|Integrating Learning and Sharing Widely|
Integrative Learning Project (ILP)
Integrative Learning Project of the Carnegie Foundation used the KEEP Toolkit to document and share their work. In an innovative move, project leaders also composed their final report using the Toolkit.
Teams of faculty from the project's 10 campuses used the toolkit during the 2nd and 3rd years of the 3 year project to compile their ongoing documentation of pedagogies, programs, faculty work, and campus wide initiatives that promote integrative learning. Similar to the Quest project and the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, ILP met twice each year, in July and January. In order to prepare for the meetings, participants used the Toolkit to exchange knowledge--i.e., campuses used the snapshots to share their ideas, strategies and programs that promoted integrated learning.
Sharing knowledge is difficult. And a major challenge of the project was deciding how to discuss integrative learning in a brief way that would be attractive on the web. ILP staff therefore created meetings in which campus participants could plan, reflect, and discuss their contexts, progress, and setbacks. The staff then worked with campuses to translate and effectively share faculty knowledge about integrative learning. Unlike other projects, this one did not use a universal template--campuses freely built upon their work.
Participants were guided on the use of the KEEP Toolkit by project Research Assistant, Cheryl Brown. She explained, "I felt the tool kit provided individuals unfamiliar with HTML (myself) and others with even less internet/web design skills and easy way to share information on the web. Minus a few minor bumps along the way, it was a easy tool to teach others how to use. I was able to assist people with small problems or questions over the phone in short amounts of time. "
Dr. Brown also used the Toolkit to track the work of ILP participants. She asked participants to send their snapshots to her account, and with copies in her own account, she could maintain a specific moment in the progress of campuses' work. She then "stitched" together these snapshots and maintained time-specific copies of these snapshots to understand the progress campuses made. She saved a copy from the July 2004 summer convening and again from July 2006.
The snapshots created by ILP participants were used to share with those within the community and with others outside of this project. Their snapshots are shared on the Carnegie Foundation website and discussed at the January American Association of Colleges & Universities' meeting in January 2007. Although once only for program participants, ultimately, the ILP snapshots have been used to share ideas and practices of integrative learning with many.