IN THIS ISSUE...
Maricopa Learning eXchange (MLX)
Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction
Maricopa Learning eXchange (MLX)
"Best practice sharing needs to happen."
"Encourage sharing of successful methods/techniques between faculty members."
"Individuals can spread the word to others by advertising."
"Cross-district sharing is needed."
The above comments voiced at Open Space Forums on learning (1997-1999) and during the Convocation 2000 Dynamic Discussions, represent a long-standing desire of Maricopans to establish a method or methods for sharing "Who's Doing What" at Maricopa. In response, faculty showcases have been held during Convocation and at Ocotillo retreats and lists of innovative practices have been printed in the Labyrinth/Forum/Assidere. There have also been various attempts to build this electronically, but the technology, or the timing, have never seemed quite right.
Well, the stars may finally be aligned at Maricopa. There is a pervasive focus on learning for all Maricopans and our students as exemplified by continuous dialogues about learning, new facilities built to enhance learning, a model of student services which takes into account learning outside of the classroom, the numerous innovative teaching and learning practices happening in the classroom, and the many other learning-focused activities happening within the district. Technology has also advanced such that the timing now seems right to create an electronic database of "Who's Doing What" in Maricopa.
The concept for the Maricopa Learning eXchange (MLX), a searchable web database, was proposed by the leadership team of the firstname.lastname@example.org project (http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/learning/) as a means of creating an active "warehouse" of ideas, examples, and resources about learning as applied across the district.
Since examples of learning can have nebulous descriptions, each item in the warehouse is represented as a brown paper wrapped "learning package." A package might be something as simple as a classroom assignment or as complex as a multi-college program. It may contain descriptions plus links to lesson plans, student materials, photos, or other resources.
From the MLX web site, searching can be done by keywords, disciplines, and/or college. A search request will bring up a list of "packages," each with a brief description. Clicking on an individual package takes you to a "packing slip" that details what the package contains, including a history of when the package was created and last updated. Hypertext links allow you to access additional resources, documents, templates, images, etc. that the package owner has provided.
Maricopans can add new "packages" using a web form which will ask for contact information and a brief description of the teaching and learning practice included in the package. To aid in the maintenance of the warehouse, an e-mail message will automatically be sent after one year. It will ask the owners of packages if they still want to have their packages included in the exchange or if they would like to update their packages.
The MLX can be started with some of the ideas presented here in this issue of the Labyrinth. However, it cannot be a valuable resource without the participation of faculty, staff, and administrators throughout the district. A prototype of the MLX is currently available, and we hope to have it operational shortly after this issue of the Labyrinth is published.
To take a look at the Maricopa Learning eXchange on the MCLI web site go to: