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T&L Communications Planning and Priorities

Proposed T&L Communication Priorities for July - September, 2010

Priority One: Support the communications needs of the sub-groups that emerged from the Denver conference

  1. Communicate T&L structure and process to community
    • Create 2010 calendar (See below)
    • Send announcement to lists about dates and process
    • Create blog post with structure, leader contacts, and engagement opportunities
    • Send message to all Sakai Foundation members head of Center for Faculty Development or appropriate title (Requires list creation)
  2. Support communication needs for the groups
    • Capture and publish notes from monthly meeting
    • Publicize quarterly meetings
    • Capture and publish outcomes from quarterly meetings
    • Assist in identifying resources and approach to support collaboration and communications efforts

Priority Two: Improve connections between Sakai T&L community and Educause

  1. Facilitate T&L gathering at Educause
  2. Assist in developing community presentation submissions for ELI conference

Priority Three: Initiate communications about Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award

  1. What is the award?
  2. How can you win? 
  3. Why should you want to win?

Proposed Calendar for T&L Meetings

Note: Sub-group meetings will take place during weeks noted, but each group meets on a different day. See group pages for actual meeting times.



Full Group Meetings

Community Meetings



4, 18, 25





1, 15, 22, 29

8 (prep for quarterly)




6, 20, 27



Monthly meeting at Educause?


3, 17, 24

10 (prep for quarterly)




1, 15, 22



Skip 12/29 meetings?

Brainstorming from Sakai 2010 Conference

How can the Foundation help with communicating:

1. Disseminating the work of the T&L group in Sakai

  • yes please
  • Use the following twitter hashtag: #sakaitl *or #SakaiTL*
  • Suggestion: create sub-groups around topics that are relevant to faculty or IT folks - this session, as an example, seemed to be split between the two where my guess is that for many participants only 1/2 the talks were directly relevant / within their purvue
  • Suggestion: develop more participation with EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI).  Here's the current call for the 2011 conference:
  • If subgroups are formed (e.g., DL) how do we keep the T&L community at large in the loop on what's happening in those subgroups? How does T&L both broaden participation and address special interest areas at the same time? Can we? BOF model with reporting back to the larger group on weekly calls?
  • Suggestion for managing communications within the Sakai community:
    • Reserve the pedagogy list for communications intended for the entire Sakai T&L community (e.g., reports and summaries of work accomplished; calls for participation or feedback, etc.)
    • Establish a separate mailing list (or Sakai site or Google group) for facilitating communication within a subgroup to minimize the noise on the main list
    • Let each subgroup determine its preferred times, frequency, and medium for meetings.   Post schedule and instructions for participating in confluence.
    • Conduct a community-wide T&L meeting once a month (or every two months) for status updates and as an opportunity for brainstorming and feedback
    • Send out a monthly update to the T&L lost with a high-level summary of activities and accomplishments.

2. Broadening T&L participation and leadership with staff from new institutions

  • Currently, we hold a weekly conference call.
  • We are currently time-zone bound, and we would like broader international participation.
    • Maybe some increased communication or other methods for those who cannot attend Wed calls but want to participate.
    • Maybe record and podcast call.
    • See suggestion under item 1 above.  Limit the community-wide call to once a month or so and let volunteers for specific initiatives/areas of focus determine their preferred meeting schedule, medium, etc.
  • Mentoring program maybe for newbies? Newbie connected with old folk.
    • Maybe a list of volunteers for who can be contacted for what type of information
    • Profiles and keywords
  • Summary of conference calls
    • Bullet points, then full text - Form style to notes of meeting and emails??
    • Consistency of format
    • Maybe monthly
  • Mass mailing to directors of teaching and instructional technology centers at Sakai partner institutions providing a high-level overview of our work and information on how to get involved.  Should we also try to reach out to institutions that are users, but not dues paying partners?
  • Challenge each active member of the T&L group to enlist at least one colleague on their campus to work on Sakai T&L initiatives.

3. Better sharing of community T&L on your own campus

  • Regular webinars, from real instructors?  Broadcast monthly or quarterly, for campus Sakai staff to show to faculty, or invite faculty to view on their own. 
  • Broader distribution of the TWSIA winners, perhaps in conjunction with the above.  Some recording already done in interview [from TWSIA meeting]. Also consider TWSIA entries on OpenEdPractices site as raw material for showcases on

Communications Subgroup

If you are interested in working in this area over the next 6-12 months, please add your name to this list below:





Lynn Ward

Indiana University


Rob Coyle

Johns Hopkins


Mathieu Plourde

University of Delaware


Kim Thanos


Sakai Foundation


Robin Hill

University of Wyoming


Rita Pavolka

Indiana University














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  1. Is there any mileage in a monthly or quarterly newsletter aimed at faculty? This could have a mix of sharing good practice, innovative uses of Sakai (TWSIA is a good source), distance teaching of difficult subjects etc.

    1. In my experience, as I mentioned to Kim, most faculty make time only for perusing techniques that apply exactly to their circumstances.  In other words, I would expect the faculty who read a newsletter to be the faculty whom we are already reaching with workshops and so forth.

      But our suggestions under point 3 are meant to address the same kind of product-- something that faculty can view, without too much sacrifice, and develop the habit of viewing regularly.  So, yes, in the form that gives it the right appeal, what you say is what we're after!

      1. That is a fair comment Robin. I would find learning and teaching stories I can share with staff here from other Sakai users really valuable and I cn see point 3 contributing to that.