Michigan State University’s mission includes advancing knowledge and transforming lives by “providing outstanding undergraduate, graduate, and professional education”. This combined with the vision for Undergraduate Student Learning and Success at MSU, which includes creating an “accessible and equitable” experience that “that empowers all students to learn”, are strong indications of this university’s commitment to teaching and learning. That said, on such a large campus where units are charged with their own educator development, it can be difficult to celebrate innovative pedagogical practice and connect educators to resources across campus.
The #iteachmsu Commons comes out of a founding collaboration between the Academic Advancement Network, the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology, and the Graduate School with the hopes of igniting a social movement at MSU that recognizes, values, and celebrates all members of the MSU community who help educate on our campus- both in and out of the formal classroom. The nature of this movement necessitates a shift in the campus culture around teaching and learning to celebrate and promote the innovative practices happening at MSU.
The #iteachmsu Commons now exists as a shared resource for educators to promote collaboration and growth in competency-grounded teaching practice. These competencies are parallel to those in the Graduate School Certificate in College Teaching and the upcoming Educator Development Competency Framework. The site itself is completely community-driven, so the integration of these five competencies in the site as “categories” is a way to ensure that all the #iteachmsu content relates back to teaching and learning.
A Teaching Commons is “an emergent conceptual space for exchange and community among faculty, students, and all others committed to learning as an essential activity of life in contemporary democratic society” (Huber and Hutchings, 2005, p.1) and the #iteachmsu Commons is no exception. #iteachmsu Commons content may be discipline-specific or transdisciplinary, but will always be anchored in teaching competency areas. At iteach.msu.edu, you will find blog-like articles, posts, curated playlists, learning assessment primers, and a campus-wide teaching and learning events calendar.
If you contribute to the teaching and learning mission of the university, you are invited to use your MSU netID to join this community today. You can make a profile and connect with other educators across networks; share your favorite teaching resources, lingering questions, and your own scholarship; and continue on your lifelong educator development journey by engaging with content and growing in your practice. We cultivate this commons across spaces for educators by educators. And through your engagement, we will continue to nurture a culture of teaching and learning across MSU and beyond.