Epiphanies with University of Windsor

Dave smiling!

Our Fireside Guests –

Dave Cormier

Dave is a learning specialist with the Office of Open Learning and you can learn more about his work here. He has a book coming out in January of 2024 titled, Learning in a Time of Abundance.

Lorie smiling!Lorie Stolarchuk

Lorie is a learning specialist with the Office of Open Learning. You can visit Lorie on Linkedin here.

Russell looking serious. Russell Nahdee

Russell is a faculty at the University of Windsor and the Director of the Aboriginal Education Centre. You can see some of Russell’s research here on ResearchGate. You can see an introduction to a keynote presentation he gave in 2016 here.

Nick smiling!Nick Baker

Nick is the director of the Office of Open Learning. You can find Nick here on Linkedin.


UW | Bothell & University of Windsor

Five things that have worked for us in Bothell

  • The “epiphanies series.” – just getting outside voices to contribute to the conversions we have and to hear about the successes and challenges of others.
  • Our website in general.
  • Day long retreat to Jane’s place.
  • Our Chapbook
  • Regular monthly meetings, with write-ups and follow-up meetings

Something we would like to do in the future.

  • Collaborate in some fashion with Windsor. If interested, they could write some posts for the open learning site.
  • Have a collaborative session in April where some of us could do 15 minute topical presentations about teaching on the open web.
  • Invite UWindsor folks to the Lisa Lane meeting


  • Getting more views on the website from faculty.
  • Institutional support for learning communities


I wonder what principles lie behind what works for each of us. For example, I thrive with making things, less talking about making things and sharing…more active making and sharing, bounded activities in terms of time, creative constraints, series of—or at least consecutive—works that densely interconnect, and working in the open.

Also, I think I’m just burned out on “resources.” It’s all well and good—in fact I believe strongly that it’s best—to share what we make. But my sustenance comes from a) making things collaboratively, and b) how interesting/new the process, and thus the things that come from it are. I don’t know what that looks like and I may well be an outlier whose thoughts should be taken with a grain of salt give how long I’ve been doing this work and my particular creative personality.


Drawing people in– what does motivation look like? It started with food. 

Russell shared about community events that got students and families onto campus. 

Zoom session with faculty and staff from UW Bothell and University of Windsor.


Food is community!!!! Thanks for welcoming me. I look forward to our collaboration.


This started out when I reached out to Bonnie Stewart asking about the open learning workshops and the community of practice there at the University of Windsor. She let me know they were out of Dave’s office and Chris Lott reached out to Noboku there. And that is how we connected. 

I was happy to see another community dedicated to open learning and it seemed a natural thing to connect. So we did 🙂 

I am very excited about two things that happened as a result of this meeting. One is that we are inviting them to visit with Lisa Lane next month for our “epiphanies” session. And two is that we are going to try to do a collaborative workshop/presentation with them that will be open to both our campus communities. How nice is that!

Some years ago when I was helping faculty in Arizona write about teaching & Learning on the internet we were able to get some faculty from an institution in Michigan to write with us. It was pretty amazing to see the thoughts of faculty from another state suddenly show up on our little website. Looking back, I see it was ten years ago. It was so nice to see some people from another university. Just the novelty of it is pretty cool. But of course there is more. Certainly more possibilities. I have always wanted to get more relationships built, and with this continuing meeting with the Windsor people, maybe that will happen. 

The idea for a collaborative workshop is just beginning, but I think we can pull it off in April. I will be mocking up a webpage that will have session resources and a google doc that can be used for planning. So far we are pondering an hour and a half and maybe 6 mini 15 minute sessions. That is about all we got so far. That is enough. 


Food – Variety of foods from different cultures can draw the face-to-face folks to a common place where they are open to trusting others and “breaking bread together.”  Then, what works when in a community like this (online or f2f), is the ability to approach the “topic of the week/year” and get a range of perspectives on what is important to pay attention to, and broader expertise then just one person reading journal articles, social media, or localized conversations.

One Comment:

  1. Pingback: Vignettes on Teaching – Teaching & Learning on the Open Web

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