Learning Innovation

Call to Action:  If you are interested in:

  • Participating in an ARLE (Alternate Reality Learning Experience)

  • Using Whiteboard in your class

Contact innovation@saintleo.edu for more information.

Lions-Share--Connecting-Experiences-logoIn 2016, Saint Leo is launching a new kind of learning ecosystem.  Far more than “just” an LMS, we used our necessity to change learning platforms as an opportunity to bring multiple systems and capabilities to fruition.



In 2015, Saint Leo got a lot of great press around our first Alternate Reality Learning Experience (ARLE): The Presidency.  9 classes from 7 different programs came together…

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Imagine if every student in your synchronous experience was engaged in the creation of content for the class. Imagine being able to see who is, and who is not actively participating while giving a platform to all students…

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content1The price of course materials is just one of many factors pushing college out of reach for many students today.  And in this time when content is so readily available and often found to be “fresher” when pulled from updated, digital contexts vs static, traditional sources….

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This Fall term, students and faculty, in 7 disciplines (Theatre, Script Analysis, Courtroom Communication, Digital Forensics, Sociology [Deviance & Social Control] and Genetics) as well as the “Lions Pride” newspaper staff, have come together….

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MySaintLeoMinuteEmployers consistently suggest that the gap between student skills and required abilities are too great to overcome.  Survey data suggests that hiring organizations feel students have had little to no experience with “soft skills”….

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innovationBlogWhat is Learning Innovation? According to some crowdsourcing I’ve done with educators over the years, Learning Innovation includes: collaboration, creativity, improved outcomes, meaningful change, academic disruption, progression, reframing….

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learningoutcomesThis year Saint Leo University is putting a multi-point strategy together to polish up our learning outcomes.  From a year of collaborative faculty development for all full-time faculty, to a Master Syllabus clean-up initiative to our new Assessment / ePortfolio solution and beyond, this is the year of the Outcome at Saint Leo!

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Saint Leo UniversityHoping to spark learning innovation across multiple contexts, the team is looking to host 1-3 conferences at Saint Leo this academic school year.  A few ideas are actively being vetted including a Strategic Doing conference aligned with Spark Growth…

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At many universities, Innovation Incubator’s are focused largely on entrepreneurial endeavors for local business.  In fact, it’s hard to find any colleges who have actually put resources and effort into an Innovation Incubator that aren’t solely seeking potential new revenue streams for the school, via small business start-ups either for students or with help from students.  Often focusing on software, robotics, or “clever” start-up solutions, these incubators are popping up left and right.

We get the value of entrepreneurialism…truly! This kind of innovation can be really powerful to a small but focused group of people and (eventually) may even pay back the significant and repeated investments by creating new revenue for a school. But at Saint Leo, we feel this prioritizes the wrong thing out of the gate.  Perhaps one day we will move toward social entrepreneurship, small-business catalysts, or other sector-specific work.

But for now, we have put a very important word in front of ‘innovation’ for our purposes: learning. Learning Innovation is our attempt to change learning, at scale, for anyone willing to put in some effort.  Note, we are not helping one teacher impact one class for one term.  While those innovations are crucial to the health of a course (and arguably to the career-arc of a professor), our incubator seeks to make changes at a much larger scale.  We’re after replicability, extrapolation, and efficacy measures, while focusing myopically on whether it improves learning.  We wish to leverage evidence based, or potentially add to existing, researched, learning experiences with connections to education psychology, cognitive science, learning analytics, education technology, etc.

Here are some of the projects the Learning Innovation team is working on right now under the heading, “Learning Innovation Incubator” – want to join in the fun? (We currently need help with ARLE’s and Whiteboard)  Contact the Learning Innovation Office at innovation@saintleo.edu.