The Writing Retreat

Early during the fall semester I became interested in joining a writing retreat to make progress towards some of the writing goals that I had for 2023. I have a few big projects that require time to outline, analyze the data, organize the ideas that I want to share, and just get the ball rolling. Having interrupted time is extremely beneficial for any writing project. However. having long chunks of uninterrupted time are tremendously valuable.

I started searching the Internet for writing retreats for academics. I do not know if I was just not very good at searching for this type of activity but most results were either very far into the future or focused on creative writing. I did not see myself as an academic engaged in creative writing so I figured I would not fit into those spaces. As any good blogger, I started reading blogs of others who had been in a writing retreat and what I notice was that some writer discussed the good, the bad, and the ugly of writing retreats. I also noticed one academic blogger mentioned how he first started by creating a solo writing retreat. The idea of a solo writing retreat attracted me. I have travelled solo in the past and enjoyed the experience. I figured this would be somewhat similar with a little caveat, I would be bringing my co-author Missy (dog) with me. So after figuring out a good week for me to take a leave of absence from home, I settled on specific dates to travel to a small cabin with my co-author.

When the time came to start the writing retreat, I packed food and comfy clothes. After settling into our cabin, the outlining, organizing, and writing tasks started to happen. The scenery in the location of the cabin was lovely. We even got snow. It was magical. But even more magical was that I was getting the work done. I was not expecting to have a completed product by the end of my writing retreat, but I was hoping to make serious progress. I can honestly say that I was able to do just that. Now, I am working on the remaining of one those projects on a regular basis and hopefully on track to reach the final outcome.

I think the one aspect about my writing retreat that I will change for next time is the length of time. For this first writing retreat I planned for 7 days. To be honest, at 5 days I was really missing mi familia. So, in retrospective the next writing retreat will be 5 instead of 7 days.

DICE Conference Workshop on Digital Literacy

This past week I joined the DICE Conference to host a workshop on Digital Literacy. The aim was not to enhance the digital literacy of the participants but to discuss how we can organize, collect data, and execute a digital literacy plan. The workshop was hosted at 3 am local Knoxville time. I really did not know how responsive I was going to be, but it is amazing how you feed from the energy of others. The participants of the workshop were energetic, open, and engaged, they made the three-hour session go by so fast. Grateful to the organizers of the DICE conference for the invitation to join the conference and organize this workshop. Here are some of the resources I used during the workshop:

Semana de la Innovación: Educación del Futuro (CIED)

During the week of November 22 to November 25, 2022 the Centro de Innovation y Excelencia Docente (CIED) of the Universidad Autonoma de Chile hosted the Semana de la Innovation: Education del Futuro.


I was honored to join the event as an invited speaker for the day of “Mujeres Innovadoras”. It was a wonderful experience to shared an hour with colleagues in Chile and other Spanish-speaking scholars. The hosts of the event Claudia Osorio Alfaro, Maria Jose Suazo Ocares, and Ignacio Andres Vilos Fredes were amazing and very welcoming. The title of my presentation was “Pedagogia Intersectional Digital: Inclusion y Equidad en la Enseñanza en Linea”. Here are the link to my slides: tiny.utk.edu/CIEDChile

To learn more about the event here are two press releases by the Universidad Autonoma de Chile:


los docentes debemos de ser juiciosos en el uso de la tecnología en la aprendiza, es importante saber cuándo y cómo el uso de la tecnología es beneficioso para la estrategia educativa y cuando es una barrera para el aprendizaje

Enilda Romero-Hall

Tenured. Again.

A few weeks ago, I found out that the Tenured Upon Appointment process at The University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) was completed. I am grateful to the UTK community for honoring my work and contributions as an Associate Professor with tenure. I look forward to continuing my work as researcher, instructor, and member of my professional community. Also, thankful to the many collaborators so much of the work that I do is a join effort with colleagues and students.


The Key Podcast | @InsideHigherEd | Ep. 91

A few weeks ago, I was invited to join a podcast to talk about HyFlex Instruction. I was on travel when I saw the email from the editor in my inbox and, without too much information, I accepted to join the conversation. I really did not know what direction the podcast was going to take. I know HyFlex learning is “controversial” and even “unwelcome” by many, but I really was just going to speak facts. I reviewed some of the research I have done on the topic and the reviewed the literature I have read on the past in preparation for the podcast. I am very happy that the editor had a conversation approach to the podcast and that guided the conversation on the “what comes next” direction. I will be speaking and doing more research on this topic in the upcoming months. So, this is just the beginning of the conversation.

I really do not like listening to my voice in recordings so I just know what I said from the actual recording session. I have not heard the podcast, so I appreciate colleagues who have reached out to let me know that they enjoyed listen to the podcast and the points I shared as part of the conversation. Above is a link to the tweet from Inside Higher Ed and here is the link to the webpage: Ep.91: The Pros and Cons of HyFlex Instruction

UTK STEM Education Seminar

This past week, I was invited to speak as part of the STEM education seminar sponsored by the Theory and Practice in Teacher Preparation (TPTE) Department STEM team. I am part of the STEM Education team in the department and this semester a group of colleagues are organizing this seminar with presentations for faculty and graduate students every two weeks. I have really enjoyed all of the presentations this semester. Our STEM Education team is doing really amazing work and I love learning about it.

For my presentation, I was a bit nervous because I was not sure how my work would relate to STEM education. I know educational technology is consider part of STEM education. However, I think of my work as more than just educational technology. I actually see Learning, Design, and Technology as the umbrella term under which educational technology, instructional design, instructional technology, learning engineering, and others similar terms come together. Perhaps one of my main concerns is that under the term STEM, learning design is primarily associated with the “technology” term which I really see as just one aspects of the far more complex ecosystems of the learning, design, and technology field.

The presentation focused on how it is okay to have many areas of research interest. We are often encouraged to stay very narrowly focused on a topic. But, what if you are curious about other topics and want to explore them? So, basically, I used myself as an example of an eclectic research agenda. My research has evolved so much and in part it due to my curiosity to explore other topics. This has also been true in my life, curiosity to try new things or study programs outside my focus has helped me evolve and grow. Here is the link to the slides, in case you are curious.

#AECT22 International Convention

Last week, I attended the AECT International Convention. It was my first time since 2019 that I attended in person. It was great to see so many colleagues who I have communicated with via email or Zoom for the last three years. Also, I got to meet new colleagues who I had never connected with before.

It was a fairly busy but rewarding schedule for me. I started early every day with a conference presentation or panel session. I am writing this blog post primarily to share some resources and presentation slides from AECT.

CLT- Prioritizing Care, Respect, Empowerment, and Intersectional Identity while in Emergency Remote Teaching: Analysis through a Feminist Pedagogy Lens

This was a presentation with co-author, Dr. Nadia Jaramillo Cherrez. It is work that we have written up and plan to published as part of a forthcoming book on Feminist Pedagogy in Online Learning. Here are our presentation slides.

D&D- Ethnographic Experiences in Learning Design

This was a panel session in which panelists were discussing the different journal articles published in the TechTrends Special Issue related to Ethnography in the Learning Design and Technology field edited by Jill Stefaniak and Jason McDonald. I highly recommend reading this special issue. As part of the panel, I was specifically discussing the process of writing an autoethnography and the purpose of this autoethnography: Navigating the Instructional Design Field as an Afro-Latinx Woman: A Feminist Autoethnography

CLT- Marginalizing What ALSO Matters: It’s time to consider equity factors in design that impact student learning

This panel was great. I do not have slides to share, but here is the link to the recording. Unfortunately, it will only be available until Nov. 15 so please view it before then if you want to learn more about our discussion.

LED- Authentic Practices and Considerations for Mentoring ID Professionals

In this panel we came together to discuss mentoring future instructional design professionals in our programs of study. All of the panelist were contributors to “The Instructional Design Trainer’s Guide” book edited by Jill Stefaniak and Rebecca Reese. I was particularly interested in sharing about “Supporting Instructional Design Graduate Education through Networked Learning and Institutional Social Media“.

GSA- Culturally Responsive Research and Practice

This panel was organized by members of the AECT Graduate Student Assembly (Mia Knowles, Lili Yan, and Bree Kirsch). Thank you so much for your work organizing this panel. Some of the central questions that Dr. Tutaleni Asino and I discussed during this session were:

  • How would you describe culturally responsive research, pedagogy, and practice? What are other relevant concepts that show up in your work?
  • What are your experiences in doing work with culture? Any important stories or challenges to share?
  • What is your favorite methodology for culturally responsive research?
  • How would you negotiate the cultural self and the academic self in your work?
  • Advice/resources for grad students doing work with culture, particularly in our field?

Mia, Lili, and Bree created this slide with a QR code that links to additional resources and readings.

Flyer with photos of two panelist and a QR code that links to additional resources related to culturally responsive research and practice.
Photo of three women learning design scholars standing together at a conference.

2022 Early Career Symposium

This year during AECT, I was also invited to serve as a mentor as part of the Early Career Symposium. I hope the insights I shared with my mentees are beneficial to them. I also learned a great deal from their experience and knowledge. I am thankful to those who presented during the symposium because I found their presentations useful even in my current career stage as an academic. I hope AECT continues to support the Early Career Symposium. I have served as a mentor twice and was a mentee many years ago. It is truly a great way to give back to our learning design and technology community.

A page of the AECT Early Career Symposium program with informs about group 2 including the mentor’s name, position, department, and Institutional affiliations. The imagine also includes the names of the two mentees and their professional bios.

University Reception and Distance Learning Award

Huge thanks to my colleague, Dr. Rachel Wong, for traveling to the AECT 2022 conference with our University of Tennessee Knoxville poster and goodies to give away during the university reception. We met many colleagues and graduate students during the university reception. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and grab some goodies. Also, thanks to the AECT Distance Learning Division for recognizing one of my recent publications with 1st Place Mixed Methods Journal Award (“Hybrid flexible instruction: Exploring faculty preparedness” published with co-author Caldeira Ripine in the Online Learning journal). Last, but not least, during the welcome reception I put my name in a raffle and won some DDL gear. I never win raffles, I was so excited.

The next big social network for me

Some academics are leaving Twitter. I have no plans to leave Twitter as of right now. I am not on Instagram or Facebook. If you join Twitter one day and do not see me there, please know that I have switched to the next big social network: The great outdoors. I do not feel motivated to join a different social network platform. So, again, if I remove myself from Twitter that just means I dedicate more time to spend outside in nature (i.e., a park, a bike ride, a short hike, a farm, kayaking).

I was already considering a Twitter break later this year. I will see how things go with over the next month or so before making a decision. But honestly, if things go South with Twitter and I just shut my profile down radically please know you can always reach out to me via:

You can also subscribe to this blog. In the main page of this blog (https://enildaromero.com), you can type your email and click subscribe to read future posts. I write professional and personal blog posts. I am not a New York Times best seller but I put a few sentences together and sometimes share some decent content (in my humble opinion).

Conversatorio del Cafe Virtual de Learn for Improvement

Me dio mucho gusto participar en el conversatorio con las organizadores del Cafe Virtual de Learn for Improvement que ocurrió ayer. El Learn for Improvement es un grupo de diseñadores instruccionales a nivel corporativo en Latino America. Estos fueron alguno de los temas de los que hablamos durante el conversatorio:

¿Qué especializaciones de postgrado has seguido? ¿Cómo han contribuido en tu desarrollo profesional?

  • Master en Diseño Instruccional de la Universidad Estatal de Emporia (Emporia State University). Como a contribuido a mi desarrollo profesional:
    • Técnicas de Diseño Instruccional (modelos y teorías)
    • Conocimiento de teorías del aprendizaje y motivación
    • Emphasis en el desarrollo de capacitaciones para adultos
    • El uso de programas que se usan para el desarrollo de capacitaciones en línea y programas educativos en general
  • Doctorado en Educación con énfasis en Diseño Instruccional y concentración en Simulaciones para Capacitación y Aprendizaje de Old Dominion University. Como a contribuido a mi desarrollo profesional:
    • El enfoque fue más en mi crecimiento como investigadora. 
    • ¿Cómo se formula un proyecto de investigación?
      • Proponer el proyecto
      • Recolectar la data
      • Escribir el reporte o la publicación
      • Presentación del proyecto
    • Aprender a colaborar con colegas en otras áreas de estudios en proyectos que necesita la perspectiva de un diseñador instruccional
    • Leer para entender cómo los proyectos de investigación se pueden usar en la práctica

En tu experiencia, ¿qué ventajas te brinda contar con un postgrado especializado en aprendizaje para construir una carrera internacional en L&D?

  • Conocimiento de la teoría que es muy importantes (diseño instruccional, psicologia, comunicacion, etc.)
  • Aprender a conectar los resultados de las investigaciones con la práctica (que funciona? Que no funciona? Y porque?)
  • Distinguir entre el uso de “programas” y importante conocimientos de pedagogía (para adultos o sistemas digitales)
  • Estar más al tanto de las últimas tendencias en diseño instruccional y tecnología y sus aplicaciones en diferentes niveles.
  • La realidad es que muchas posiciones requieren un postgrado

¿Qué alternativas de especialización-postgrado  a  nivel internacional recomiendan  para los  que trabajamos en L&D?

¿Qué recomendaciones deberíamos tener presente antes de elegir un postgrado?

  • Fijense en la página de Internet del programa
    • ¿Quiénes son los profesores y cuales son sus áreas de interés?
    • ¿Qué cursos se ofrecen? ¿Te interesan a ti estos cursos?
    • El program esta enfocado en preparar profesionales para el área que te interesa: educación secundario, área corporativa, universidades o instituciones del gobierno
    • Si el programa es en línea o presencial
  • Qué apoyo brinda al estudiante para hacer la transición a la fuerza de trabajo
    • Portfolio
    • Prácticas y pasantías

Upcoming Free and Open Speaking Engagements

September

This event is for Spanish speakers, who more than likely live in Latin America but anyone is welcome. If you are interested in an instructional design program or a program focused on learning and development for a corporate environment, join us! We will be talking about this topic on September 28! The organizers of this event are the Learning for Improvement group the is organized by instructional designers in Peru. I am thankful that I was invited to be part of this Cafe Virtual. Here is the link to register for the event: https://forms.gle/5sexFAfqaBM6J6jE7

Flyer for the “Cafe Virtual” organized by the Learn for Improvement group

October

On October 19, I will be doing a presentation for my alma mater, the Graduate Student Organization of the Instructional Design and Technology program at Old Dominion University. More details coming soon.


November

On Nov. 3, I will be presenting as part of the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) Theory and Practice in Teacher Preparation (TPTE) STEM seminar and discussing “inclusive and equitable learning design practices”

On Nov. 17, I will presenting for the members of the Hampton Roads International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) Chapter. Topic: “Social, Learner Centered, Culturally-Relevant Digital Workforce Development.” You are welcome to register for this virtual event. It is a free and open event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/social-learner-centered-culturally-relevant-digital-workforce-development-tickets-415319711437

For my Spanish speaking connections! On Wednesday, November 23 I am honored to be joining an amazing group of speakers as part of the Semana de la Innovación (Innovation Week) of the Centro de Innovación y Excelencia Docente de la Universidad Autónoma de Chile. Tema: “Inclusión e igualdad en la enseñanza en línea”. Mas detalles pronto.


December

Last but not least, for the European crowd, the ProDiGI project at the Technische Universität Braunschweig @tuBraunschweig is hosting a free & open conference in early December. I’ll be sharing more details about my presentation later on. But, in case you want to learn more about the conference or would like to join the conference here is the link: https://bit.ly/3BKcHIs

Grateful for the opportunity to participate in this events in an online format. Also, grateful that colleagues thought about me and asked me to join them in these events.