Communication Award Winner – Golf Cart Pedagogy

As instructional technologists and IT professionals, we often look for unique ways to capture our communities’ attention, competing with their ever-overloaded inboxes. We never expected that this oddball idea born from a lack of sleep and a lengthy car ride could take us from the narrow campus walkways to the bright lights of New Orleans, LA. Golf Cart Pedagogy, our higher-ed take on the popular hit Car Pool Karaoke, engages our College community.

Golf Cart on Campus

The core idea isn’t anything new: record and share interviews. We needed something different. At the time, it seemed like the strangest, silliest thing imaginable: take guests about campus on a humble, often-seen golf cart; drive around at super-slow, laughable speed; and converse about pedagogy, technology, and often humanity. Since its launch in April 2019, the ride-along has become an episodic campus cult classic, inviting guests from all walks of college life to share their experiences in higher education.

As we continued to see its popularity grow on campus, we were looking for a way to share the idea on a grander scale. On the encouragement of a colleague, we entered the first episode of Golf Cart Pedagogy for a SIGUCCS Communication Award. Honestly, the thought of others seeing our work from around the country was very exciting, yet scary. With a deep breath and a high-five, we decided to submit our work to SIGUCCS for consideration.

Then word came: we won a communications award for long format video. Imbued with the newfound pride and acceptance of our oddity, we really leaned full tilt into the silliness. And a little secret for those of you that know, one of the perks to winning this award is that you are given a poster session slot at the annual meeting to promote your work. Insert maniacal laugh… Our plan work for worldwide media domination began.

Golf Cart on Campus

As with most things we do, we find the most non-traditional way of going about it and commit fully. We turned our poster into the inside of a golf cart, and our session into a chance to interview our extended community of IT professionals. We even turned our session into an episode!

Reflecting back on our experience with SIGUCCS, we are left with fond memories, new friendships, and a wider view of higher ed. The real strength of a conference like the SIGUCCS annual conference is in the conversations and connections with a welcoming community of fellow professionals. We’re all able to come together, let our hair down (figuratively for some of us), and really dive deep into our institutional successes and opportunities. Furthermore, being an award winner allowed us to show off our inner rockstars for at least a few hours. This award now hangs with pride in our office and serves as a reminder that creativity and silliness do have a place in IT.

Anthony Dalton and Thomas Sciarrino
Muhlenberg College