Genesis of an Online General Education Capstone Course

February 12, 2018 § 1 Comment

On Friday, January 26, I presented at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) along with Steve Greenlaw of Mary Washington University and Gretchen McKay of McDaniel College in a panel called, “High-Impact Educational Practices in the Online Classroom”. Mark Lieberman of Inside Higher Ed covered the session in an article, “Making an Impact in Online Courses”, published January 31, 2018. In another post, I include my section of the panel, including the introduction and my description of how I teach the general education Capstone course online at St. Edward’s University. In this post, let me clarify the genesis of the online version of this course.

Screenshot of Capstone Online welcome Video

Welcome Video for Fall 2017 Capstone online, created in Panopto

The other two panelists discussed courses of their own design, but I described my experience as an adjunct instructor teaching a course designed by other faculty. In instructional design, we call these other faculty members, subject matter experts or SMEs (pronounced “smees”). I think this is an interesting case to describe because, especially for online courses, the model of adjunct instructors teaching a course designed by full time faculty is common. At the same time, this practice is not just a result of online delivery. Any course required to be taken by all students is likely to depend on this model of faculty content owner, with other instructors (whether full time or adjunct) charged with teaching other sections of the course. The case of the Capstone Course at St. Edward’s University provides a useful illustration. « Read the rest of this entry »

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My Script for High-Impact Educational Practices in the Online Classroom?

February 10, 2018 § 1 Comment

On Friday, January 26, I presented at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) along with Steve Greenlaw of Mary Washington University and Gretchen McKay of McDaniel College in a panel called, “High-Impact Educational Practices in the Online Classroom”. Mark Lieberman of Inside Higher Ed covered the session in an article, “Making an Impact in Online Courses“, published January 31, 2018. In this post, I include my section of the panel, including the introduction and my description of how I teach the general education Capstone course online at St. Edward’s University. In another post, I will explain the genesis of the online version of this course.  Slides are available in a previous blogpost. « Read the rest of this entry »

Digital Media Requirement at Walsh University

May 5, 2017 § Leave a comment

Today I’m at Walsh University presenting a keynote and leading a workshop to help prepare faculty for the new digital media requirement in their general education curriculum.  Every student has to take one class with a digital media designation.  In order to qualify, a class has to have a digital media (“digitized content that can be transmitted over the internet or computer networks . . . can include text, audio, video, and graphics”) project that takes more than 10 hours of work, can be shared online, involves meaningful skills, and involves creativity and working beyond typical (consumer) use of the tool.
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Curating Digital Pedagogy with a Purpose

January 27, 2017 § Leave a comment

Below is the slightly revised text with added citations of my presentation for the panel, “Curating Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities,” delivered January 5, 2017 at the Annual Convention of the Modern Language Association. The corresponding slides are available via slideshare.

Curating Digital Pedagogy with a Purpose

This evening, I want to focus on how the practice of digital pedagogy might help us achieve the broader goals of liberal education. What are the goals of liberal education? The Association of American Colleges and Universities, which represents nearly 1400 colleges and universities has issued a challenge that calls for undergraduate liberal education today to prepare students to solve unscripted problems—these are problems where the “right answer” is still unknown and where any answer may be actively contested (LEAP Challenge: Education for a World of Unstructured Problems).

In 2014 I served on an AAC&U working group (General Education Maps and Markers or GEMSs) that considered this challenge in the context of digital culture. In this world, we learn, and we take action through networks. Creation and publication is easy, and we have ready access to data driven by algorithms that personalize information for users and inform human judgment (Bass & Eynon, Open and Integrative). Our emerging digital ecosystem means that, increasingly, students will tackle these unscripted problems with digital data and tools—students must be able to partner with technology to analyze, transfer and apply learning, and integrate methods and knowledge from multiple domains to solve problems. Our group found that agency was a key ability that college curricula should intentionally develop. By agency I mean ensuring that students actively participate in defining, developing, and reflecting on their personal and educational goals and the ways to achieve them.   You might compare Carol Dweck’s concept of growth mindset (The Power of Believing That You Can Improve).

Let me illustrate how the practice of digital pedagogy might develop agency in digital culture by pointing to a few of the pedagogical artifacts gathered by our curators for the project, Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments (ed. Davis, Gold, Harris & Sayers).

For the keyword, “Annotation”, Paul Schacht points to a sample student conversation using social book, which allows users to highlight and comment on texts, share their annotations with a group, and even like them on Facebook. Schacht observes that annotation as a practice is not new, but digital affordances have sped it up and amplified the social aspects. Such annotation moves the humanities practice of reading and writing as a dialogue into the context of digital culture.

My second example goes further in moving humanities scholarship into digital culture. For the keyword, “Gaming”, Amanda Phillips curated a Talkthrough of Bioshock’s Fort Frolic. Essentially this is a YouTube video that repurposes the popular genre of the “let’s play” video for an academic purpose of analyzing the game. This model builds on the well-developed agency of YouTubers, which is enabled by low barriers to creation and publication. It transforms this genre—typically used to demonstrate game play and display engaging banter—to develop sophisticated analysis and repurposes participatory culture for humanities scholarship.

For the keyword, “Remix”, Kim Middleton shares the syllabus of Julie Levin Russo on the “Art of Remix” which similarly transplants humanities teaching into participatory culture. Collaborative student remix projects engage students in social creation and production for humanities learning. Russo also situates humanities teaching in remix culture by citing the syllabi and assignments that she has remixed to create this course. While she demystifies the mastery of the humanities instructor, she constructs her authority in remix culture by acknowledging her sources and demonstrating how remix can lead to a new creation. This model of reuse with citation should also inspire all of us to put a CC license on our course materials to make sharing and acknowledgement easier.

Finally, Maha Bali and Mia Zamora share the Peeragogy Handbook for the keyword, “Network”. This crowdsourced manual offers models and instructions for anyone who wants to learn with peers and without an instructor. The book itself can be commented on using the social annotation tool, Hypothesis and even forked and adapted using the software versioning tool, GitHub. While this manual enables the ultimate student agency by replacing the instructor with peers, humanities instructors might also apply these methods to let students co-create just one assignment.

Assignments like these let students repeatedly practice learning in networks, working with data, and solving authentic, unscripted problems. This mentored practice and intentional arc of learning are differentiators for the formal education we provide in institutions of higher education. In building student agency, all of these examples break down traditional academic structures by destabilizing the instructor’s authority, moving learning outside the classroom (physical or online in a Learning Management System), surfacing and sharing our teaching and research practices, moving the humanities beyond the ivory tower, and asking both our students and us as instructors to engage in our digital culture.

Works Cited

Bali, Maha and Mia Zamora. “Network.” Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments. Ed. Davis, Gold, Harris and Sayers. https://github.com/curateteaching/digitalpedagogy/blob/master/keywords/network.md

Bass, Randy, and Bret Eynon. Open and Integrative: Designing Liberal Education for the New Digital Ecosystem. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2016. https://secure.aacu.org/store/detail.aspx?id=GMSDIG

Dweck, Carol. The Power of Believing That You Can Improve. TED Talks. December 17, 2014. https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve

The LEAP Challenge: Education for a World of Unscripted Problems. Association of American Colleges and Universities. 2015. http://www.aacu.org/sites/default/files/files/LEAP/LEAPChallengeBrochure.pdf

Middleton, Kim. “Remix.” Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments. Ed. Davis, Gold, Harris and Sayers. https://github.com/curateteaching/digitalpedagogy/blob/master/keywords/remix.md

The Peeragogy Handbook. Corneli, J. et al. eds. 3rd ed. Chicago, IL./Somerville, MA.: PubDomEd/Pierce Press, 2016. Downloaded from http://peeragogy.org.

Phillips, Amanda. “Gaming.” Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments. Ed. Davis, Gold, Harris and Sayers. https://github.com/curateteaching/digitalpedagogy/blob/master/keywords/gaming.md

Russo, Julie Levin. “Copy This Class (The Art of the Remix).” http://j-l-r.org/wp-content/uploads/remix-syllabus-final.pdf.

Schacht, Paul. “Annotation.” Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments. Ed. Davis, Gold, Harris and Sayers. https://github.com/curateteaching/digitalpedagogy/blob/master/keywords/annotation.md

Social Book. Cited in Stein, Bob. “Social Book in Action.” Blog post. 18 August 2013. Web. 17 September 2015. http://futureofthebook.org/blog/2013/08/18/socialbook-in-action/

Zhu, Lily and Casey Sloan. Talkthroughs: Bioshock’s Fort Frolic. https://youtu.be/3h7iHD-lI0g

 

Defining Digital Pedagogy

January 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

What is digital pedagogy?

wikipedia.digital.pedagogy.smIf you don’t have a definition, you might think of checking Wikipedia, but I’m afraid that won’t work for you. Given this absence, we’re asking our network to help us with the definition by entering it on a google form here, tinyurl.com/whatisdigped, or tweeting it to the hashtag #curateteaching.

I’ve been working on the answer to this question for the past few years in collaboration with Matthew K. Gold, Katherine D. Harris, and Jentery Sayers. Our project, Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments is currently under development with MLA Books, available in github at https://github.com/curateteaching/digitalpedagogy, and has one set of keywords undergoing open peer review in the MLA Commons at https://digitalpedagogy.commons.mla.org/: failure, multimodal, poetry, professionalization, project management, race, sexuality, and text analysis. « Read the rest of this entry »

Engaged Learning in Digital Culture, Susquehanna University

August 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

This morning, I am speaking at Susquehanna University as part of their workshop on “Digital Tools for Liberal Arts Pedagogy”.

Engaged Learning in Digital Culture

How do we engage learners in the context of our globally-networked, data-driven, participatory digital culture?  Not by moving the lecture hall online.  Instead, we must create a curriculum that builds our students’ abilities to apply their learning to complex problems in the context of that culture.  Students must practice analyzing, transferring, and integrating their learning using digital data, tools, and approaches to solve unscripted problems. This talk will present a vision for a liberal arts curriculum that scaffolds self-directed, digitally-augmented problem-solving from introductory to capstone level courses.

Slides are here:
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Open Peer Review of New Resource for Digital Pedagogy Ends August 3

July 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

I’m excited to report that the first batch of keywords from our digital pedagogy project is now in open peer review.  Read on for details.

Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, edited by Rebecca Frost Davis, Matthew K. Gold, Katherine D. Harris, and Jentery Sayers, is a dynamic open-access collection currently in development on MLA Commons. The editors invite your participation in the open peer review of this collection.
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Designing for Agency in the Emerging Digital Ecosystem

July 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

Slides for my concurrent session, Designing for Agency in the Emerging Digital Ecosystem, at the AAC&U Institute for Integrative Learning and the Departments.

Learning Ecosystem Responses

I asked participants to define both their professional and personal learning ecosystems.  Here are word clouds of their answers.  Note that people (colleagues, friends, students, etc.) play a large role in both professional and personal learning.

Where and from whom do you, as a professional, learn outside of the formal classroom, keynote, workshop or conference session?

word cloud of responses « Read the rest of this entry »

Engaged Learning in Digital Culture

July 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

This morning at AAC&U’s Institute for Integrative Learning and the Departments, I’m giving a brief tech talk that defines the emerging digital ecosystem and gives examples of how we might integrate engaged learning into that ecosystem.  Here are the slides:

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Where and from Whom Do You Learn?

January 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Word Cloud of where and from whom do you leanYesterday during our panel, “Liberal Education Unbound: The Life of Signature Student Work in the Emerging Digital Learning Environment” I asked an audience participation question intended to illustrate what we mean by the emerging digital learning ecosystem.  I asked those tweeting to identify themselves, then asked everyone to think about a question and share their answers to be tweeted to the hashtag #libedunbound.  The question was

Where and from whom do you as a professional learn outside of the formal classroom or conference session?

To the right is a word cloud of the answers.  You can see the original tweets in this storify: https://storify.com/FrostDavis/where-and-from-whom-do-you-learn  Both illustrate that the emerging learning ecosystem is both digital and physical, formal and informal, ubiquitous and networked.  What are the implications for how we teach?

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