Educating Problem-Solvers for Our Emerging Digital Ecosystem

February 16, 2018 § Leave a comment

On Thursday, February 15, I spoke at Endicott College.  Here I share the description, slides, and references.

Description

What skills, abilities, and habits of mind do today’s graduates need for their careers and to solve complex problems in a constantly changing, globally-connected world? How can we integrate digital skills in support of critical thinking and inquiry across the curriculum? The future of higher education depends upon an integrative vision of digitally-informed learning that is not merely content delivery online but rather is education reshaped in the same ways that digital technologies have already fundamentally changed our culture. This talk will present a vision for building a curriculum that develops self-directed, digitally-augmented problem-solving from introductory to capstone level courses and prepares graduates to partner with technology to solve problems.

Slides

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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 »

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 »

Slides for High-Impact Educational Practices for the Online Classroom

January 26, 2018 § 2 Comments

 

See description and abstract in my previous blog post: High-Impact Educational Practices in the Online Classroom?

High-Impact Educational Practices in the Online Classroom?

January 19, 2018 § 2 Comments

On Friday, January 26, 2:45 – 4:00 pm in the Lafayette Park room, I’ll be co-presenting 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.  Below is the  program listing along with the abstract we submitted for this session: « Read the rest of this entry »

Community-Engaged Signature Work in the Digital Ecosystem

July 13, 2017 § Leave a comment

Today, I led another session at AAC&U’s Institute for Integrative Learning and Signature Work.  Here are slides, a description, and references. See also my last post which gives instructions and links for the activity we did in that session: Activity: Community-Engaged Signature Work in the Digital Ecosystem

What skills, abilities, and habits of mind do today’s graduates need for their careers and to solve complex problems in a constantly changing, globally-connected world? How do we integrate liberal education and authentic learning experiences with our digitally-networked context? What does community-engagement look like in a virtual community? In this session participants will consider case-studies of technology-enhanced community-engaged learning drawn from Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments (co-edited by the session leader) with a focus on digital pedagogy keywords such as, Community, Digital-Divides, Fieldwork, Public, Race, and Social Justice. Participants will develop a curriculum that scaffolds self-directed digitally-augmented problem-solving from introductory to capstone level courses. Participants will explore innovative pedagogies, interrogate effective models for integrating authentic learning opportunities shaped by digital tools and resources at all levels, and work collaboratively to develop a toolkit and to-do list for encouraging this type of learning on their own campus. « Read the rest of this entry »

Activity: Community-Engaged Signature Work in the Digital Ecosystem

July 13, 2017 § Leave a comment

Today, I’m leading a session at AAC&U’s Institute for Integrative Learning and Signature Work that highlights examples of community-engaged signature work many of which are drawn from Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Models, Concepts, and Experiments, especially the keywords,  Community, Digital Divides, Fieldwork, Online, Public, Race, and Social Justice.  This post gives directions for one of the breakout activities we’ll do in this session. « Read the rest of this entry »

New Faculty Roles in the Emerging Digital Ecosystem

July 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

Picture of Tweet by Karrie Newby: Today, I led a session at AAC&U’s Institute for Integrative Learning and Signature Work that focused on what new roles or identities faculty play as they advance integrative and applied learning in the emerging digital ecosystem.  I began with a tweet from the Institute Opening plenary that points to one new role–Academic Spotter–playing of the role of a spotter in weightlifting.  Below are the description, slides, and references from that session.  Later, I’ll post the inventory of  challenges associated with three of those identities, as well as strategies to address them that session participants developed. « 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

 

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