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

 

Curating Digital Pedagogy #mla17 #s155

January 5, 2017 § Leave a comment

mla2017logogAdd your definition of “digital pedagogy” to this google form, https://goo.gl/forms/siBf9036aPBufXE73, then please join me, two of my co-editors, and two curators for a panel at the MLA Annual Convention tonight.

Thursday, 5 January 155. Curating Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities 7:00–8:15 p.m., Franklin 3, Philadelphia Marriott A special session

Presiding: Katherine D. Harris, San José State Univ.

Speakers: Lauren Coats, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge; Anne Cong-Huyen, Whittier Coll.; Rebecca Davis, St. Edward’s Univ.; Matthew K. Gold, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York; Elizabeth Mathews Losh, Coll. of William and Mary

Respondent: Zach Whalen, Univ. of Mary Washington

This session addresses the shifting definitions of digital pedagogy by focusing on some of the important practices that help define it. Each participant presents sample teaching materials related to a particular aspect of digital pedagogy before discussing how open digital publishing has revolutionized pedagogy through broad sharing, reusing, and hacking of digital assignments.

keywords: digital pedagogy, digital humanities, pedagogy

Full abstracts are available at our github site: https://github.com/curateteaching/digitalpedagogy/blob/master/MLA2017.md

And my slides are here:

Critical Digital Pedagogy at the University of North Texas

October 14, 2016 § Leave a comment

Yesterday and today I’ve been at the University of North Texas as part of their Critical Digital Pedagogy faculty mentoring community.  Last night, I gave a talk I’ve delivered multiple times, “Designing for Agency  in the Emerging Digital Ecosystem”. I include a link to the slides and works cited below.  This morning I am teaching a workshop on Digital Liberal Arts with the goal that participants will construct their own assignment.  These events are important precursors the the institution wide-engagement needed to transform the curriculum and intentionally multiple high-impact assignments that gives students repeated practice partnering with technology to solve unstructured problems (complex problems to which there is not a clear answer). « Read the rest of this entry »

Designing for Agency with the Digital Liberal Arts

September 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

Today, I’m speaking at the College of Idaho as part of their Mellon-funded Digital Liberal Arts  Initiative.  Slides are available below, with references below that.

Slides

References

The Digital and the Liberal Arts

Pokémon Go

Participatory Culture

Designing Digitally-Informed Liberal Education

Signature Work: Collaborative Digital Scholarship Projects

Scaffolding the Digital Curriculum

Social Annotation

Computer-Assisted Text Analysis

FitBits and Analyzing Personal Data

  • Mike Wasserman, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science & Policy, “Incorporating Personal Health Devices Into Environmental Science and Global Studies Courses in Angers, France: Understanding the Influence of Culture and Environment on Human Health” http://think.stedwards.edu/tltr/2015-tltr-pilot-projects

Wikistorming

Storymapping

Engaging Faculty

Models

Reconciling Online Learning and the Liberal Arts College

August 8, 2016 § Leave a comment

IMG_4508

Pokémon Go View from Westin Alexandria

Today, I’m speaking to teams at a workshop to launch  round two of the Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction, a project of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).  For some thoughts on round one, see these blog posts by Gretchen McKay (http://gretchenkreahlingmckay.net/uncategorized/thoughts-at-the-end-of-cic-online-humanities-consortium-i/) and Kevin Gannon (http://www.thetattooedprof.com/archives/640).

Here’s a description:

Reconciling Online Learning and the Liberal Arts College

The future of liberal education depends upon an integrative vision of digitally-informed learning that is not merely content delivery online but rather is reshaped in the same ways that digital learning has already fundamentally changed our culture. This session will present a vision for the digital transformation of liberal education through a curriculum that scaffolds self-directed, digitally-augmented problem-solving and the institutional strategies to support it.

Slides are available via slide share and references are below:

Slides

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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 »

Building Liberal Arts Capacities through Digital Social Learning

September 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

Today, I’m speaking at Smith College about how we can build liberal arts capacities in our emerging digital ecosystem, which is shaped by networks and driven by data.  This ecosystem requires the same liberal arts capacities, but we need to develop and practice them in new contexts.  I provide the slides from my talk below, as well as a list of references for the model assignments I am sharing.  In addition, the reference section contains pointers to more examples and sources for pedagogical advice the method in question. « 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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New Faculty Roles in the Emerging Digital Ecosystem (discussion results & resources)

July 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

Discussion Results: Old Faculty Roles

Discussion Results: Old Faculty Roles

On July 16 I led an interactive discussion session on “New Faculty Roles in the Emerging Digital Ecosystem” at the AAC&U Institute for Integrative Learning and the Departments. This post contains the slides I used, discussions results, and some brief bibliography.

Session Description

If all information is available online and the best professors are giving their lectures away for free, do we really need so many faculty members?  This questioning provides an important opportunity to redefine the faculty role in a way that advances the goals of liberal education.  Rather than merely being repositories of content knowledge, faculty must help students progress along the path to mastering life-long learning. Terminal degrees indicate not only content expertise, but also the transferable learning skills of a master-learner, including synthesis, analysis, evaluation, and creativity. The key faculty roles, then, are mentoring and modeling learning, collaborating with students as they build learning networks, and helping students learn to self-evaluate as they develop the agency to become life-long learners.  This session will explore alternate models for understanding the faculty role drawn from digital learning models and strategies for promoting that role at the individual, departmental, and institutional level.
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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 »

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