There are people in post-secondary education who seek each other out for support and encouragement in developing exemplary practice. We (the learning designers) are fortunate in meeting with and sometimes introducing these dedicated instructors and staff to each other. Shannon Cox is one such educator who proposed recording an activity she uses in her Marketing course. Ritual Dissent, a classroom activity that involves students discussing a fellow-student’s work while the she is sitting nearby, with her back to the conversation, might seem like an unusual way to demonstrate whole-person learning (Shannon’s idea to record the activity came up in a Whole-Person Learning Community of Practice meeting).
The value lies in the listening that is required. The breakout group listens to the presentation intently, and then the student-presenter “listens in” on their respectful (guidelines are provided by the instructor) dissent or disagreement with the presenters assumptions, or suggestions of alternate approaches.
The screenshot show above is from an effort to understand the time expectations for students and instructors at an early stage in course design. The course was inherited with a large amount of content, assignments, readings, and videos. A new hybrid course was developed from this content. This is just a convenient way to describe a common misunderstood concept in course design. Namely, the implications of time commitment. We made this chart on the fly, and later developed an Excel workbook to more neatly organize the information.
For each week, time allocation in hours is specified for:
synchronous online sessions
expectation of self-paced online work that
students will engage in
watching video assignments
asynchronous activities (e.g. discussion forum
posts and reading)
quizzes and exams
We then discussed the what the appropriate time commitment for
an instructor in this course would be. When compared to the actual contract
hours available for instructing the course, it becomes obvious if adjustments
are needed, considering a reasonable proportion of instructional time to
expectation of student time spent in the course.
Since our April presentation at The Pacific Region LSAC Conference, Cecil Klassen, Learning Centre Faculty at Douglas College and I revisited the idea of developing dialogue around the impact of technology on our work. Really this is the work of a 21st-century educator (and citizen/human!). We facilitated a participatory workshop at Douglas College on October 1 where we explored contemporary learning environments and the pros and cons of technological affordances. We lightly touched on the philosophical and “futurism” concerns re: technological disruption. For those of us that are interested in deeper dives into the theoretical implications, we recommended starting with the reading provided by Yuval Noah Harari, a leading public intellectual exploring the future of our species in a biotechnical world. The workshop engages educators who perceive a need for balance between pedagogy and technology. We are continuing the conversation with participants and others in our networks. Watch for an upcoming “solutions” workshop in the new year. This will not be prescriptive, rather a presentation of solutions people in our various educational circles have discovered or developed to address the wicked questions re: how to best retain our human values in the face of technological disruption. We can then further develop our own local solutions and strategies.
I’d like to express gratitude to Douglas College people for supporting, encouraging, or otherwise showing interest in my participation in the July 30-August 3 Digital Pedagogies Lab at the UMW in Fredericksburg, Virginia. DPL is a unique international event that brings faculty, instructional designers, technical and pedagogical researchers, and other educators together to discuss and learn about navigating modern learning environments, with focus on social and human issues. I am determined to share what I learned at this summer institute for the benefit Douglas College faculty, staff, and students.
Here are a few takeaways gathered from the 5-day Digital Pedagogy Lab I participated in this year:
There are a lot of dedicated, passionate people involved in researching, developing frameworks and solutions, and practice of teaching and learning skills in the modern digital environment.
“Digital” includes questions concerning modern literacies, citizenship, social justice, agency, and creativity (and is not a synonym for technology or EdTech)
There are important distinctions between digital skills and digital literacies
There are open, sharable resources on creating and implementing a digital fluency framework for a PSE (more on this later…)
A deep dive by educators into how to inform and protect students in online learning environments is necessary
There are tools to help faculty self-identify how they use the LMS, and this can help get more value for instructors and students.
I was in the Digital Literacies track, and we engaged in collaborative work under the guidance of Jade E. Davis, PhD, a Columbia University scholar and Director of Digital Project Management for Columbia University Libraries
What is the Digital Pedagogy Lab?
Digital Pedagogy Lab is an annual learning and teaching event that provides an “in-depth dialogue and practical experience to educators working in under-theorized digital learning spaces.” Themes include:
The facility of online and digital learning
The ways that educational technology and instructional design make space for, or do not make space for, student agency
Accessibility, disability, equity, student rights, teacher agency, and the representation of unheard and silenced voices in education
Pedagogies, policies, and critical practices that support agency, creativity, and inquiry
Lisa Smith and Steven Bishop facilitated a workshop at Douglas College that opened up discussions about listening and encouraging student voice, examined Lisa’s process of developing a podcasting assignment in her Gender and Youth Cultures class, and provided some basic audio recording information. The workshop included:
Listening as practice (activity)
A case study of the development, implementation, and showcasing of a classroom podcast assignment
Examples of student and expert podcasts
Skills inventory (activity)
Technical overview of audio recording, editing, and producing
Live recording demo with Audacity software and Yeti microphone
Full group discussion of how to bring this approach into the class