The journey to crafting an engaging and liberating course begins. We sketched what a GREAT online course would look like and I have turned that into a poem to eDesign. First we played with Course Sites – then we had the #WBLT session… then back to Course Sites for more tinkering. It IS FUN!! And it is means that we have started the journey to our first low stakes formative assessment: storyboarding our VMLE – in Course Sites.
JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS: WHO ARE WE DESIGNING FOR?
FB it – dammit!
Assessment and Feedback
Aims & LOs
Feedback – enabled:
Haec Dragones Sunt!!
Support and Contact
Oh - those videos…
Evolve or die.
Can we design … a football match?
Evaluating needs – including: what is my MLE? What does it offer? Who are my students – what are their strengths and needs? What is this course?
Selecting instructional mode and techniques.
Assessment and Feedback.
Tip: See also: http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/6-principles-of-critical-pedagogical-course-design/ - six considerations – below - my italics!
6 Principles of Critical Pedagogical Course Design
Every Digital Pedagogy Lab Course keeps in mind the following:
Content is #1: Content does not equate to learning, but should instead form the foundation for inquiry, discussion, dissension, and the production (not, never, no-way-no-how the consumption) of knowledge. Content is a proposal; no one should ever be quizzed on content. Content is not there to digest or memorize, it’s there to inspect, laugh about, jump off from.
To this end, we keep content as minimal as possible, and include always the spur toward dialogue. Not reading, not memorizing, not passing tests. Joining in. Content needs to be the ground upon which we meet, not the basis for what we learn.
Narrative structure: All courses are compositions, and as such they should tell a story. In this, I am referring both literally and also more generally to the idea of story. I believe that teaching should utilize anecdote, storytelling, performance in specific moments, but I also believe that any course should follow a narrative arc. An online course cannot be a series of handouts followed by a quiz. The course should begin one place and end someplace decidedly elsewhere… someplace learner and teacher mutually discover. The best courses are as engaging as the best stories, and they don’t neglect aesthetic considerations.
Open-ended questions: Yes or no questions are for computers, not people. If the answer to a classroom question is “yes” or “no”, it may as well be rhetorical for all the good it does. Pedagogically, open-ended questions are one of the simplest, least threatening ways to abdicate authority. If we are truly curious about what learners think, then we need to leave lots of room for their reasoning, musing, and questioning. And sometimes the best answers are questions.
It’s also important to use questions to spin off from content. Never ask for regurgitation of information. Why would we want it? Don’t we already know that particular answer? Can we let discussions grow out of content instead of asking participants to remind us of what we’ve said?
Actual work, no busy: Activity in a course should never be empty. Just as the answers to questions should not merely (blandly, boringly) repeat what’s been said already, neither should the work in a course require nothing more than an understanding of content. Learning isn’t an act of recall, so activities that support learning shouldn’t aim to demonstrate recall.
No assessments: I was recently asked by a colleague about a course Digital Pedagogy Lab will offer in Fall 2016, “What’s the method of assessment?” I responded, “Completion, whatever that means.” A course should be challenging enough that just getting through it is an accomplishment (and compelling enough that learners want to get to the end of the story). Jesse wrote that “there is no authority in the course except insofar as everyone is an authority.” The notion that teachers, above learners themselves, have more authority over assessment is absurd.
Business casual: Something happens when we go to write our very first page inside the LMS. We suddenly become the very old, white, male, tight-lipped scholar who can’t use contractions or ellipses or emoticons or ironic parentheticals or risky language (or run-on sentences). Even those of us who are not grammar guardians become hypervigilant about sounding like the stony, unapproachable expert. Most teachers sound nothing like themselves when they write online; and yet voice sets the tone in an online course. Perfect grammar shakes no one’s hand, gives no hugs.
NOW – JUST HAVE TO CONVINVE THE #WBLT DREAM TEAM OF THE NO ASSESSMENTS BIT!!
So – I’ve had a go at setting up my course sites course:
Congratulations! You created your course and are almost finished! Now, it's time to let your students know about your course! Below are a few ways to get them started.
1. Have them visit your CourseSites Instructor Home Page at:
2. Have them enroll, request enrollment or login directly from the Course Home Page at:
3. Invite, Enroll, or Create students from within the course.
View Tutorial Download Instructor Guide
View Tutorial Download Instructor Guide
Big buzzy moments
I managed to get into Course Sites - and after applying a colour scheme, changed the name of the site to include my name so that the tutors can find it (never forget simple ways to make life easier). Invited the tutors to be students on my course then wrestled with a teaching style/course structure.
Guess which one I chose:
Activity: hands-on, fieldwork, PBL – with conversations and live chat
Case Study: develops knowledge through cases – enabling brainstorming, blogging and the application of theory.
Conference session: allowing collaboration in a web environment.
Constructivism: facilitating the construction of learning – with groups, sharing, knowledge-base and reflection.
Expedition-based: active/exploratory – with base camp, storytelling and My Trip Journal.
Experiential: knowledge created through concrete experiences – hands-on plus reflection. Round table, our blogs and my reactions.
Well – I have chosen Experiential ATM – though really I’m leaning towards Expedition-based… So watch this space.
E-Designer tip: Looking for inspiration from the Connected Courses site: http://connectedcourses.net/thecourse/