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Hybrid, online and critical digital pedagogy

Hosted by IATL and funded by WIHEA, International Visiting Teaching Fellows, Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel delivered a series of events throughout late October and early November in 2017. A description of those events is below:

Workshop: Student Agency in Digital Spaces

A workshop for undergraduates and postgraduate students on students as active partners in hybrid spaces. This discussion-based workshop examined what “agency” is from a critical pedagogy perspective, and discussed the role students play, and the role they expect or hope instructors will play, in digitally-mediated learning environments. Attendees considered the concept of “community as curriculum” and the notion that student contributions in class are a “text” for any given module. It also explored how students integrate their personal digital lives with digital life on campus and in class.

Summary of Presentation

Workshop: Innovative Approaches to Assessment in Digital and Hybrid Pedagogies

The workshop was mapped onto the UK Professional Standards Framework and covered assessment and hybrid pedagogy, aimed at those with a particular interest in the Academic and Professional Pathway programmes.

Much work in education resists being formulated as neat and tidy outcomes, when learning is the goal, space should be left for wonder and experimentation. This two hour workshop explored methods and approaches for designing assignments and assessments that leverage digital tools and innovative pedagogies. It considered examples and reimagined/refined pedagogical approaches. In addition to crafting, collaborating, and experimenting as a group, attendees experienced a variety of new tools and talked about when and how to assess digital and other non-traditional student projects.

Summary of Presentation

Jesse Stommel's Blog - Why I don't grade

Rebuild the Internet Assignment


Workshop: Critical Instructional Design

This workshop was for staff and focused on critical instructional design, an approach to course and learning design that investigates ways to design for social justice, student agency, and equity.

Critical instructional design is an approach to course, assignment, and assessment design that privileges student agency, inquiry, and emergence. Although critical instructional design deals primarily with online and hybrid learning spaces, its practice is appropriate for on-ground classroom teaching as well, especially where technology and digital learning may intersect with traditional learning. A critical instructional designer (also called instructional technologist, educational technologist, or curricular technologist) not only assists with or manages the design of learning and teaching in a learning or content management system, but also considers the pedagogical practices most effective at encouraging student agency.

This workshop explored new ways of designing online and hybrid courses, assignments, and assessments that support critical digital pedagogy, often in spite of the limitations or expectations of the technological platforms that staff use or must use.

Summary of Presentation

Critical Digital Pedagogy: A Public Lecture

This public conversation about the future of edtech/hybrid pedagogies, with digital pedagogue Jesse Stommel, moderated by IATL Director Dr Nicholas Monk focused on the following:

Digital pedagogy is not equivalent to teachers using digital tools. Rather, digital pedagogy demands that we think critically about our tools, demands that we reflect actively upon our own practice. In the 1915 book Schools of To-Morrow, John Dewey wrote: “Unless the mass of workers are to be blind cogs and pinions in the apparatus they employ, they must have some understanding of the physical and social facts behind and ahead of the material and appliances with which they are dealing.” The less we understand our tools, the more we are beholden to them. The more we imagine our tools as transparent or invisible, the less able we are to take ownership of them. Some tools are decidedly less innocuous than others. And some tools can never be hacked to good use. Plagiarism detection software can’t ensure that students will not cheat. The LMS can’t ensure that students will learn. Both will, however, ensure that students feel more thoroughly policed. Both will ensure that students (and teachers) are more compliant.

Roundtable: Resisting Turnitin - an ethical debate

A funny thing happened on the way to academic integrity. Plagiarism detection software (PDS), has seized control of student intellectual property. While students are discouraged from copying other work, PDS companies can strip, mine, and sell student work for profit. The success of this method relies upon the uncritical adoption of their platforms by schools and universities. All institutions that, in theory, have critical thinking as a core value in their educational missions, and yet are complicit in the abuse of students by these corporations.

Every day, we participate in a digital culture owned and operated by others — designers, engineers, technologists, CEOs — who have come to understand how easily they can harvest our intellectual property, data, and the minute details of our lives. To resist this (or even to more consciously participate in it), we need skills that allow us to “read” our world (in the Freirean sense) and to act with agency. This discussion was facilitated by Amber Thomas, Service Owner, IT Services .

Digital Pedagogy Lab Warwick

The Digital Pedagogy Labs offer professional development opportunities that prepare learners, educators, librarians, and administrators to teach, collaborate, and think with digital technology. In addition to free and open online courses, Jesse and Sean have held Institutes at sites around the world including University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Delaware, American University in Cairo, University of Dayton, and University of Prince Edward Island. Thier annual 5-day Institute is currently being held each year at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Digital Pedagogy Lab supports a community of learners and teachers to inspire educational approaches based on pedagogies, policies, and critical practices that support agency, creativity, and inquiry.

The Digital Pedagogy Lab Warwick, a one-day intensive session focused on Critical Digital Pedagogy. Faculty and other educators practiced hands-on solutions for the common challenges teachers and learners face when working digitally. Through philosophical and theoretical discussions of digital technology, identity, and pedagogy, participants who shared reading leading up to the day came away with ideas for how to put the work of the day into practice.

Recommended Reading:

Howard Rheingold, Mobile Media and Political Collective Action

Audrey Watters, The Web We Need to Give Students

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Chapter 2

bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Chapter 1

Seymour Papert, The Children’s Machine: Chapter 4

Guest Speaker:

Pat Lockley (@pgogy) is an academic technologist. His company, Pgogy Webstuff bills itself as an academic outfitter—the goal is to get as close to a custom product as he can. He is a problem solver, with a terrier like persistance crossed with a desire to entertain. Part code, part pedagogy, all singing, all dancing with some knowledge of openness and sharing and usually how to get things done.

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spiral flipped

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