Week 4

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PART 2: FUTURE

Week 4: Welcome to the Future: 10 Ways to Change the Paradigm of Higher Education
Begins 10:00 am EST -0500 on February 17, 2014
Ends 9:59 am EST -0500 on February 24, 2014
Peer Assessment 2, Part 2, will be available until 9:59 am EST -0500 on February 24, 2014
Week 4 quiz will be available until 9:59 am EST -0500 on March 3, 2014
Materials will be available until September 1, 2014

 

 

Summary:

Our course now switches from understanding how our present system was originally designed to the future: how we might change higher education to better suit the world we live in now. We will consider new principles, new methods, and new metrics for redesigning an innovative form of learning that helps us all with the complexities of the world we actually inhabit outside of school, all the time (including by those excluded from participation in that world by reasons of cost, country, censorship, access, ability, or other reasons).

These are very general principles and not all will work the same way in every country, in every situation. These principles are intended to inspire new ideas (even if some of them will be easier to practice in informal learning settings than in actual institutions of formal, higher education). We’ll begin with three innovations on the level of curriculum:

1) Practice Digital Literacies. It makes as little sense to tell students about digital literacies as it would be to teach someone how to dance by lecturing them on the steps. Learning by doing, building a website, engaging with social media, and actually being involved in online interactions is crucial. Accompanied by sound theory, history, and research, making is the best way to understand digital literacies. (We like to call this "digital literacy with a maker spirit.")

2) Find Creative Ways to Model Unlearning.  Typically, we experience unlearning in negative contexts such as culture shock or a trauma or death of a loved one. When you are plunked down in a new culture where you do not know anyone and do not speak the language, you quickly begin to learn the limits of your experience and are forced to evaluate what you can or cannot carry from your own culture, and what things you must learn from scratch (and after getting rid of some old habits). The same is true when, for example, you break a leg or an arm and suddenly realize the world is not designed for those not fully able-bodied. Introspection helps you survey the habits and patterns that are not serving you well. That is "unlearning." You need to see what needs to change, accept the fact that change is necessary, and that helps you to be open to the changes ahead, the changes to come.

3) Rethink Liberal Arts as a Start-Up Curriculum for a Resilient Global Citizens. In a digital world where virtually every new technological interaction raises new ethical, social, cultural, political, and economic issues, it makes no sense to separate the humanistic and social from the scientific and technological. Just as in the pre-Industrial Age there were continuities between the various fields, so in our era we need to see the continuities and tear down the silos and see those interconnections of knowledge as necessary to thriving in the world. Additionally, in a world where labor, ideas, news, fads, information, art, technology, and just about everything else constantly crosses national boundaries, one needs to understand cultural and historical traditions to succeed in the world. On Coursera, for example, to assume one perspective versus another means you are missing a lot. A revived form of liberal arts helps us to understand a connected world and connected areas of knowledge. This may well be valuable in itself. It is also a necessary "vocational" skill in Amartya Sen's sense of all of us having the "vocation" to live productive, satisfying, socially-responsible lives.

 

 Week 4 Assigned Reading:
The articles below are readings that support this week's lesson.  For more information on specific topics, check out the Supplementary Reading s page.

  • A Vision of Students Today. Online
  • Wadewitz, Adrianne. What I Learned Being the Worst Student in the Class. 2013. Online.  

Video Lectures: 
The video lectures for this week consist of the following: 

  • Lecture 4.1 - Welcome to the Future: 10 Ways to Change the Paradigm of Higher Education
  • Lecture 4.2 - 1) Practice Digital Literacies 
  • Lecture 4.3 - 2) Find Creative Ways to Model Unlearning (Curriculum) 
  • Lecture 4.4 - 3) Rethink Liberal Arts as a Start-Up Curriculum for a Resilient Global Citizens (Curriculum)
  • Who's Your Favorite Teacher? 

  Office Hours:
The FutureEd team--Professor Davidson, Teaching Staff, Teaching Assistants and Community TAs-- will be available in the forums to answer your questions at certain times during the week. Please note that all of these times are in Eastern Standard Time -0500. See all available office hour forums. Here are the specific times for this week:

  • Monday, February 17, 3:00 - 4:00 pm EST (-5:00 GMT) - Community TA
  • Monday, February 17, 4:00 - 5:00 pm EST (-5:00 GMT) - Professor Davidson and Kaysi Holman
  • Monday, February 17, 7:00 - 9:00 pm EST (-5:00 GMT) - Community TA
  • Monday, February 17, 11:00 pm - Tuesday, February 18, 1:00 am EST (-5:00 GMT) - Community TA
  • Tuesday, February 18, 2:00 - 3:00 pm EST (-5:00 GMT) - Community TA
  • Wednesday, February 19, 10:00 - 11:30 am EST (-5:00 GMT) - Teaching Assistant: Malina
  • Thursday, February 20, 3:30 - 5:00 pm EST (-5:00 GMT) - Teaching Assistant: Malina

Convert these times to your time zone

  Weekly Quiz: 
Take the weekly quiz.  Week 4 quiz will be available until 9:59 am EST -0500 on March 3, 2014.  Note, the quiz is optional, however, if you wish to receive a Statement of Accomplishment you must receive 70% or greater across all quizzes.  Refer back to the Course Policies page for more details.

I have long been a critic of high-stakes, end-of-grade ("summative") standardized testing.  The research confirms that the best kind of testing happens often, as you are learning, and as a way to reinforce what you are learning.  We are making every effort to take the simple quiz format in Coursera and make it as valuable a learning tool as possible.  Thus, even though we ask for the best answer in the quizzes, we never give you false or wrong information.  That way, everything you read in the process of finding the best answer also reinforces sound information or ideas in the learning research. 

 Participatory Assignments:  

  • Designing Higher Education from Scratch: The students in Professor Davidson's face-to-face course (aka your community TAs) have created a first draft of some basic, preliminary ideas for their collaborative project on designing higher education from scratch. Please comment on their projects, and remember Professor Davidson's rule: No sympathy for trolls. Your comments should be respectful, helpful, courteous, and also remember that not everyone comes from the same background or has the same proficiency with the English language.  

 

  • Create a powerful video: Any time between now and the end of the course (9:59 am EST on March 10), make a powerful two-minute video about a learning innovation or institutional change, post the video on Youtube or Vimeo, and post a link to your video into the forums. PLEASE READ BEFORE MAKING VIDEOS:  Digital literacy is also about privacy, intellectual property, identity, permission, translation.  Do you have permission to use images, data, graphs, and music? No video can be posted unless you have secured permission;  a downloadable permission form is available. If your video is not in English, how will you translate for our English-language-based community?
  • Contribute to the FutureEd Resources Wiki: Go to HASTAC.org/future-ed and contribute to the growing international list of books, articles, journals, websites, and more about the future of higher education on the Resources wiki. A wiki is a webpage that anyone can edit and improve the content for all readers. Note that only one person can edit a wiki at a time. 
  • Forum on Proximity: Proximity is a new guiding principles introduced this week. The main idea is that wherever you are, there are examples of creativity, ingenuity and brilliance. The trick is to mentally be prepared to see it. Art is one of those tactics of transforming the mundane and transform it into something magical. What is an example of creativity, ingenuity or brilliance within 100 miles of where you are. 
  • Forum on Teaching Digital Literacies by Doing: In this class, you have already learnt to use collaborative wikis, post videos online, and maybe even to annotate on RapGenius. What ways can you imagine teaching or learning digital literacies by doing? If you have new methods or ideas to share with a wider audience, please post on the pedagogical innovations wiki on hastac.org/future-ed. A wiki is a webpage that anyone can edit and improve the content for all readers. Note that only one person can edit a wiki at a time. When posting your pedagogical innovations on HASTAC, please use the tag or keyword phrase of “digital literacy.” 
  • Forum on Ways to Unlearn: In week 1, the peer-review exercise asked you to share one thing--a pattern, habit, behavior--you have had to “unlearn” in your life in order to be able to learn something new. Now, share one thing that you think would help others unlearn. 

 Peer Assessment: 
There will be three peer assessment exercises throughout the course. If you wish to receive a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction you must receive 70% or greater across all quizzes and participate in all three Peer Assessment exercises. Refer back to the  Course Policies  page for more details.

This second Peer Assessment exercise is about the Course Constitution. Last week, you wrote a 500-word essay about the five most important things you think should be included in the course constitution and why. 

This week, ending at 9:59 am EST -0500 on February 24, 2014, you will be peer-reviewing five essays that other students have written.  Your feedback will be guided by quantitative and qualitative assessment rubric.  When giving feedback on peer work, remember Professor Davidson's rule: No sympathy for trolls. Your comments should be respectful, helpful, courteous, and also remember that not everyone comes from the same background or has the same proficiency with the English language. 

Created Wed 30 Oct 2013 6:00 AM PDT
Last Modified Mon 3 Feb 2014 8:24 AM PST 
 

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