Video at: http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/announcements/digital-pedagogy-lab-key-moments/
Digital Pedagogy Lab 2015 Institute Keynote
Amy Collier and Jesse Stommel
Far too much of education revels in knowing rather than not knowing. Sitting fastidiously in a place of not knowing is one of the hardest, most rigorous, parts of learning. But this is rigor of a different color. Learning is not something we can script in advance. Syllabi should be living documents, co-created with students. Full of possible paths. Not a barrel of predetermined outcomes, carefully crafted to be specific, measurable, loved by our accrediting bodies. Outcomes, and rubrics or assessments we design, should be wild-eyed and tentative. Assessment as an act of agency, a learning activity in and of itself not something delivered ex post facto by an external authority.
"Unbelievable! You, Subject Name Here, must be the
pride of Subject Hometown Here.”
1As learners, we can handle a lot more
complexity and interactivity than we often
give learners credit for. Play is the stuff —
the raw material — of learning.
Photo by Praline3001
“A class is … an independent organism with its own goal and dynamics.
It is always something more than what even the most imaginative lesson
plan can predict.”
~ Thomas P. Kasulis,“Questioning”
A well-designed course isn’t overly simplistic
but needs minimal instruction.
Compare: NYT site. Lots of stimulus. Lots of navigational
choices. No patronizing instructions or architecture.
Now the LMS.Telegraphs where to go. Everything is in tidy
boxes.The content and engagement density is painfully low.
Photo by ﬂickr user markus spiske
“What we need are new ways to read the data, analyzing its poetry
where once it had only quantitative character.We need to close-read
learning data to begin hypothesizing and ruminating on what it means,
rather than jumping too quickly (and prematurely) into assessment.”
~ Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel
Evidence-based teaching and “what
works” approaches are problematic, and
they do not sufficiently recognize the
complexity of learning
“We need better theories of human learning, and to get
those theories, we need better data. We can use the
technology as great big data collectors.”
Karlyn Borysenko’s synopsis of speakers at 2014 ACE Annual Meeting
“With online learning, we are capturing amazing amounts of
data about students and how they learn. Now, we have the
opportunity to mine the information to help us improve
learning both online and on campus. These insights into how
people learn are one of the great aspects of online learning
as they will help us improve the future of education for all.”
-Anant Argawal, EdX
The behaviors specified, measured, and tracked can be cognitively
demanding “smart human tricks.” There can even be qualitatively measured
learning outcomes, though it appears these are less frequent than
quantitative metrics, for reasons I think are obvious. Yet these are still
behaviors, specified with a set of what I can only describe as jawohl!
statements, all rewarding the bon eleves and marching toward compliance
and away from more elusive and disruptive concepts like curiosity or
Gardner Campbell, Understanding and Learning Outcomes
You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who works inside of education
who finds our current system, or even the practices of their home
institution faultless, but the notion that the work that happens inside colleges
and universities is indeed an “illusion” because “wonks” who have never
spent a moment teaching in an undergraduate classroom can’t figure out
how to measure it, doesn’t make it so.
John Warner, Kevin Carey’s Dangerous Playbook, Inside Higher Ed
…we must create our own standards of evaluation, our own measures of quality,
influence, excellence, and social justice impact. These are moral criteria. They
celebrate resistance, experimentation, and empowerment…They promote human
dignity, human rights, and just societies across the globe.
Norman Denzin, The Qualitative Manifesto
3Outcomes. Competencies. Rubrics. Standardization.
All of these are at odds with teaching and learning.
Learning outcomes should be a call to exploration,
aspiration, play, and not-yetness rather than Rube
Goldberg-like machinations leading to a prescribed
"When students struggle for excellence only for the sake of a grade,
what we see is not motivation but atrophy of motivation."
~ Peter Elbow,“Grading Student Writing: Making It Simpler, Fairer, Clearer”
Photo by Kalexanderson
Outcomes for an assignment emerge over time through the
work of each group of students. If I articulate outcomes too
clearly at the start, students are less able to articulate them.
Photo by luca savettiere
Photo by ﬂickr user Giovanni Arteaga
We haven’t been nearly imaginative enough with outcomes. I
want outcomes like “for us to have an epiphany” or “for
students to do something I couldn’t anticipate.”
Photo by ﬂickr user Johnny Worthington
The goal of education should always be better learning and
not better assessments.
“Too often, faculty design pedagogy around the worst-case scenario
and then apply that pedagogy to every student."
~ Janine DeBaise,“Best Practices:Thoughts on a Flash Mob Mentality”
Photo by wvs
Photo by ﬂickr user Giovanni Arteaga
“The course as composition is not fundamentally instrumental, producing
an article or living up to an outcome; but rather the course as
composition is an action which has intrinsic value.”
~ Sean Michael Morris
Photo by rromer
“Not-yetness is not satisfying every condition, not fully understanding
something, not check-listing everything, not tidying everything, not trying
to solve every problem.”
~ Amy Collier