Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Comments on a "networked course"

After viewing the interview between Dr. Rob Blair and Gardner Campbell, I was struck by the appropriateness of using a networked course to teach a class on "democratic erosion." Involvement of students and educators with different income sources, lifestyles, and political leanings (in terms of regional differences) can only diversify and enrich intellectual discourse.

I was interested to discover what concepts were discussed and in what ways students engaged with them, so I visited the course online. It was just as simple as I had imagined from the interview. While individual instructors design assignments specific to their classes, all students are expected to participate in (if only to attend/observe) political events locally and to blog about their experiences.

The overarching idea that we are all here together, learning and sharing with each other, no matter our differences is central to a democratic system and is key to making open learning work. I loved when Dr. Blair described how he introduced this idea to others. He sent out a few emails to some "friends," and that turned into emailing larger groups, and those people talked to each other and spread the word, until the Washington Post got wind and published on the project.

If an idea is good, it isn't likely to stay small. It can become something large and complex and help lots of people. I see open pedagogy as something that is taking shape and becoming a force strong enough to break down old barriers to access to information and education.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for watching the video and sharing your insights. I think you're spot-on in observing that the openly networked course design fits beautifully with the course's topic of study. I was thrilled to learn about the course, and very grateful to Rob for taking the time to talk with me about it. It's all a stunning example of how open learning can bring communities together and foster a sense of trust and shared mission. Democracy can't survive without those things. It's great to think open learning might play a part in sustaining these vital concerns.