The end – as Sian and Jen’s lovely found Flickr image reminds us – is indeed near and it’s time to do those end-of-week summaries I never got round to doing during the course proper. Gulp, that’s my social life gone until Xmas.
Here’s my end-of week summary for this week (week 11?) which is going to be a reflection on the course technologies used or its particular hybrid digital environment.
A few colleagues have commented on how Sian’s paper on digital uncanny pedagogy informs the design of this course (e.g. learning activities, technologies used etc.). However, my take is that it feels much more like an exemplification of Scott Leslie’s idea of “loosely coupled teaching”. Leslie uses this term to designate the assemblage of a range of third-party apps to facilitate the business of learning and teaching. This differs from the idea of a PLE insofar as the provision of the toolset used remains the responsibility of the course team and not the individual student.
The course has been a really imaginative exemplification of loosely-coupled teaching: enabling access to resources, activity briefs, announcements as well as aggregating student content in the form of blog posts, blog comments and tweets.
It reinforced for me the need for a course to have a ‘hub’ – a single space to check in on the ideas, texts and links that have been exchanged or the conversations or arguments that have taken place. Just as one might argue that every room needs a focal point – usually the hearth or fireplace (see this modernist example) – every course (online or f-2-f) needs a hub. I don’t imagine for a moment that enabling this was easy to – although from a student perspective it was made to look so. In short then, as Clara would say, kudos to Sian and Jen for creating such a great hub (and its noisy, social hubbub).
Strangely enough, in the context of an ed tech blogosphere still chatting about the VLE being dead or, worse still, among the ‘undead’, the experience almost validated the need for VLEs which generally provide a similar hub-like user experience. Sian and Jen though showed that it a VLE could be bypassed and, more interestingly, that alternative tools (e.g. WordPress blog) could make a better job of aggregating diverse content from numerous sources.
A pretty ‘canny’ (take that whichever way you like although it will help if you’ve lived in Scotland or the north east) digital pedagogy of you ask me.
Leslie, S. (2007). Your favourite “Loosely Coupled Teaching” example?. Edtechpost: Technologies for Learning, Thinking and Collaborating. Retreved 4 December 2009, from http://www.edtechpost.ca/wordpress/2007/10/29/best-loosely-coupled-teaching-examples/