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There are a number of reasons this project excites me, and I think it should excite you as a potential student:
- The Hyperlinked Library model takes a humanist approach to user services and their intersection with ICTs: this is not a technology course, but it is a critical examination of the dual shaping of LIS professionals and technologies as they work in tandem to serve library users;
- Both Michael and I believe in a constructionist approach to learning: this is not a consumption course where the lecture is a vade mecum to hold onto closely. A lecture is only a piece of the learning experience that, in our mind, serves as a foundation for exploration, critical examination, and–most importantly–as the base on which other artifacts are created. As such, the course will be designed in order for students to learn from each other and develop useful products that can inform their daily practices;
- The learning management system is a walled garden which restricts the participatory aims of our teaching and denies students the opportunity to share their work and experiences with the world. Using WordPress and a combination of plugins, we’ve been teaching our courses using a blog-based social course system that we’ve developed over a number of years. This system has proven its efficacy time and time again, and reviews from students in their own posts and our course reviews indicate that learning online in an organic social environment has distinct advantages over structured, both in power and in content, learning management systems. We’re excited to create a brand new iteration of our system and to scale it for hundreds of users.
On this last point, I will be leading a cohort of students this summer to build the site. Students will support in the research, development, and deployment of the MOOC. Activities will include: gathering research materials on topics related to MOOCs; participating in the construction of the course site by helping with elements of content strategy and management, information architecture, user experience testing, gamificiation, and design; developing a knowledge base and self-paced instructional materials (e.g., screencasts); and assisting in the instructional design of the teaching and learning experience. I’ve already received a number of inquiries from students about this opportunity and I’m excited to meet them come June.