Curation and Integration

I gave a seminar last week to the Blended Learning class some of our faculty are taking. It was on what education is starting to look like in a world of open content — but to start I had to give them a model of what exactly it is that they do right now. One part in particular seemed to go very well, so I thought I’d share.

For the activity, I used a slightly tweaked model of education stolen from the most recent Siemens and Matheos paper. (Please go look at the original there, which is brilliant, before looking at my tweak).

Here’s the version I used in my workshop:

The neat thing about it is you can start off in a world faculty already know, before getting strange on them.

Finding Quality Content: You assign three readings.

Creating Pathways Through Content: You tell the students which to read first, and what to skip. You lecture on how these readings are related.

Fostering Conversations and Creating Connections: In class, or in a Blackboard post, you tie the readings to previous readings in the semester, and relate them to work the students did in a prereq. You explain how you see the readings tying into the semester project. You get the students to talk to one another, and make their own connections. You use an application activity (or service-learning) to have students integrate it further.

Determining Competence: You test the students on the reading or grade their project/portfolio work related to it.

After running through multiple scenarios like this with the faculty, you then ask them — in what way does the internet open up possibilities in each of these areas? (I broke them up into a Circle of Responses activity for this, YMMV).

I was surprised. They get it more than you think — although they tend to focus on the difficulties the internet brings to each area instead of the possibilities.

But the base model? It really works quite well. If you have a faculty session coming up, give it a shot.

[I’m sure George will show up momentarily and tell me I’ve completely mucked the diagram — but the parallelism of Curation -> Integration -> Evaluation was too good to pass up — and at least for these educators it really resonated — when they saw that, they did see themselves in the model].

One neat note — it is interesting to think of Wiley’s Reusability Paradox in relation to the first three tension points — the dots on the drawing are meant to represent how the reusability problem becomes more intense as you move through those tension points — leading of course to the need to be able to hack any digital media you might use to fufill those roles, so that you can add explicit statements of context and connection.