So I wasn’t as clear as I might have been yesterday with my post. The main change is not that we’re moving from a constricted notion of the subject being the Cascadia earthquake to a constricted notion of a Zombie disaster. The main change is that we’re broadening out the available options in the class of what The Big One is.
We had always planned to do this broadening cross-class — have different classes plug into different subjects about what “The Big One” is — see, for example, the About the Course page. But my initial thought was a more tightly constrained system where *each course* picked a relatively constrained area.
(Those that have read me for a few years may realize this is just the implementation of Water106, but with a different sort of subject, and with federated wiki as the cross-course interaction enabler. That vision remains a key piece of this).
Instead what we are moving towards is a scheme where each classroom group can pick their own definition of “The Big One”, up to and including zombies. The key reason (at least for me) is that the narrower construct does not play well enough to the strengths of the students in the context of a short class. We need more flexibility to meet the students where they are. For a number of students, where they are is zombies. As Pumpkin Yang pointed out, these students may already have quite a lot of “real life” on their plate, and they are learning educational technology (the REAL target of the instruction) on top of that. If giving some a fantasy option helps make it more fun, then why not?
Incidentally, if you go to that About the Course page linked above you’ll find that you all are invited to participate as well. Claiming a site and joining is easy, we just ask that if you take up a slot that you commit to the Course Charter, and produce at least 5 pages a week on a disaster related topic.