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Educational Philosophy

This fully-online asynchronous course is based on the assumption that (1) learners are engaged and self-directed, able to make strategic choices in order to maximize all available learning opportunities. Another key assumption of this class is that (2) people learn best by making and doing things. A final assumption of this course is that (3) reflection is an essential literacy component that can be activated through social interaction in a challenging and supportive community where there are high levels of respect and trust. For the best learning environment possible, we will depend on every student to respect and apply these fundamental design principles. 

Format of the Course

This is an online learning experience so you’ll have an intense experience that will require self-direction and independent learning.

  • Online Community. We will use a combination of video face-to-face, threaded discussion, text messaging and other online tools to build and sustain a learning community. Each week, you will be expected to participate in an synchronous online learning community at a regularly scheduled time on Tuesday evening. Non-synchronous informal learning assignments (counted as Class Participation) will be assigned each week. You are expected to complete all activities, reading, and assignments for this course.
  • Creating media is a powerful form of learning. The instructor will provide, in writing, specific description of the assignments with expectations and criteria to be used for evaluation. Assignment materials for each of the assignments listed below will be available under “Assignments” on the course website. You will receive written feedback through email.
  • Reflection Matters. Experiential learning works best when learners engage in self-assessment and reflection. You will be expected to notice what you are learning about yourself as a learner, a do-er, and a creative person this semester and compose two reflective essays using a combination of language, image and multimedia.

Open Network Learning Environment

The design for this course is a form of open network learning environment. Instead of keeping learning behind the walled garden of a learning management system like Sakai, learners participate in a variety of online creative and collaborative endeavors, using a variety of digital tools and technologies. In an open networked learning environment, your work is part of a network that is visible and public. You participate in the learning experience as a public intellectual, sharing and learning with the world.

Format of the Course

You will work independently on activities that promote your learning. You are expected to complete all activities, readings, and assignments for this course. The instructor will provide, in writing, specific description of the assignments with expectations and criteria to be used for evaluation. Assignment materials for each of the assignments listed below will be available under “Assignments” on the course website. There will be a weekly 60-minute synchronous meeting in Google Hangout each week, which is scheduled at a time convenient to most class members. It is most desirable that you participate, but if you are unable to participate in the “live” meeting, you are expected to watch it on YouTube.

A Note about Technology Competencies

Everyone is on the journey of a lifetime: learning to learning new technology tools, as our cell phones, tablets, laptops become essential part of leisure, work and citizenship. But we all don’t begin this course with the same kinds or levels of skill. That’s why peer learning is a key feature of our work in developing technology fluency and digital media literacy competency. Many of the apps and digital tools we explore may be new to you. Others will be quite familiar. Some examples include: MUUT, YouTube, WordPress, FlipGrid, Puppet, Screencast-O-Matic, Padlet, Opinion and Titanpad. You can learn from others and teach others by supporting your peers by being a helper, coach, mentor, colleague, collaborator, and critic. Each of these roles promotes learning.