I was impressed with the quality of Levine’s video during the introductory remarks. He alluded to the many hot topics in field of educational technology in the past year including badges and MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses). Levine questioned the effectiveness of MOOCs, “being one out of 160,000 students is insignificant”. Content are usually delivered through hour long lectures with weekly quizzes as assessments. The only way to connect to peers is through a discussion forum. What happened to the social aspect of learning? It’s definitely NOT part of the MOOC platform. The current model for MOOC is very much teacher-centered and requires participants to march to the same drum beat. Should we be satisfied with this model of education? NO! Levine encouraged session attendees to tweet, “I’m as MOOCED as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
Levine proposes another model for open online education courses where there’s no lectures, no weekly quizzes, but a lot of connectivity with peers.
DS106 is an open online course that runs for 15 weeks with 25 students enrolled at University of Mary Washington. Students are required to create their own domain to define their own digital identity.
I was most impressed with the creativity behind the assignments for his course. Levine wants his students to bond over the pursuit of creativity. He encourages them to blog reflections on these assignments. What was their reasoning behind their product for the assignment? How did the assignment relate to their life? How did they make it?
Levine also allowed students to create their own pathway through the course via the assignment bank where students can make choices about which assignments they want to work on. Additionally, students have the option of remixing assignments via the Remix machine.
Are you intrigued yet? If so, check out the Daily Create! Each day, the site publishes a challenge varying from photography, audio, or writing. After you’ve met each day’s challenge, be sure to post it to the appropriate venue with the hashtags so that it can be re-published to the Daily Create page.
I am inspired by Levine’s presentation to foster creativity and keep us all connected in virtual space!
More information and resources on Alan Levine’s presentation is available at http://cogdog.wikispaces.com/The+ds106+Show
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