Perspectives and Practices in Digital Pedagogies

The Digital Pedagogy Pathways Project members developed this collection of perspectives and related practices (practical applications) after reading Urgency of Teachers by Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris.

Perspective

Develop a “pedagogue’s mindset” by building capacity of faculty and instructors to critically reflect on practice for the purposes of improvement of teaching and learning.

Practice

  • Facilitate “critical friendships” through a twinning or mentor/mentee relationship between people who volunteer–scaffold how to be a “critical friend”
  • Teach a variety of ethnographic approaches to exploring pedagogy
  • Provide professional development opportunities for learning strategies such as reflective practice
  • Sponsor reading circles such as materials related to pedagogy.
  • Facilitate “open educational” practices–facilitating colleague observations and visits.
  • Develop collaborative action research projects.
  • Host a Ted Talk – on a related topic to digital pedagogies – to capture and share with others to present various perspectives

Perspective

Build community and opportunities for collaboration with like-minded people.

Practice

  • Connect with others in your field that are currently creating and advocating the use of open resources for both instructors and students
  • Connect via Twitter. Search using hashtags # connected to the topics and discussion related to the book, Urgency of Teachers specifically the authors @jessifer @slamteacher
  • Share relevant open educational resources (OER) with fellow instructors (plant the seed of OER by sharing great resources)
  • Select a few early adopters and get out there to capture their stories!
  • Adopt “open practices” that share what we do–as we do it–to improve teaching and learning
  • Invite/accept opportunities to web conference with others you find online

Perspective

Provide foundational knowledge of digital learning such as “where do I start?” strategies

Practice

  • Community of Inquiry model – Introduce faculty/students to the three elements of an educational experience: cognitive, social and teaching presence. Retrieved from https://coi.athabascau.ca/
  • Research approaches and levels of engaging with “ungrading”, student self-assessment. Identify variety of “entry” points

Perspective

Provide students with opportunities to develop digital agency

Practice

  • Allow students to develop a digital portfolio of their learning throughout a program to showcase and personalize their reflections, growth and examples of learning (they become agents of their own learning, choosing samples, reflecting on growth and designing it as they wish)
  • Ungrade a course (untangle grades from feedback and reduce/remove marks/values on student learning) and allow students to give and receive feedback via digital means on their learning
  • Create safe opportunities for exploration & failure (both with technology and with learning) and model this whenever possible (don’t be afraid to try new technology in front of learners – even if you struggle)
  • Allow students to select or propose alternative media for evidencing learning: podcast, images, video, text, multimedia
  • Provide helpful feedback to students and focus on the value of it, and how it fits within their learning journey

Perspective

Care about our students (digital identity, location and processing of info, inclusive) and access to learning. Those in digital spaces as have different needs, wants, and perspectives.

Practice

  • Ask students about their experiences online to help understand assumptions, perspectives, and background in online. Honour their prior learning experiences
  • Use blogs to allow for class reflections to expand learning in the moment and to work to find ways to have both students and instructor active engagers in the process
  • Clarify for students about the expectations for what is acceptable for ‘videos put online/sharing’ – have the instructor demonstrate this first to show it doesn’t have to be perfect
  • Allow for “practice” in a safe space before going public. Create awareness of implications of but the digital footprint is guarded a bit more closely (digital identity learning!)
  • Engage in conversations with students about what they choose to transmit, share, store etc on the Internet to be respectful of personal requests and needs (added level of care to think about where students’ information (personal identifiable info) is stored and is processed
  • Incorporate UDL (Universal Design for Learning) in materials developed for use online or face-to-face classes.
  • Consider exploring the digital divide in a class (who has access, who doesn’t)
  • Consider equitable ways for students to explore tools and technologies so that the experienced ones aren’t always making the perfect video /slides – and are not intimidated or feel aren’t capable of doing it so are with less confidence – maybe let students in groups explore technology/tool/software together first and feel more comfortable – provide them guidelines on how to work together (focus on inclusion)
  • Are our courses accessible?

Perspective

Honour physical location and social space in online courses

Practice

Provide acknowledgement, introductions of where students are located in physical and social spaces

Perspective

Explore digital experiences options beyond LMS and invite students into creating networked learning.

Practice

  • Use open source technology to develop a student resource that can extend understanding of topics during the course and provide students with a “textbook” takeaway after the course is over
  • Teach about the collaborative development, definition and/or use of hashtags (#) (similar to keywords) to organize shared participatory sharing/creation of information seemingly online chaos of tools like Twitter

Perspective

Create a hybrid course approach to redefine the “classroom” experience.

Practice

  • Guide to Blended Learning. Provides a theoretical foundation as well as concrete examples for different blended learning pedagogical approaches. OER retrieved from http://oasis.col.org/handle/11599/3095
  • Split classes into online and in class sessions to allow for flexibility of schedules and encourage self-regulation.
  • Do the same for office hours – offer virtual and physical spaces where students can reach you (within a schedule because online learning shouldn’t mean you or your students expect to be available 24/7)

Perspective

Give learners meaningful choices

Practice

  • Allow learners a meaningful role in creating the syllabus- even just one part of it.
  • Use blended or online learning spaces to present multiple ways of learning and let students move through content as suits their needs (Turn off content tracking)
  • Move away from grading everything by adopting a grading contract in collaboration with students