|We are experimenting with a centralized / decentralized|
hybrid text-video project
Arguments on contemporary topics may appear in text or video form, but are typically authored by individuals or by organizations. We are innovating by combining text and video (so that each format carries the message independently, though they are complementary); and by using a hub-and-spoke model by which our central argument (a video + blog post overseen by me, the instructor) refers to and draws upon topics which individual students develop in greater detail and from their own personal angles within their own video + blog post. We are seeking a balance between centralized and distributed development of an argument, an argument with a clear center but with logical extensions more owned, developed and branded by individuals.
Authentic audiences and publication
We are getting outside of the classroom to engage many different audiences as we seek social proof on our concepts and format. Such formative feedback will steer our developing project. And we have the goal to publish our completed central project in the online journal, Hybrid Pedagogy, a cutting edge periodical that is open to the innovative formats.
We will be following design thinking principles, iterating and prototyping within this blog, producing content individually and collectively each week, seeking and giving feedback, then iterating again until we have a finished product.
Accountability and independence
Each week the students have the same two requirements: move forward their individual contribution; and contribute to the collaborative project. They are to blog twice weekly in order to report on their individual efforts. They will become members of teams and will be responsible to work within that team to achieve interim goals.
Risks and rewards
The risk of allowing for such independence is that students may not perform or may not create content that contributes cohesively or meaningfully to the central project. At a certain point, as the project leader, I will indicate my confidence or lack of confidence in individual contributions. Only those individual projects that add to the project in a meaningful and timely way will be included in the final publication.
The potential reward here is that students will acquire skills in collaboration and online communication, and in crafting arguments responsive to present concerns and audiences. Hopefully they will benefit by beginning to understand the need to experiment with various communication formats and formats for collaboration as well.