The course will have two interwoven strands running throughout.

  • The first strand will be the study of the social/technical and pedagogical issues (and theories) from the readings. To accomplish this goal, we will engage in the study and discussion of weekly readings and resources. Participation: Attendance, demonstrated engagement with readings (close-reading, coming prepared to class with annotations and notes, critical reflections, being able to explore readings in class discussion and continue them in our Forum when specified): Attendance and participation (in class, on Forum and Wiki) are essential to this course/grading.
  • The second ‘hands on’ strand will be the study, use, and applications of new  media tools as affordances for learning and creative/critical cultural production (in both formal and informal/networked learning settings).

1) Weekly Productions: 40% Your wikimedia posts and/or making with technology tools will constitute our weekly productions: I will ask you, following each set of readings, to either write a critical analysis (short essay) on assigned texts — or work creatively with digital tools and new media.

2) Using our Community Forum 25% [Week 2] As this course will connect students in Toronto and Dadaab, Kakuma, Nairobi, and Somalia, we will use the Refugees Respond platform for open-ended discussions where issues and theories in the readings might serve as jumping off points for exploring your own concerns, ideas, and applications  (and for sharing creative works). Please read the DAAGU article (Week 2) to understand the ‘theory framework’ for this discussion forum.

Expectations: Participating in the online discussion is critical to achieve the learning outcomes in this course. At the end of the semester, you are required to submit a half-page self-evaluation of your participation in online discussions for the term based on the rubric below. You must provide clear justification for the grade you assign to yourself. In your submission, you should reflect on the contributions you made to the online learning community, the key ideas that you initiated and the resources that you brought to the group.

(Self)Evaluation of Participation in Online Discussion

Criteria Exceeds Standard

(A- to A+)

Meets Standard

(B to B+)

Below Standard

(C or less)

Engagement Contributes weekly to discussions by suggesting different views, connections, & possibilities for new thinking and conversing. Posts insightful comments on personal understandings, feelings, and questions that prompt further discussion by others. Tells relevant personal stories that link with topics under discussion. Provides insightful feedback to all peer group presentations. Contributes weekly to discussions and poses relevant questions and ideas. Expresses personal views and stories that relate to topics under discussion. Provides feedback to most peer group presentations. Poses questions and personal views but does not participate consistently in weekly discussions.
Exploration of Content Exploration of readings and resources are incorporated into the discussions in order to show shifts in understanding and/or meaningful connections. Offers new and different interpretations of ideas, issues, & resources. Exploration of readings and resources incorporated into discussions. Personal views are expressed. Expressions of different views and/or applications of ideas. Discussion entries contain minimal reference to readings and resources.
Emergence Demonstrates how thinking is changing in relation to others’ thoughts and ideas and in relation to engagement with resources. Contributes to the emergent learning of others by offering perturbations. Demonstrates how thinking is changing; notes distinctions and similarities with others’ ideas and experiences. Contributes to the learning of others by posing questions. Does not demonstrate awareness of emergence in personal thinking or show how thinking is changing in relation to conversations.
Reflection & Recursion Postings include many examples of reflection and recursion and how these processes change thinking and acting in practice. Postings have a couple examples of reflection and recursion. Shares reflections with classmates. Postings do not include examples of reflection or recursion

 3) Adventure Project: 35%

Design your own Technology Based Learning/Inquiry Adventure: For this final project, students will use new media (or combinations of new and old media) to design their own learning adventure, driven by your own inquiry questions, creative purposes or research interests. This project should engage and extend the theoretical and pedagogical understanding of what it might mean to critically and creatively use technological affordances for critical and creative (educational) purposes and/or personal & community aims. Over the first few weeks, I will model projects other students have done in the past – and every project is unique, as the inquiry is ‘open-ended’, and the form of the final project will be determined by you.

In the past, students have created everything from inquiry-driven (documentary) video films, multimedia ibooks,’transmedia digital stories, and graphic novels, as well as graphic memoirs and research projects, digital games and websites and technology applications to support local communities. The website we are using for the wikimedia/forums was created by two students in last year’s course, in fact, as their adventure project. Technology making as social action: your own project must be based on research matters or interests that are significant to you, that have use-value for you, or some impact for yourself or your community.

Proposal for Final Technology Adventure Projects Due by End of Week 6 (or Earlier)

1) Identify the challenge you will be presenting to yourself: the research question/s, methods and modes of inquiry, and creative challenge you will engage (with a brief rationale). Why does it matter to you?
2) What technology tools will you will use to produce your project (what are you going to create? how? what media tools will you use?).
3) Production Plan: Brief sketch or script indicating how you will get this project done (action-plan, next steps, what you need to learn, a schedule/timeline for completion).

Final Class Day: Work-in-Progress Presentations:

You will present snapshots of your Technology Project. Think of this as a tour of your media project – to show your peers what research trajectory and/or creative challenge (e.g. digital game, documentary film, community resource) you presented to yourself, what you learned, and what you designed/created, and why it matters to you.

You will briefly reflect upon what and how you learned (through the process of research, development, and production) and to briefly connect that experience to course themes, theories, and readings!

The purpose of this presentation is to share your work and get constructive feedback from peers to improve/modify the project. You are presenting a ‘work-in-progress’, and feedback from your audience and course director can be used to modify and improve your project.

Final Project Due Date: One Week after Final Class Day