We should start here: digital teaching is different from the technology which enables it. In other words, learning our way around technology won’t make us more or less capable of teaching in digital spaces, though it will help us develop a certain literacy, or automaticity. Educational technology—the learning management system (Canvas) and tools like Turnitin or Protorio—cannot, should not, stand in for either the classroom or the teacher. Instead, they are vehicles across which our teaching can be conveyed.
In other words, as we begin to consider a strategy for education this Fall—as uncertain as the autumn may be—we must focus on our teaching: the how, the why, the where. We need to know who we are, what we value most about teaching and learning, what we don’t want to lose when we go digital. Then, we can move more confidently into using the technologies available to us, always keeping in mind that it is tech that should bend to pedagogy, and not the other way around.
No one’s quite sure what our circumstances will be this Fall. To some degree, we hope to return to campus; but we also know that social distancing guidelines won’t allow for the whole student body to occupy those halls and classrooms. Some students may need or choose to learn fully online. Some of us will want and be able to teach synchronously (live), and it’s very likely a lot of teaching and learning will happen asynchronously. We are looking at teaching online, in some hybrid format, or face-to-face… and possibly some combination of the three.
So, it behooves us to spend some time getting to know our pedagogies, and also the pedagogies of the digital landscape we’re moving toward. Since the inception of online learning over two decades ago, a certain swath of educators and scholars of teaching and learning have spent time theorizing about digital learning, hybrid pedagogy, synchronous and asynchronous community-building, and more. This week, we’ll read some of those educators, mining their long history with digital teaching and learning online for perspectives that will help us, and to get a better sense of the landscape.
Just as important, this week we’ll start to understand ourselves as digital learners, to begin to get a sense for how it feels to study alone, to have to find novel ways to reach out for community, to participate and to ask questions about what participation looks like. Because as part of this academy, we are not just teacher-learners, but we are also learner-learners; this academy is as much about the material and practice it provides as it is a model of online teaching available for your inspection. Just as you work through recommended readings, or participate in activities, so you might also keep your eyes trained on how learning here works. Because there is a pedagogy to this academy; and while it may not be your pedagogy, it is evidence that pedagogy can thrive online.
Recommended Readings for this Week:
All of the following readings are open access and available for annotation. Remember, if you choose to join in some annotation, please be sure to jump into the HFT Summer Academy group so that your comments join those of the rest of our community.
- Robin DeRosa, Values Centered Instructional Planning
- David Rhoads and Bonnie Stachowiak, “Hyflex Learning” (podcast)
- Jackie Miller, Mark Risser, and Robert Griffiths, Student Choice, Instructor Flexibility: Moving Beyond the Blended Instructional Model
- Marie Leijon and Björn Lundgren, Connecting Physical and Virtual Spaces in a HyFlex Pedagogic Model with a Focus on Teacher Interaction
- Jesse Stommel, What is Hybrid Pedagogy?
- Kris Shaffer, From Blended Learning to Hybrid Pedagogy
- مها بالي (Maha Bali) and Bard Meier, An Affinity for Asynchronous Learning
- Stefan Hrastinski, Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning
Week One Activity: Asking and Answering Tricky Questions
As we get started on this summer academy, anxieties may be tugging at our sleeves, tensions may be high, and questions abound. What will teaching look like in the Fall? How will I know what technology to use? How will I stay in touch with my students? What is it like to teach fully online?
In this week’s activity, please join this collaborative Google Doc and let loose your biggest questions or concerns about the coming Fall. Then, take a look at what other folks have written and see if you can offer some support or advice by using the commenting function. You can do all of this anonymously, or you can sign into Google Drive and leave your name.
The goal is to begin to flex our muscles as a community of inquiry, to find common ground, and to look for ways to support each other.
Week One Reflection: Your Hybrid Pedagogy
Throughout the summer, I’ll be asking you to do some reflective work. This is your opportunity to look critically or sit quietly with your own pedagogy or yourself as a learner. You can keep these reflections wherever you like: in a journal, in MS Word, on an audio recording, etc. You won’t be showing these to anyone, unless you choose to. And, if you come upon some writing you really want to share out, let me know and we can publish it to the HFT blog.
This week, spend some time thinking about the readings, and how these ideas of hybrid pedagogy, hyflex models, synchronous vs. asynchronous learning all intersect with your own pedagogy, with how you teach and how you see yourself as a teacher.
If you like, you can post your thoughts about getting started this week right here in the blog comments (below). You could also use that space to introduce yourself, talk about your goals, ask questions, etc. Feel free to use the comments space on any blog post as part of your participation in the academy.