This Week in ODL: Dec 4-Dec 8, 2017

Students and Critical Instructional Design – Blog Post by Alfredo Torres

Students and Critical Instructional Design explores the relationship between students and the agency taken in their learning experiences. Alfredo is interested in exploring the potential technology and digital tools have to create positive change in the world and this is what brought him to the Office of Digital Learning where he has ” become more aware and concerned with concepts related to critical instructional design and digital pedagogy, particularly from a student perspective.”

In the realm of liberal arts education, Alfredo argues that students have perfected the art of critical thought. He explains that “… we’ve become so good at thinking critically about the content, that we don’t think critically about the form and the processes of our “learning experiences”.”. That is, in a liberal arts institution such as Middlebury, students have become excellent consumers of case studies, theories and models but lack the ability to create unique educational experiences that benefit the individual. He however contrasts the fact that students are not thinking in these ways with lack of power students have to actually act on these thoughts.

Alfredo expresses, “I believe that the importance of a critical approach to instructional design lies in the fact that it takes into account the student experience, and leverages the tools and ways of thinking that students are already familiar with, thus achieving better learning environments and outcomes.”

Click here to read the blog post in its entirety.


Exploring Mis/Disinformation on Pinterest

Exploring Mis/Disinformation on Pinterest demonstrates just how quickly mis/disinformation gets spread on a social media site like Pinterest. Amy describes this activity as only part one of our information environmentalism work and follows with how to depollute the environment.

Amy walks us through all the steps of the activity beginning first with data protection. This can be done by using a secure browser like Tor and pseudonyms when creating your Pinterest account and selecting your initial topics of interest. The blog post makes us aware of the darker side of the platform (one filled with various conspiracies and misinformation); though this is the side many users are not privy too. For all the steps explained in the post, Amy provides details and information that resulted from her research and also itemizes how information spreads on Pinterest. These include Visual design/UX drivers, psychological and social drivers, algorithms, external data and economic drivers.

Amy is looking for collaborators to engage in information environmentalism on Pinterest. She encourages that as educators and scholars, we cannot ignore the misinformation in digital social spaces and must begin to depollute them. The most effective way to depollute is to participate just as intensely as the content creators that spread false information. There needs to be more accurate, popular information on the web to shadow the many conspiracies and misinformation. Amy will be doing a similar project with Middlebury students in a J-term and spring class and emboldens Middlebury faculty to reach out if they are conducting similar projects.

Read Amy’s post here.



Featured image byTim Tiedemann on Unsplash

Office of Digital Learning

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