Generous Thinking: Farewell Semester – Hello Summer Reading!

On the heels of my last post about Open Digital Pedagogy & FERPA and in line with a previous post, Live-Tweeting as Public Engagement, I would like to conclude my semester of guest-blogging for eCampus with a turn towards a summer read:

Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University by Kathleen Fitzpatrick (@kfitz on Twitter).

Fitzpatrick’s previous book, Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology and the Future of the Academy, was built on her earlier blog of the same name, a blog that established not only a public representation of her work, but also a community of early academic bloggers who were struggling with the same ideas. With Generous Thinking, Fitzpatrick implores academia to expand outwards, to work in public, to work with the Public. And, for us, that means modeling this for our students in addition to bringing them along for the ride through our research, teaching them through active learning engagement, and articulating the value of education as more than a vocation.

Fitzpatrick queries:

“So it’s important for us to ask ourselves: Do we understand the people who are not on campus to be an audience–a passive group that merely takes in information that the university provides? Do we understand them to be a public, a self-activated and actualized group capable not only of participating in multidirectional exchanges both with the university and among its members, but also of acting on its own behalf? Or even more, do we consider them to be a complex collection of communities–not just groups who interact with one another and with us, but groups of which we are in fact a part? How can we shape this understanding in a way that might begin to create a richer, more interactive, more generous sense not just of ‘them’ but of the larger ‘us’ that we together form?” (8)

As we embark upon graduation season and watch many of our students ascend the stage, shake hands with various truly proud and enthusiastic representatives of SJSU, look out into the wide crowd of cheers, accept that marker of their success, and proceed out into the world —  have we given them the intellectual understandings to do the very thing that Fitzpatrick is asking of us in academia?

Those of you who have been participating in the eCampus professional development seminars, sessions, and lunch n’learn over the past year are taking up this challenge to teach through active learning strategies in such a way that students become life-long learners and the leaders within this larger community of “us” that Fitzpatrick implores us to embrace.

All of this community building is situated within values — what do we value in a master’s granting public university? What do you value?

I’ve learned a lot about my colleagues and shared values over my career here at SJSU, but what I didn’t realize is that we don’t all need to share the same values. We do, however, need to work towards respecting each other’s values. That point came clearly from Dr. Beronda Montgomery (“Mapping a Mentoring Roadmap and Developing a Supportive Network Strategic Career Advancement”), who I met at the HumetricsHSS workshop back in October 2017. Dr. Montgomery’s plant metaphors (see “From Deficits to Possibilities: Mentoring Lessons from Plants on Cultivating Individual Growth through Environmental Assessment and Optimization“) articulated the way in which I’ve been governing my career. At that workshop, groups were tasked with creating a set of values for “measuring” Humanities work. My group took Dr. Montgomery’s mentoring analogies to heart and created a plant that grows with the sun:

We struggled to articulate this messy non-linear visualization of values, but in the end, determined that they were all intertwined and propelled by “public good” — the very value that is the foundation of our state-funded, public university.

With all of the recent outcries about education failing our next generations, I counter with the recognition that on Monday mornings, people are busy searching the Internet to discuss plot development, character assassination, CGI dragons, Medieval tortures, monarchies, wartime strategies, and an 8-year long epic drama. Or, the excitement over the most recent solar eclipse witnessed with special glasses here in San Jose. Or the ethical dilemma with uses of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Or, the study of California’s devastating wild fires. All of this is discussed and studied here, on our campus. We are creating these conversations among faculty, among students, among the Public by the very virtue of being a public university graduating under-served communities, first-generation college students, among several other valuable and valued communities.

I’m a little far afield from digital pedagogy today in this final post. But, our pedagogical strategies rely upon our values and our passion in continuing to teach at this public institution. Digital pedagogy, flipped classrooms, active learning, high impact practices all allow for an inquisitive fascination with the evolution of the world.

“By finding ways to connect with readers and writers beyond our usual circles of experts, in a range of different registers, and in ways that move beyond enabling them to listen to us to instead allow for meaningful dialogue and collaboration, we can create the possibilities for far more substantial public participations in and engagement with a wide range of kinds of academic work” (135).

As we work publicly through all of these pedagogical practices, we model for our students how to engender this “larger ‘us’ that we together form.” Join me in congratulating them this week for their successful navigation of higher education and their continuing journey as that “larger ‘us.'”

Open Digital Pedagogy & FERPA

In these posts this semester, I’ve covered some big, sweeping topics — and continued that conversation in the Digital Pedagogy Workshop last month. As the semester begins to wrap up, there’s one or two final elements to using Digital Pedagogy that we haven’t covered. As we ask students to engage with High Impact Practices, participate in our RSCA activities, represent the public face of SJSU, we also need to consider the boundaries of openness.

What follows are a series of responses that the 3 authors of the introduction to Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities have discussed or experienced in our long journey towards completing this project.

[from DRAFT “Introduction” of Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities, authored by Rebecca Frost Davis, Matthew K. Gold, and Katherine D. Harris. Reference to draft version of May 1, 2019 — due for final digital, open access completion in 2019 on a searchable & user-friendly digital platform]

Continue Reading…

Digital Pedagogy Workshop @ SJSU – Video + Slides

Thanks to Jennifer Redd, eCampus hosted a Digital Pedagogy Workshop on April 9 for ~25 engaged faculty from a variety of departments and disciplines all over San Jose State University. Because the attendees were guaranteed to hail from a variety ofDigital Pedagogy expertise levels, I ran the workshop with multiple points of intervention and input captured with Session Notes in Google Docs. The primary purpose of the workshop focused on theorizing Digital Pedagogy instead of teaching to the tools. We eventually get around to that, but first we spent a lot of time theorizing about the uses of Digital Pedagogy.

Much of the definitions on these slides come from the in-progress draft Introduction for Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities (currently openly available in GitHub in its post-peer review and pre-user-friendly digital platform phase). The project is scheduled to be finalized with a brand new digital platform that will allow for users to save pedagogical artifacts and keywords to a private account along with being able to search and utilize tags (e.g., beginner, intermediate, advanced levels of Digital Pedagogy; assignments; syllabi, etc.). The final platform, being built by our publisher, the Modern Language Association, is due to be finalized along with the entire project and the editors’ introduction during Summer 2019. With 4 editors, 84 curators, ~700 artifact creators, the project provides a wide array of pedagogical materials for use in many disciplines, even those outside of the Humanities.

Digital Pedagogy Workshop from eCampus on Vimeo.

The slides are available on Google Presention.

The Lunch n’Learn gatherings are a terrific way to 1) meet faculty from across campus; and 2) enjoy a delicious lunch provided by eCampus. For other videos of lectures and engaging articles, check out the eCampus Resources page.

Now that we’ve met, what would you like to read about in the remaining 2 blog posts on Digital Pedagogy this semester? Leave a comment or email me directly: katherine[dot]harris[at]sjsu[dot]edu

For those interested in more about Digital Pedagogy throughout the California State University system, consider attending the Student Success Conference being held at SJSU April 15, 2019 (registration required), especially these panels:

Session S1C: Using Technology to Improve Student Success Poster Session

Location: Room 3B – Jennifer Redd, Moderator – Presentations  

  • Comparing three strategies for providing feedback on a research assignment, Amy D’Andrade  
  • Exploring the impact of optional Canvas modules in course design, Michael Vallerga  
  • Integrating Canvas in student teaching: A strategy for coherence and support, Dean Sexton  
  • Digital Storytelling in Asian American History, Apryl Berney and Soma de Bourbon

Session S3C: Flipping as a Pedagogy in STEM Classes

Location: Room 3B – Poster Session – Ravisha Mathur, Moderator – Presentations:  

  • How flipped learning meets the diverse learning need in a first programming class, ChrisTseng  
  • Flipping a General Physics class using Mastering Physics, Ranko Heindl  
  • Defining Student Performance Expectations for Engineering Mechanics of Materials, Kurt McMullin  
  • Observations from a Flipped Section of CE 95 – Statics, Steven Vukavich  
  • On the Road to Flipping, Raji Lukkor

Session S4C: eCampus Student Success Programs

Poster Session – Location: Room 3B – Jennifer Redd, Moderator – Presentations  

  • Exploring the impact of a flipped course redesign, Krissy Connell  
  • Incorporating a point-of-care instrument into existing laboratory exercises to expand and diversify exposure to laboratory tools, John Geing  
  • Investigating interventions to determine if stress levels among students can be reduced, Pamela Wells  
  • Beyond SOTEs: Exploring formative and summative assessment in a GE college classroom, Mei-Yan Lu  
  • Evaluating undergraduate nursing students confidence and anxiety speaking with patients. Sheri Rickman Patrick  
  • Including robots in class to increase student-instructor interaction and provide hands-on experiences, Wencen Wu  
  • Student engagement: A key to success in the classroom, Linda Mitchell and Amber Sylva  
  • Providing hands-on field/laboratory experiences using drones, Kimberly Blisniuk, Emmanuel Gabet, and Hollianne McClure

Session S5B: Innovations in Teaching

Poster Presentations – Location: Room 3A – Mark Van Selst, Moderator – Presentations  

  • Epidemiology in Action: Applied Research in the Classroom, Miranda Worthen  
  • Leveraging Technology and Design Thinking in Social Entrepreneurship: Course Re-design Project in BUS4 188, Yu Chen  
  • How can Business Simulation Games Enhance Student Learning in Revenue Management? Yinghua Huang  
  • Promising Results from massive FYE course model and Intrusive Student Success Interventions, Michael Randle

5:00 pm Flipped Workshop

Location: Room 4A – This is a ticketed event and is limited to 200 attendees


We Rise Up: Helping Our Students Everyday

I’ve been slightly distracted by all of the news over the last few weeks — New Zealand’s tragedy, the replication of elitism in higher ed — as well as getting my graduate students in British Romanticism to think beyond the traditional literary canon for this period (1775-1835) of 6 white, male authors. All of this historical literary work on busting open an accepted canon seems imperative in a world that’s teeming with constant ruptures, revolutions, disturbances, dis-organization, re-organization, tragedy, wanderings, wonderings. The debate about ethics, artificial intelligence (or machine learning), Facebook seems to have gone by the wayside as we all deal with crisis after crisis that inundates us.

In the end, there’s some good news. Today, we’re going to take a circuitous route to end up back at Digital Pedagogy by the conclusion of this post. Just hang on for a moment. Continue Reading…