The following information is a set of essential questions, based on the Community of Inquiry framework, and connected learning principles that can guide your decisions while designing and developing your unique course as a learning environment.
How will you include open connected learning in the design of your course and your teaching?
Practice tells us the process of designing a course is seldom linear. These pages of curated information are intended to be a resource. Included are principles of theory and practice about designing learning for you to consider and essential questions you can use as guides to develop a course of study unique to your intent and experience as professor. Learn the value of collaboration and co-learning so you include it in your course.
Community Building is imperative to a quality course. “Courses are conversations” means that to support real discourse, we facilitate a peer-organized community of peer-learners. We create a shared language of inquiry focused on the academic shared purpose of the course, together as co-learners.
In “Rhizomatic Education : Community as Curriculum,” Dave Cormier argues that “curriculum is not driven by predefined inputs from experts; it is constructed and negotiated in real time by the contributions of those engaged in the learning process.” A course is a starting point, a space in which learners can experiment with their agency, discover the complexity of their oppression, and begin to work toward more liberated action.
Connected Learning Principles These principles will be referred to throughout this guide.
Interest-Powered. Students engage more fully and learn more deeply when they can connect content to their short-term and long-term goals–academic, professional, or personal.
Peer-Supported. Connected learning encourages students to cultivate and experience the benefits of collective intelligence. Because the effective cultivation of collective intelligence requires skill, the best learning environments provide students with opportunities to practice through participation in peer-led learning, assessment, and feedback.
Shared Purpose. “Shared purpose” is a foundational aspect of communities of practice, or groups of people who work together to achieve a shared goal.
Academically-Oriented. The best learning experiences encourage students to tap into their personal interests in ways that drive academic success, civic engagement, or professional development.
Production-Centered. New digital media are particularly effective tools for creating meaningful products that can be shared with a wider audience. Connected learning takes advantage of new digital media to enable experiential or hand-on learning in exciting and meaningful contexts.
Openly Networked. Refers to the opportunity for students to connect classroom learning with other aspects of living, working, or “doing” across space, time, and multiple spheres of influence or community. The use of digital technologies often makes open networking possible, because it provides incomparable access for learners across both space and time.