The snow has delayed us, but finally we will meet for the first time. I have been looking forward to meeting all of you and getting this course underway for sometime. For I suspect it will be a memorable one.
This course will be an open (online), connected (networked), co-learning (participatory) experience. One factor that often leads to boredom and lack of energy in the traditional classroom is the way that learning is perceived as a passive activity—a thing that happens to students. What you learn and how you learn it is decided by someone else, without considering what you care about, what you know already, or what you want to learn. Part of the idea of an open class comes from giving you the opportunity to influence the course. And that is exactly the invitation I extend to each of you. This is an invitation to participate actively in defining the course of your own education. What do you want to learn during out time together? What do you want to make during our time together?
Please think of your #WritingRace class first and foremost as a community – a cooperative and collaborative working environment. Here you will contribute what knowledge you have and locate new information that can help the group as a whole become more thoughtful and incisive. Through discussion and negotiation we will identify shared purpose and a mutually beneficial learning agenda, we write/compose many collaborative documents, and we will embrace peer-to-peer cooperation and learning. And I embark on this journey side-by-side with all of you. We will begin with discussion and we will design our learning experience together – and we will consider this a journey where everyone becomes a leader and a teacher. For many heads are better than one.
During our first meeting we will meet and get to know each other a bit, and we will discuss why we have all chosen to converge for this experience together. We will discuss what you want to get out of a course like this, and what kind of learning outcomes you would like to emerge with. You will design the syllabus, you will set the terms and expectations for the projects, and you will ultimately identify this course’s learning outcomes.
Welcome to #WritingRace!
See you soon,
Dr. Mia Zamora