The course will be organised in three blocks. Learning activities throughout will focus on maintenance of an online ‘commonplace book’ using tumblog technology, on blogging, synchronous and asynchronous tutorials and text chat. You will develop one MOOC response in any medium (block 1) and one ethnographic ‘story’ using an online application of your choice (block 2), each of which will feed into your assessed tumblog. You will also produce a final assignment.
Block 1: Popular cyberculture and representations of learning (week 1-5)
This first block will consider the over-arching narratives which have driven our understanding of digital culture and its relation to learning. It will begin with a course ‘cyberculture film festival’ and accompanying tutorials in Synchtube and Twitter, connecting these with readings which familiarise you with some orienting theories of cyberculture. It will then link these to notions of visuality and media literacy in education, considering how learning and literacy are represented in popular cyberculture texts, and how such representation continues to inform our understanding of the nature of e-learning.
During week 3, you will start to engage with the EDC MOOC in Coursera as a teaching associate, and will also do some reading on visual literacies. This is in preparation for week 4, over which you will monitor the MOOC discussions and create a response to them (a discussion forum post, a blog post, a video, an image) which will constitute the formal end-of-week summary for the MOOC participants. This artefact must feed into your assessed tumblog (more about this below, in ‘course assessment’).
Block 2: Virtual communities and virtual ethnography (week 6-8)
This second block will consider the concept of virtual community and will look at virtual ethnography as a research method. Readings will be provided on both. The main work of this block will involve you in working alone to conduct a micro virtual ethnography of an online community of your choice. There is information in the relevant space in this site about the ethical and practical issues you should take into account in choosing your community.
You will end your work in the block by creating an ethnographic snapshot of this community using an online medium of your choice. This must also feed into the assessed tumblog.
Block 3: Posthumanities (week 9-10)
In the final block we turn to work which considers how our understanding of gender, race, power and subjectivity is affected by our engagement with the digital domain. We approach this through the theories of posthumanism, considering the idea that the status and nature of the ‘human’ is altered through our relationship to, or ‘fusion’ with, technology and considering the emergent body of work on the implications of this idea for power relations and pedagogy. You will also begin work on the final assignment in block 3.