W2015 ENGL205

‘Earn your Shakespeare badge’ video

The Design for Learning 2015 conference has posted the video of our workshop, along with others.

Here’s the complete series of posts on this project.

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Digital Badges for Professional Development

A continuing series from the University of Calgary’s “Design for Learning” conference on university learning and teaching this week (#ticonf2015 on Twitter). I’m live-blogging my notes, so forgive my typos and omissions.

This morning I’m in a session on Micro-Credentialing and Badges, offered by the Educational Development Unit team: Lin Yu, Patti Dyjur, Kevin Saito (who designed the amazing conference app), and Joni Miltenburg. It has clear links to the project my team and I presented yesterday, on our digital badge system in English 205 (Foundations: Shakespeare).

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Netting Participation (Part II)

A guest post by Theresa Kenney on gamification in #engl205. This post is one of three from Theresa’s mini-series about designing and delivering badges

 

As previously posted, our award-system of #engl205 had four main gears that allowed for our award-system to work:

  1. The Course Outline and its Learning Outcomes
  2. The creation of the Badges and recommended activities
  3. Creating and maintaining nets for capturing activity
  4. Record keeping

This post will cover the latter gears to describe the nitty-gritty of fishing for student participation, checking what was in the netting, and awarding students.


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Gearing Gamificiation (Part I)

A guest post by Theresa Kenney on gamification in #engl205. This post is one of three from Theresa’s mini-series about designing and delivering badges

 

To award 88 students approximately 5 Badges each takes a functioning system – with easily accessible online platforms to award and display participation and awards. In practice, there were four main gears that allowed for our award-system to work:

  1. The Course Outline and its Learning Outcomes
  2. The creation of the Badges
  3. Creating and maintaining nets for capturing activity
  4. Record keeping

These four gears (which had a few stalling moments) worked together to offer a system to gamify #engl205, while creating a community of scholars that produced lively criticism. This post will cover the first two gears and its follow up of the latter gears in Part II can be found here.

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Content Providers and Consumers

“Oh Lord!” laments a party host amid her bored guests, in a 1995 New Yorker cartoon, “We forgot to invite any content providers.”

The punchline is dated, twenty years later, if only by her choice of words. In those early days of the internet, ‘content providers’ referred to those who wrote the texts that others read online, which was then still a novel way to distribute texts.

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Ideas in Practice

A guest post by Theresa Kenney on gamification in #engl205. This post is an introduction to Theresa’s mini-series about designing and delivering badges

 

It’s one thing to brainstorm ideas and another to put them to work. After scribbling down inconclusive ideas based on research reports about gamification in Higher Ed, Michael and I were compelled to join the ‘Gamification in Higher Ed’ club. We wanted to present a ‘tangible’ award system to students for #engl205. But how?

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The play’s the thing

“Playing in the digital age” was the subject of a recent podcast on Australian public radio’s “Future Tense” program (which I highly recommend). This wasn’t another story about video games and their cognitive effects, but about ‘play’ in more broad terms: the freedom to innovate and take unpredictable actions within a rule-bound system, whether it’s snooker or sonneteering. You can do novel and unexpected things with others within the alternate space of a game, outside of ordinary life.

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TTYL, Professor

I get a fair amount of e-mail (as I’ve lamented), but there’s a special category that I get during teaching terms like this one: e-mails from students. Most are perfectly courteous inquiries about my assignments or questions about the readings, but occasionally I get messages from students that are … well, in need of a lesson in letter-writing conventions. A salutation (“Dear Prof. Ullyot”) and some effort at self-identification, for starters.

Sometimes I can’t figure out who the writer is, what s/he wants or needs, and why it should concern me.

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Video Podcast on the Elizabethan Stage

Here’s my video podcast (slideshow with my voice-over) on the Elizabethan Stage, for my intro-to-Shakespeare students in Week 5 of the course.

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Shakespeare’s big ideas

Fourth post in a series on designing and delivering my intro-Shakespeare course for 160 undergraduates, starting this month. 

Does Shakespeare studies have a few cardinal ideas that everyone should know? Let’s see: there are his three main genres (comedy, tragedy, history); and his reputation as a natural, unschooled genius. There’s the tension between his plays and his non-dramatic poetry, and the historical temptation to read them for biographical details.

You get the idea. The point is, it’s hard to imagine teaching Shakespeare without touching on a set of common ideas. Ask a hundred scholars to free-associate and we’ll come up with a pretty comprehensive list of knowledge we want our students to possess by the end of a course – at least, an introductory course.

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