Do the Full Monte

Theron pointed me to David Parry (Univ Texas-Dallas) posting about offering his course online to folks outside the university. Its a graduate class called Networked Knowledge

He says about his proposal:

What I hadn’t anticipated was interest in taking this class from people in my twitter network, mostly grad. students at other universities where a course like this is not offered. So, then I started thinking, why not give the class away for free to those who want it?

It made me think of David Wiley’s venture into the same territory. Some of the assumptions is Wiley’s class about the relationship of traditional teacher and student led the course into some difficulties with the “volunteer” students in week X.

Parry’s post suggests

Grad students who are currently enrolled at another university though could arrange with their home institution to take a directed reading on this material, with a professor at their university signing off on it, perhaps by writing a seminar paper which that professor would evaluate.

Which would require those students to write an extra seminar paper. Seems like busywork for a credential, I’d much prefer to see the course designed starting from ideas in Downes’ Open Source Assessment . I wonder what assessment Parry could set for this course and how he could facilitate the diverse group working toward accomplishing that assessment, how they might provide feedback and guidance to one another, how they might bring in other expertise and perspectives — in short, how they could act more like 2.0 Learners. (this last post was written thinking about elementary ed, but see latter paragraphs for application to higher ed.)

My question would be, in a course on Networked Knowledge, taught to a diverse online group, why not do the Full Monte — strip this course down to an open assessment that the community can engage in.

3 Responses to “Do the Full Monte”

  1. Dave Parry Says:

    Totally agreed. My impetus for doing this was not to offer the course online to anyone (this would be my eventual goal) rather I was responding to a desire from a specific group of people (mostly grad. students) who indicated that they needed a course like this at their institution but none was offered. Hence the idea of how they could rig this into credit they need at their home institutions. (See my comment that knowledge is free, degrees cost you money.) This is my way to perhaps fill that need and test out some online ideas. This is also why I limited (sort of, not completely set on this) the people I was willing to “enroll” to grad students, as they have a very specific need that I think this course format can fulfill. For the most part grad. students need traditional assessment, not because it necessarily educates them in any way, but rather so they can pass through the various hurdles to get the PhD and become “certified” educators. So this was a compromise to fill the gap.

    I think the class should “go the full monte” as you suggest an utilize some open course assessment. This here is just step 1 so to speak. I am still working thru, thinking thru, trying to conceive of the best way to use open course assessment and focus on web 2.0 learners rather than just recreating the old system (perhaps this is a project to work on throughout the fall semester). For now though this is just my initial plan, a quick response to a number of grad students who wanted to take this course.

    In the end I see this as sort of a strategic move, with the end goal being to get something like you imagine above. Perhaps for the Spring semester . . .

  2. nils_peterson Says:

    Thanks for some clarification. I’d be interested to hear more about your thinking going forward. Its an interesting (dangerous) conversation because of the implications for the higher education institution.

  3. academhack » Blog Archive » Take My Class for Free-Seriously Says:

    […] Nils Peterson asks why not do the “full monte” (i.e. make the class really progressive and refigure even assessment?). Read his post, and my reply […]

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