Course Planning, Spring 2011

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Course Brainstorming

  • Forcing people to stretch themselves a bit. One of the successes of the DailyShoot assignments is that they make you do things you don't want to do.

Are assignments conceptual, pragmatic or both?

  • Remixing a movie
  • Playing with character
  • Developing a character
  • Descriptive parameters for assignments
  • Small assignments along the way that are crowd sourced. Something people can do in the proper time frame
  • Small things you can put out on a daily basis, three a week (smaller things)
    • For example, the Amazon might such a smaller assignments support bigger assignments?
  • To start we'll have more structure and less choice--->small easier things....but moving towards more freedom and flexibility
    • Once the class gets exposed to the basics across the scale of imagery, photography, audio and video, we can play more with the conceptual as it moves across all these media....
    • Allows to folks to get a foothold early on

More on assignments---thinking about the MOOC

  • One thing to keep in mind is that ds106 may be less course-ish than prior MOOCs. More options to consider for assignments and possibilities. Smaller assignments, etc.
    • Marry the media --->Choice of three assignments
    • For later/conceptual examples we can define some essence of the mashup and what it includes and allow people to explore across the various media. Which will only allow use to combine the thematic with the practical
  • Character development assignment (can we do something like this through several media)
  • Requirement assignments-->small things
  • Doing assignments in voice---> Create a character on Twitter and tweet to that voice for the day (cogdog)

A rough outline of the course

  • Intro: Cyber Infrastructure
  • Weeks 2 and 3: Images/Photography
  • Weeks 4 and 5: Graphic Design
  • Weeks 5 and 6: Audio
  • Weeks 7 and 8: Video
  • Weeks 9 and 10: Mashup
  • Weeks 11 and 12: Fanfiction
  • Weeks 13 and 14: Visualization/Data Storytelling
  • Week 15: Wrap-up-Over flow

Technical and Aesthetic Design of the Course

  • Martha has designed a mechanism through FeedWordpress and Google Spreadsheets that will allow anyone to submit an idea for a small assignment. There will be a unique category created for each of these, and participants choose how many they do over the course of the week, semester, etc. We may need to come up with a minimum, like 3 a week. Should take less than a half hour to finish. You can see the submission form here:
  • Make the front page of site be a visual frame for the assignments as they are coming in. Not simply a blog flow--->but something like Daily Shoot. But how do we get images from distributed blogs to feature various image ---> how would we parse the feed to pull that out as a featured image?
  • Also, we need to break out assignments by category and for each assignment have its own do we visualize this?
    • Something as simple as author avatar, title, 250 words or characters...
  • Is there a service that would take a link and grab a screenshot from the syndicating site on-the-fly? A quick screenshot--> a web snapshot of originating website-->kinda like on the front page of
  • Way to encourage/model for folks leading with a relevant and compelling picture in there posts?
  • Martha is designing a site that will syndicate specifically tagged bookmarks (in delicious, etc) of examples and tools related to the class into a site where what they discover can be represented, shared, promoted and blogged about. Basically showing off all the stuff her course (or several courses) are finding.
  • Students could be tasked with blogging one example from that week they found interesting. A way to curate the site. A "bookmark of the week" assignment.
  • Talk returned to wanting something visual to the posts-->sidestream flow
  • Have a digital storytelling mogul like Bryan Alexander feature a story of the week on the every great Infocult and feed it into ds106 as a featured post for the week.

Commenting, Community, and Peer Review

  • Commenting as a requirement for my class-->figuring out how comments can be syndicated
  • DailyShoot--> More dailyshoots you do the more points you get. Grading as an amassing of points. High score rather than a grade....(Tom Woodward)
  • Mechanism for peer evaluation--> how to get everyone's work looked at and get feedback on.
    • As Alan Levine recommended, some review time on twitter---a set time for feedback and discussion about everyone's work. Micro-feedback.
    • Important to showcase as much work as possible So at the end of the design assignment, for example, have a set time for open commentary on twitter.
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