tl;dr: I had the opportunity to propose a #DoOO project at my university and it failed to come through. Because apps.
Featured Image “Controls” by Alan Levine via Flickr under a CC-BY 2.0 license
In 2016, someone in the leadership of my university asked for my opinion: they were working on a funding application that was themed around the idea of an open, approachable university that is in exchange with its surroundings, its stakeholders, employers and businesses in the area, with society as a whole. Basically a ‘third mission’ application.
The application team members were wondering if I would be able to contribute an idea or a concept related to learning, teaching and digital technology that was in line with the idea of outreach and participation beyond our campus borders. Now, let that sink in for a minute: university administrators approached me. They were curious about digital pedagogy, about ways to enable interaction of students with the ‘real world’, and they were hoping to include a concept that fosters this in an application to the federal ministry. Not too bad, is it? Especially considering that my university does not have the more or less traditional tools and technologies in place that many (falsely, I would add) consider to be state of the art for digital teaching and learning practice. No LMS. Not really, anyways – we have a self-developed and self-hosted platform which students use to set up their semester schedules. It has some additional features, but that’s its main use.
Okay, so here I was in one room with university administrators. I chose the concept I was going to present by three main criteria:
a) The concept should scaffold ongoing, constructive and critical discussions around the different ideas of digital pedagogy, identity, teaching and learning among faculty and students.
b) I wanted to show ‘proof’ that what I was pitching had worked before elsewhere, that it had been applied.
c) Under no circumstances did I want to promote a centralized use of technology that follows ideas of control or restraint. (you may read “LMS” here) Instead, I was looking for something that provided students and educators with agency over their own digital identities and their learning and teaching.