Certificate Programme in the Digital Class will be conducted by Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS), Bangalore with the direct participation of Centre for Internet Studies (CIS), Bangalore and Centre for Education Beyond Curriculum (CEDBEC), Christ University, Bangalore and organised by Department of Media Studies, Christ University, Bangalore.
2. Programme Objective:
The purpose of this course is to investigate the transformations taking place in the classroom through the process of digitization of the various aspects of classroom pedagogy. Both courses and class readings are downloadable on various formats, teachers commonly use blog and wiki formats as pedagogic devices, students ‘publish’ their assignments and engage in various kinds of peer-learning practices. While several universities and undergraduate colleges have actively adopted such technologies, it is unclear as to how drastic the change is. Is the change no more than conventional content and teaching/assessment strategies moving to new platforms? Or is the change more fundamental than that?
5. Programme Structure:
This course, to be conducted with media students of the Christ University will also see the active participation of faculty from a range of disciplines across the board: education, law, computer science and sociology. It will be conducted over 10 sessions to be divided into five modules which are tentatively listed below:
Module 1: The University and the Class
This module, pivoted around Bill Readings’ The University in Ruins (Harvard, 1996), explores the historic transformation of the classroom as the location for the pursuit of ‘excellence’. From its classic Humboldtian origins, to its ‘developmental’ stage – the rise of the mass-classroom, the principle of education for all – to a present space in which it is a gigantic agglomeration of a variety of small experimental spaces – the classroom has changed dramatically. This module will explore the theory of the classroom, and the change taking place in the category of the student, the teacher and the ‘imparting’ of knowledge paradigm. Students will explore key websites which have explored how such paradigms have changed, and report on their findings.
Module 2: The Public Nature of the Classroom
Both students and teachers are recognizing that the classroom is a very public space: students ‘publish’ their papers, teachers upload their class lectures and put up blogs that are technically accessible to the public at large. What does the entry of the world outside do to the classroom as a closed space for intellectual work, frank debate and the display of insecurity? This module will work with John Willinsky’s The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship (MIT Press, 2006), sections on ‘Development’, ‘Public’, ‘Politics’ and ‘Rights’.
Module 3: The Digital Native
The concept of the ‘digital native’ originates with Marc Prensky’s Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants (2001) to look at a ‘new breed of student entering educational establishments’. The term draws an analogy between how a country's natives, for whom the local religion, language, and folkways are natural and indigenous, separate them from immigrants to a country who often are expected to adapt and assimilate to their newly adopted home. Prensky refers to accents employed by digital immigrants, such as printing documents rather than commenting on screen or printing out emails to save in hard copy form. Digital immigrants are said to have a "thick accent" when operating in the digital world in distinctly pre-digital ways, when, for instance, he might "dial" someone on the telephone to ask if his email was received. How ‘native’ is the digital student today? What happens to the ‘immigrant’, i.e. someone seriously technologically challenged by the heavy reliance on digital ‘insiderism’?
This module will split into an inquiry into the problems faced by the both the class teacher and the student, both of whom may or may not be digital natives. It will include one survey to be conducted about volunteer faculty and volunteer students in Christ University, on the problems and possibilities of digital insiderism. Students will assemble and publish survey results online.
Module 4: Technologies Of L;Earning (1): The Institution And The Institutional Repository
This section will be a set of practical sessions on the role and purpose of repositories in academic institutions. Students will actively explore such classic repositories as CSeARCH (http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/CSeARCH.HTM) to see the benefits and problems of repositories. It will end with hands-on experience of a repository, located either at CSCS or at Christ University itself.
Module 5: Technologies of Learning (2):
This session will include two key components:
• Role of peer learning, or student-teach-student.
• Role of examination processes: Are examinations changing? Should they change?
This will again be a hands-on experiment, working mainly with hand-held devices, and the role such devices play in the facilitating peer/participatory learning, and in the continuous assessment mechanisms that are replacing end-of-term examinations. We may actually experiment with a new device here, supported by the Nokia Research Centre, Bangalore (to be confirmed).
Duration: Three months. Classes conducted on Saturdays 2-4 pm. Classes begin on 11 July
Contact: Anil Pinto, Dept of Media Studies - ajpinto42 at gmail dot com
Programe Fee: Rs 1000
Venue: Room 913, II Floor, Auditorium Block