Saturday, December 10, 2005

Wiki Pedagogy & Social Software Affordances

Two teaching resources I want to remember: Wiki Pedagogy, an article, and Social Software Affordances, a syllabus.

Wiki Pedagogy (article)
This article endeavours to denote and promote pedagogical experimentations concerning a Free/Open technology called a "Wiki". An intensely simple, accessible and collaborative hypertext tool Wiki software challenges and complexifies traditional notions of - as well as access to - authorship, editing, and publishing. Usurping official authorizing practices in the public domain poses fundamental - if not radical - questions for both academic theory and pedagogical practice.

The particular pedagogical challenge is one of control: wikis work most effectively when students can assert meaningful autonomy over the process. This involves not just adjusting the technical configuration and delivery; it involves challenging the social norms and practices of the course as well (Lamb, 2004). Enacting such horizontal knowledge assemblages in higher education practices could evoke a return towards and an instance upon the making of impossible public goods” (Ciffolilli, 2003).
Social Software Affordances (syllabus)
Course Description
'Social software' has become a convenient label to group a new generation of socio-technical systems (mostly web based) that facilitate human expression, communication, and collaboration. Examples of social software include content management systems such as blogs, knowledge and collaboration management systems such as wikis, relationship management systems such as Friendster and Orkut, distributed classification systems such as and furl, and the use of RSS feeds to distribute information to specific audiences.
Social software represents the promise of truly networked human communities extending across the online and offline dimensions of reality. But beyond the hype, a critical approach to social software is necessary in order to explore its impact and possibilities. During this course, we will (individually and collectively) address some of the following questions:

* What is 'social' about social software?
* How is the notion of community being redefined by social software?
* What aspects of our humanity stand to gain or suffer as a result of our use of and reliance on social software?
* How is social agency shared between humans and code in social software?
* What are the social repercussions of unequal access to social software?
* What are the pedagogical implications of social software for education?
* Can social software be an effective tool for individual and social change?
* What general principles can we identify for designing social software? How would we apply those principles in the design of a particular social software application?
* What general principles can we identify for evaluating social software?
How would we use those principles to measure the effectiveness of a particular social software application?
I thought I'd come across these two either at Weblogg-ed or Educational Weblogs, but I'm not finding reference to them any more at either site.

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