Myths of Teaching & Learning: Dr. Oblivion

Now I would like to dedicate this post to a certain Dr Oblivion, who stepped out of one David Cronenberg film to play the Deus Ex Machina of the current revisitation/implementation of the infamous -but contagious- MOOC Digital Storytelling course #ds106. I mean, this guy has taken hostage Jim Groom and is puppeting him to play TA! Unbelievable. O tempora, o mores!

Still, the guy got something right, which is why I am sharing the video of his second intervention on, since he touches some themes that are crucial in my research on the myths of teaching & learning. In fact, Dr. Oblivion may have saved myself from interviewing Jim, given that he has answered many of the questions before even submitting them. Here we have such answers, the more or less minimally edited very Oblivion’s words.

  1. A course usually begins with a predetermined relationship between students and professor(s). Also, with a predetermined structure of space and time (the classroom, the blackboard, assignments, etc.), which both may be discussed, and this is what makes ds106 interesting. The online modality is the space where this predetermined relationships changes.
  2. Learning Management Systems (LMS) are but examples of how technology is used to frame the experience of a classroom. For instance, Blackboard is a technology of control & management. On the contrary, what a student does in ds106 is her own.
  3. What about grades? What about a rubric? Contrary to the dominant logic grades will be determined by students’ interaction, level of commitment and  experimentation. Grades happen through students’ constant process, through their ability to think, reflect and interact. This is not about a paper, a test, a final exam. This is about a commitment to thinking and interacting with classmates. Therein lies student assessment.

Now, if only Dr. Oblivion let go of Jim for next weekend!

About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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