By Scott Jaschik
At first glance, “Feminism and Technology” sounds like another massive open online open course. The course will involve video components, and will be available online to anyone, with no charge. There are paths to credit, and it’s fine for students to take the course without seeking credit. An international student body is expected.
But don’t look for this course in any MOOC catalog. “Feminism and Technology” is trying to take a few MOOC elements, but then to change them in ways consistent with feminist pedagogy to create a distributed open collaborative course or DOCC (pronounced “dock”).
The DOCC aims to challenge MOOC thinking about the role of the instructor, about the role of money, about hierarchy, about the value of “massive,” and many other things. The first DOCC will be offered for credit at 16 colleges this coming semester, as well in a more MOOC-style approach in which videos and materials are available online for anyone.
“We’re not saying bad bad MOOCs, but we’re asking how else we might innovate,” said Anne Balsamo, co-facilitator of the DOCC and dean of the School of Media Studies at the New School.
“A DOCC is different from a MOOC in that it doesn’t deliver a centralized singular syllabus to all the participants. Rather it organizes around a central topic,” Balsamo said. “It recognizes that, based on deep feminist pedagogical commitments, expertise is distributed throughout all the participants in a learning activity,” and does not just reside with one or two individuals.
[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/19/feminist-professors-create-alternative-moocs ]