In a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Derek Bruff, acting director of the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University, discusses social pedagogies. (You may remember Derek from his two talks about clickers last semester at Georgetown.) Drawing on a definition of social pedagogies developed by Randy Bass and Heidi Elmendorf, Derek emphasizes the importance of having students write for “authentic audiences.” In his own cryptography course, that meant assigning students to post their papers on the public course blog, where one student was surprised to receive a detailed comment from a researcher he had cited in his paper.
Derek cites a number of examples of social pedagogies facilitated by online tools, including a project that Georgetown professor Sarah Stiles developed in partnership with CNDLS’s TLT team for her sociology course this summer. She asked her students to use the presentation tool Prezi to create collaborative concept maps showing the relationships among characters in an ethnography over time. You can read more about her project here.
You can read more about Randy and Heidi’s work with social pedagogies here.