The feminist and the mooc

At first glance, “Feminism and Technology” sounds like another massive open online open course. But Professor Anne Basalmo hasother plans

Basalmo’s course will involve video components, and will be available online to anyone, with no charge, as InsideHigher Ed reports. “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 17 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.

“So each week, a video presentation — typically a discussion with one, two or three thinkers about feminism and technology — will set a theme for the week. The first week’s video will feature Balsamo in a discussion with Judy Wajcman, a sociologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science whose 1991 book Feminism Confronts Technology led many feminist thinkers to focus more on technology issues. That video is designed to provide a historic overview. Subsequent weeks will feature discussions about more focused topics — feminism, technology and labor one week; feminism, technology and sexuality another, and so forth.”


Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *