Ed Beck and Chilton Reynolds
Open Pedagogy Projects during the COVID-19 pandemic
In a comprehensive system of higher education there were multiple responses to the COVID-19 shutdowns during the Spring Semester and Summer of 2020 that incorporated Open Education Practices and our existing Domain of One’s Own infrastructure. With traditional learning environments and programs shut down, SUNY leveraged its young Domains project to create online spaces for students to share work. The Global Commons project combined components of service learning, project based learning, and international education across at a time when students were unable to travel. The Pandemic Diaries became a repository of several hundred journal entries memorializing life during the pandemic at one institution.
The Global Commons was created in the summer of 2020 when professors from across statewide system were selected to create OER course content for two separate sequences. For the first sequence, 6 faculty each focused on a specific storytelling medium, such as journalism, graphic novels, and podcasting, while 15 faculty created courses based on five different UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for the second sequence. Every student took one course in Intercultural Storytelling while at the same time taking one of the five SDG courses to gain a deeper understanding of the specific Development Goal. Working with an international partner and applying the skills from their storytelling course, students created visuals, videos, and descriptive narratives that the non-profit international organizations can use in their marketing and outreach. Each group of students agreed to license their work openly for future use and reuse.
During the Fall 2020 semester, our campus had one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in our state. The campus made national news as the students were all forced to quarantine, and eventually the campus was closed by the governor. The Pandemic Diaries project was modeled after the Mass Observation Diaries of the 1930s (Mass Observation, 2015), and students were encouraged to write about their experiences with COVID, their classes, their families, and their Zoom-bombing pets. This collection of stories from the pandemic has been steadily growing, with hundreds of snapshots of everyday life during the pandemic.
The presenters will share how these two very different projects were developed and lessons learned. Both projects were created on a foundation of WordPress, but we will share the combination of plugins, and design elements that we used to encourage student participation, set up a workflow, and proudly display this student work. Jim Groom called our project a “home-made SPLOT,” because the decisions and elements were chosen intentionally to simplify the onboarding process of new contributors, while still using a traditional WordPress Theme. By using a more traditional implementation of WordPress we were able to limit contributions to our campus communities and lightly modifying WordPress’ default roles and permissions to create a submit, review, and release pattern that worked well for all involved.
“THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development.” United Nations, United Nations, www.sdgs.un.org/goals. Accessed 08 Feb. 2021
“Mass Observation, 1937-1950s.” Home, 2015, www.massobs.org.uk/mass-observation-1937-1950s. Accessed 08 Feb. 2021
- Open Pedagogy
- Domain of One’s Own