Experiment: A Class About Youtube, on YoutubeFebruary 23, 2008 at 11:40 am | Posted in Youtube | Leave a comment
Tags: Alex Juhasz, Class, Learning from Youtube, Pizer College, Web 2.0
This is a rather interesting experiment, interesting for everyone involved in learning and teaching: Professor Alex Juhasz taught a course about YouTube at Pizer College – on Youtube. You’ve probably already heard about it – quite a number of people and mainstream media have reported about it. Alex writes:
I had decided that I wanted the course to primarily consider how web 2.0 (in this case, specifically YouTube) is radically altering the conditions of learning (what, where, when, how we have access to information). Given that college students are rarely asked to consider the meta-questions of how they learn, on top of what they are learning, I thought it would be pedagogically useful for the form of the course to mirror YouTube’s structures for learning–one of the primary being user, or amateur-led pedagogy. So, the course was student-led, as well as being amorphous in structure within a small set of constraints, for this reason of mirroring, as well
This is something I immediately want to emulate! I have an appointment with my PhD adviser on Monday evening, and I might suggest it to him. First, however, I need to work myself through the VAST amount of material that Juhasz’ class has produced – it’s really amazing. Start with her own mission statement here:
Update: It really took my quite a while to work myself through some of the videos, and I am far from having covered them all. All in all it seems as if the experience, while it was going on, was pretty frustrating for the students – they got a lot of attention, both form peers and parents and from the media. For the media, it was mainly just another topic to be served to audiences and they packaged it mainly along the lines of ‘You kidding me? A class on Youtube?’. The feedback the students got from peers was, by and large, that they sure must be ‘slackers’ because a Youtube course must clearly by an ‘easy’ course, right?
It’s usually hard to grasp when one is in that situation, but learning effects are usually most profound when they ARE frustrating. And I LIKED their videos in particular because they bring across the intensity of that struggle. Here is my favourite student midterm assignment – it is my favourite assignment as part of its strategy is that it makes the reader/viewer YEARN for a copy of the message written down on a piece of paper where he or she can control the speed of delivery itself. So: Youtube is not the answer to all our questions – but better than many people think.
If one were to emulate the experiment, then I’d certainly provide for a closed learning environment – the class itself mustn’t be exposed to the Youtube public, as people are vulnerable when a learning progress is underway.
Here are two more videos, just so that you don’t misconceive the project as something created by a media-illiterate crowd (the video above used that appeal as a strategy)