When I conceived this open pedagogy project I honestly had no sense of what an outstanding learning experience it would be, for all of us. Early on it became clear that the student contributors whose writings are represented here were putting far more work into these posts than I had anticipated. We talked as a group and decided to increase the value what had originally been a bit of a “throwaway” assignment, to reflect better the time and effort expended by the student authors. Not everyone contributed on a regular schedule, but the nature of the blog allowed for students either to front-load the work, while they had more time in the semester, or complete all of their entries towards the end. The challenge then became not duplicating what was already here, but most were successful in finding new foods to consider.
The value of the experiment: The globalization of food cultures meant that the fodder for this assignment was literally limitless. No one struggled to find a topic and we all gained valuable insights into the many food cultures that our students brought to the classroom. Though our plan to celebrate with a sampling of many of the foods represented here was derailed by the pandemic, we still shared in a different way the foods that held meaning to one another.
Image by Dean Moriarty (@terimakashi0), courtesy Pixabay
What would I do differently? Rather than publish immediately that a post was received, I would likely build in a publishing schedule so that students had more definite timelines for submission. I would clarify some of the instructions around sources and duplication. And I would consider collaborative editing, assuming that the assignment was worth an even greater percentage of the total term’s work.
Thanks! Finally, a massive thank you to @COGDOG and the TRU Writer team for creating such an intuitive interface. The ability to remove the tech hurdle from a blogging assignment, was an enormous relief to everyone involved. We are eternally grateful.
Header Image courtesy Engin Akyurt (@Engin_Akyurt) and Pixabay