The storied campus: an experiment

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March 21, 2017 by Kate Bowles

This blog has all sorts of followers, but this post is just for those of you who are current BCM212 students.

And this isn’t strictly a post about research. It’s about an opportunity that has fallen into our laps to collaborate on a popup learning project with Kean University in New Jersey.

There a class of uni students has been working on a creative project, both working together and travelling on a digital bus tour to meet students and educators in other places.

What they’re doing is an experiment in seeing how students in different contexts can learn together on the open web, rather than in courses and classes controlled by single institutions.

Screenshot 2017-03-21 22.26.09The focus for this week, when their virtual bus comes to UOW, is the idea of the storied campus.

The experience of being a student in a specific campus is something that gets told in competing stories, by institutions and by students. If you look at the way UOW advertises itself online, for example, do you recognise that version of campus life? Is your experience similar? Or different? When you see campus spaces in official promotional materials, how do you feel about your own stories that have been shaped by those same spaces?

Where do you go on a university campus when you’re tired, unhappy, looking for company, looking to be alone? Where have you found yourself when you’re filling time? Where have you sat in corridors? Where have unexpected things happened to you? Are there places on campus you love? Are there places where you feel uncomfortable?

Now imagine how people from outside the university come to experience your campus, who only have access to official advertising. What do you want them to know? How can you answer their questions about what being here feels like?

The aim of this experiment is for whoever joins us to post one small thing to a shared padlet (padlet is a web environment for collaborative writing for which you don’t have to have an account or a login, you can just write directly onto the space.) Kean U students will be doing the same.

The small thing needs an image and a tiny story, that’s it.

You could also choose to write a longer piece on your blog and link to it from the padlet, and this is a nice way to bring readers from further away into the world of your writing and thinking.

You can read the instructions for participating here and find the padlet for this experiment here.

It would also be really great if you could participate in a brief online chat on Friday morning, for which you can be anywhere. But if you can’t participate in the online chat, you can still hop onto the padlet and share your tiny story, ideally in the next 24 hours.

One image + one story x whoever shows up = the storied campus. Come join us!

image credit: Alan Levine (@cogdog) takes all the good photos on the internet, and he’s the co-creator of this experiment with Prof Mia Zamora (@MiaZamoraPhD) at Kean University. It’s their thing–let’s make it happen for them. And if you have any questions about how to join in, just tweet at me (@KateMfD).

 

 

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