#3EHD: Zombis en la Academia
Juliette Levy nos compartirá su experiencia en el desarrollo de un juego de aprendizaje híbrido para estudiantes de nivel universitario en nuestro Tercer Encuentro de Humanidades Digitales. Sometemos aquí su propuesta al buen juicio y escrutinio de nuestros lectores, y esperamos sus comentarios y debates en torno suyo:
One of the great challenges of the large research university is how to deliver value to students. Universities are great at delivering degrees and some form of “college” experience, but as class sizes have ballooned and faculty to student ratios have fallen, the elephant in the room is: how to we vouch for the quality of the education. The traditional mode of higher education instruction, especially in the humanities is the 60–80 minute lecture. An 80-minute lecture does not deliver 80-minutes worth of knowledge, and as much research has shown, lectures are the least likely place of education –nobody learns anything in lecture, except how to nap in uncomfortable chairs…
Enter Digital Pedagogy: I have been teaching with technology for approximately 8 years and it has become clear that technology allows us to structure the pedagogical environment to provoke and promote engagement, to incentivize self-learning and cooperation. The very nature of the digital, which is less hierarchical, more hack friendly, and let’s admit it, young, creates an environment in which students are more likely to help each other out and come up with ways to solve problems –in the course, in the course design or simply with my projector– and they are doing it largely in a public sphere where these interactions are seen, and therefore become a model for others.
This is the basis for Digital Zombies — a fully digital interactive curriculum that has been “played” by more than 300 students over a few quarters at the University of California, Riverside. The game ushers students through the physical library and its digital collections, and asks them to observe and discern what these spaces do and mean. It asks them to do a lot more — they have to find primary sources, they need to find secondary sources that explain the primary source, they are tasked with doing research about that topic on social media — in short, the exercise takes them through a variety of digital and physical knowledge bases. The final task is in the assessment of the project, where students write a long report, each at least 1000-words long in which they reflect on their experience in meaningful ways.
The results show how many students refer to being “pushed out of their comfort zone” (i.e. stay behind their screen) to “explore the foreign space” (the library) and find out that the librarians are not “mean old ladies” but actually “super helpful and nice”. There is genuine wonder at the difference between doing research in a book vs. a webpage, and a growing realization that webpages can have wrong information. There is marvel at the possibility that they (the students) might be capable of generating knowledge by troubling the categories of knowledge they have so far existed in, and that they are in fact, producers of knowledge — knowledge about the issue they are researching, but also knowledge and awareness about the social context in which they exist.