DML Competition entries


I realized we were at risk of losing our DML Competition entries as their process progresses. The competition is interesting in that it runs in rounds and accepts crowd-source as well as expert feedback in the process. In January we submitted an initial proposal (below). Then used the opportunity of making a revision to mock-up the tool, and at the same time, to focus our thinking on how to improve our submission.

Here is the February 2010 version (below the earlier one):

Brief Project Description (50 word max):

Getting critical feedback is a collaborative social learning strategy that helps learners improve and is educative for givers too. Feedback shared in communities can be educative for bystanders. Feedback compliments other habits of mind like critical thinking. Learners embed Back@U into their work to gather feedback from their community.

Project Description (300 word max):

The whole web is a learning space. Back@U is an instrument embedded on any webpage for gathering critical feedback. Back@U learners solve diverse, multi-faceted problems requiring a collaboration among different disciplines and skills within communities invested in those problems.

Learners and peers provide rich and informative feedback leading to improvement. Back@U could help an NGO get feedback on the design of an irrigation system, while allowing the participating engineering intern to get feedback from all participants: the NGO, local residents, faculty advisors, peers, professional engineers, etc.

People freely engage in learning required to master games: attempting, getting feedback, trying new approaches. To reach a genuine achievement, learners need lots of trials, errors, and adjustments based on feedback (http://www.edutopia.org/healthier-testing-made-easy). These are the same skills life-long-learners use; they approach learning as a challenge, a game.

Back@U is a collaborative and social mechanism allowing learners to gather feedback about their work from multiple sources. It can be tailored by learning communities to address habits of mind from critical thinking to creativity, persistence, curiosity, storytelling, tinkering, improvisation.

Back@U’s structures feedback that help new learners get/contribute high quality peer-reviews in global “pro-am” communities. Giving quality feedback is a mechanism to ascend to leadership positions in complicated multiplayer teams.

Learners post their work anywhere and embed Back@U, where “judges” give feedback, similar to the iPhone app, Leaf Trombone World Stage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R5OVX6EKWg). Judges enter the community by having their work judged. Judges improve in expertise using a mechanism similar to the ESP Game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESP_game) where agreement earns status. Back@U players agree on terms and phrases to describe the work using language their learning community values. Back@U also provides a mechanism for the community to refine the review criteria.

Back@U takes our Harvesting Gradebook ideas (http://wsuctlt.wordpress.com/harvesting_gradebook) to the wider world.

Back@U will collaborate with other teams who provide rich test-beds.

Original version from January 2010:

Back@U: Giving and Getting Structured Feedback; Growing in a Learning Community

Brief Project Description (50 word max):

Getting feedback guides learners to improve their work.  Giving feedback is educative for the givers also. And when feedback is given in learning communities, it can be educative for bystanders. Back@U can be used to build learning communities by letting users embed feedback mechanisms next to their work.

Project Description (300 word max):

Back@U turns Learning Labs inside-out; WWW is the lab, Back@U is an instrument. Its a mechanism that allows learners to gather feedback about their work from multiple sources. John Seely Brown illustrates Lave & Wegner’s concept of “legitimate peripheral participation” among copier repairmen to show how story telling in communities of practice creates effective training, even for novices.

Back@U’s feedback is more structured; learners post on the WWW and embed Back@U, where “judges” give feedback, similar to the iPhone app, Leaf Trombone World Stage.  Judges enter the community by having their work judged.  Judges improve in expertise using a mechanism similar to the ESP Game (Games With a Purpose) where agreement on tags earns points.  Rather than metadata tags, Back@U players agree on descriptive terms and phrases to describe the work using language the learning community values.  Back@U also provides a mechanism for community refinement of the criteria.

People freely engage in learning required to master games: attempting, getting feedback, trying new approaches. To reach a genuine achievement, learners need lots of trials, errors, and adjustments based on feedback. These are the same skills life-long-learners use; they approach learning as a challenge, a game.

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2 Responses

  1. […] This year we got involved with the MacArthur Foundation/HASTAC Digital Media and Learning Competition as a result of looking for colleagues interested in ideas that could transform the university (and the Land Grant mission) in line with the thinking above (see our DML entry). […]

  2. […] } In working on our DML competition entry, I found myself enumerating the features we’ve found important to our Harvesting Gradebook work. […]

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