Praxis – Digital Pedagogy Lab Tentative Course Outline

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that I’m going to be teaching the Praxis track at this August’s Digital Pedagogy Lab here at UMW (Sign up today! Spaces still available!). I’ve written elsewhere about my approach to the course (Intimacy! Vulnerability! Fun!), but I was inspired by my fellow instructor, Audrey Watters, who is teaching the Action track, to share the beginnings of my course outline for feedback (and advertising).

I’ve pasted it below, but I’m also opening up the Google doc version for comments, suggestions, and (as always) praise. This is a very preliminary version, so please be kind.

This track will be an in-depth application of pedagogical philosophies to our day-to-day practices in our classroom spaces. Participants will collaboratively support one another in the development of assignments both large and small that reflect a critical digital pedagogical approach. We will be also be working on solidifying the language we use to describe and explain our practices to our students, peers, and beyond. Finally, participants will have the opportunity to think about how these individual activities can fit into a larger course or program. This track will be less about specific tools and more about talking through ways we can empower our students to use them in meaningful ways.


  • Translate our critical digital pedagogies into practice in our classroom assignments and policies.
  • Create meaningful learning experiences with students.
  • Removing barriers and opening paths to experimentation and creativity.
  • Strategize ways to collaborate with and communicate our pedagogies to diverse stakeholders.

Questions and Provocations:

How do your assignments reflect your critical pedagogy? What are your critical pedagogical priorities? Where do you find support for the potentially experimental and unconventional assignments in your classroom?

“What Will Start Taking Shape By Friday” Project:

Participants will have a collection of resources, as well as their own assignments and/or syllabi that incorporate their critical digital pedagogy.

Recommended Readings:

“Play” by Mark Sample, from Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities.

“Learning in the Collective” by John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas.

“How Not to Plan Your Entire Course” by Chris Friend.

“We have Personalization Backwards” by Mike Caufield.

“Bob Ross-ing It” by Lee Skallerup Bessette. /uncategorized/bob-ross-ing-it/

Tentative Schedule:

Monday 8/8
What are our values?
Magical Thinking*

Tuesday 8/9
Looking for inspiration, evaluating
How do we adapt for our students and institution?
How do we compromise? What do we never give up?

Wednesday 8/10
Looking for tools.
How do we prioritize?
How do we “hack” the tools?

Thursday 8/11
Workshop our assignments
How do I talk about this to my colleagues? To our students?

Friday 8/12
Presentations and feedback

*So…what does this mean? I think we spend too much time focusing on the limitations placed on us and not enough time dreaming and imagining when it comes to putting our pedagogy into practice. Magical thinking is a space where there are no limitations, and we seek to conjure up the stuff of dreams. Or, nerd out over the perfect possibilities of our pedagogies.

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