I truly love the evolution and use of the ds106 assignment collection – we have almost 100 assignments to choose from each in the Visual and Design sections, all of them created by ds106 participants, and even rated by them for difficulty.
A downside is, well, some of them lend themselves to be done rather easily. Some of them, like What People Think I Do or Zombify Yourself are done simply by going to a web site and clicking a few buttons. You can satisfy the minimum of the requirements in an expedient fashion.
Or we have seen many ways people have used a wide range of graphic editing tools to complete the Color Splash Assignment versus other students who complete the assignment using an iPhone app.
Martha and I wonder how to deal with this not only on an assessment level, but as a concern over what the students are learning. I worry that in their zeal to accomplish the requirements of the assignments, that our students get too focused on the easiest route to the end. That they are just wanting to do enough to get the points.
So I find myself wondering what to do about this. We specifically do not prescribe how students create their works, this is so they can use software they have or find or discover. Yet, what I would like them to learn are the underlying principles of designing a good graphic, the use of layers, effects, control over transparency, using text controls, etc that you only get to in tools like PhotoShop, GIMP, and even on the web in some in Aviary.
Just as much as we want students to take control of their expression and presence on the web, we’d like them to leave with more creative schools than how to crank out a graphic in an app or a pre-rigged web site.
One way I can balance this is to have a richer expectation of creating the narrative around the works they create. Oka, you make a zombie image of your roommate, your cat, whomever in 5 minutes on Zombify, then you better do a lot more writing in your blog post- give me some story that this is part. I get really tired of commenting on a number of students who merely post an image as an assignment done with two sentences of explanation, when we have made it clear that there are criteria that need to me included – the idea, inspiration, story behind the story, and how it was created. I’m docking already for these deficiencies, but I am pondering how I can balance the expectation for doing more than using one-off apps.
It’s not to say you cant be creative with them, but there’s not much real learning gained by doing things the easiest way. So my students are going to have to show me a ton more creative snuff if they are going to slap out graphics with a web or mobile app.
Thoughts? Ideas? Does anyone even comment anymore? Bueller?
Do you see that photo at the top of this post? Scroll up and look at it again.
Pretty much any monkey or cicada could click a button. That is as complex as Facebook Liking. It is being a Minimum Champion:
That is not what ds106 is about.
ds106 is about doing things like re-rigging that stupid head button to make more wild noises, but opening it up, re-wiring the circuits, adding a variable resistor, circuit bending.
The world has enough mooc-headed button pushers- ds106 is about helping people learn how to bend the circuits.
Where do you want to be?
The post "why you should not be using one-off apps/sites for ds106" was originally pulled charred and crispy from a smoky charred oven at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2012/10/take-the-easy-path/) on October 3, 2012.