Peer-Review Request for Open Courseware "Principles of Sustainability" Doculectures (Experimental Pedagogy in HD/Surroundsound)

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gmoller's picture
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This is a request for reviewers: I have a new, upper division, all majors (no prereqs), online open courseware course being rolled-out this Fall, "Principles of Sustainability" With the help of numerous faculty, students, and over 100 cinematographers across the globe, there are about 60 "doculectures" in production. The doculectures address a broad range of topics in sustainability, in addition to about 40 case studies - usually documentary shorts by independent filmmakers. The doculectures are shot in 1080p with dimensional sound and virtual elements. The idea of a doculecture is to couple the information intensity of a university lecture with the dynamic sights and sounds of a documentary. The presentations are not at the quality of a well-produced documentary, which can take a more than a year for an hour of program, but they are well above the level of current online lecture offerings. The goal is to educate and inspire, using what one reviewer at MIT called "a 21st Century technology for a 21st Century problem." The images, music, and footage used in the doculectures are rights managed/released. As of now about half of the doculectures are posted on the course web site and a large number are in post-production.

The 15-40 minute doculectures are information intensive and designed for fast twitch young brains. They can be seen in SD/HD and downloadable to smartphones; the sound is designed for headphones. The course intends to give a good range of current and future concerns in sustainability to students of all majors: for example teaching oil reserves to production ratio (RPR, currently at 48 yrs of supply left) to English majors and teaching the sociology of community to engineering majors. With already full curricula for most majors, my thought is that this elective course will allow a broad range of students the ability to have a better understanding of many of the major concerns that will dominate their future regardless of their career track; the content is designed to be accessible by a diverse range of students. Some additional course notes: syllabus will be posted online in the next couple of weeks; the course is designed to be challenging with a high workload and high degree of difficulty; the primary mode of assessment will be student case studies and papers; class interaction and homework associated with each doculecture is behind BlackBoard LMS; the complete collection of version 1.0 of the course will be online by Fall 2011 semester end.

  • **My request: ** any folks that care to take a peek at any of the doculectures and offer their comments, I would be most appreciative. This pedagogy is experimental and any suggestions for improvement would be highly appreciated. My email is gmoller(at)uidaho.edu

  • Realizing most people are super-busy, the 35 min doculecture "A Planet in Peril" contains powerful words from some world leaders and some incredible cinematography from collaborators; posted last week I have already had requests for alternate site embedding; it may be worth your time.

All the best, Greg Moller