The theme of the phonar (photography and narrative) class is to address some of the big concerns of the 21st-century photographer, some of which I described above. Therefore it was most appropriate to make the class itself a model of what it investigates. As the syllabus directs the students to use other people’s work and allow other people to use theirs, the class itself is licensed CC BY-SA (the Creative Commons licence that enables attributed sharing) and draws on the input of both collaborators and attendees.The full article is over on the JISC site.
The theme of the phonar (photography and narrative) class is to address some of the big concerns of the 21st-century photographer. Therefore it was most appropriate to make the class itself a model of what it investigates.The tasks within the classes encourage photographers to investigate the communities behind a particular subject area and then to draw on their expert knowledge – rather than taking a picture of a homeless person students will investigate the underlying causes and integrate people embodying those causes in their work. The same is true for the class itself.
In practical terms, this means we begin by asking: What is the role of the 21st-century photographer?
This complex question is posed to the community as a framing device to establish the thematic environment in which the class’s conversation can take place. US military strategy teaches that one cannot control a battle, but if one can dictate the battlespace then it becomes possible to affect how it evolves. Similarly, the educator’s role is to define the landscape and curate a coherent learning-journey through chosen specialists who generate a wide range of content. Simultaneously, the phonar programme assigns practical tasks that are necessarily informed and framed by the thematic content but have the latitude for personal interpretation, implicitly encouraging a sense of ownership.
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Phonar - a case study
As part of Open Education Week JISC just published a case study of Phonar (the open undergraduate class that Matt Johnston and I run over at Coventry University).