Reclaim Open Learning

better online learning for higher ed

Media Literacy Lab

September 19, 2013 by Claudia Caro Sullivan

Friederike Siller, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany
Jasmin Bastian, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany
Jöran Muuß-Merholz, Agentur J&K – Jöran & Konsorten

The pMOOCs of Media Literacy Lab
An Approach to project-based, problem-based and open learning #mlab13

The Media Literacy Lab was founded in Summer 2013. It is intended for learners in the realm of media education. Not only students but also teachers and parents, programmers and journalists (simply everyone who is interested) can participate in the online projects of the lab. Together we will work on the challenges and tensions within the field of internet and society from a pedagogical perspective on media.

Our courses are open regarding to enrollment, pedagogy, organization, resources and technology (see more in our video).

On our courses students are not primarily “learning”, but “working” on projects. E.g., in our pilot course of June/July 2013 about 250 course participants collaborated for three weeks to review apps for children. In the first section they developed a catalogue of criteria for rating apps. Students were supported by coaches from different fields from usability to child protection. In the second section the students wrote nearly 100 reviews of apps for children employing their criteria. They worked mostly in groups and were given peer-to-peer feedback on their work. There were also some students producing podcasts interviewing their own children about their favorite apps.

Our work is based on a combination of pedagogies that aim to make learners active and connected. We are calling it a “pMOOC”. The “p” is for problem-based (or task-based) learning, for project-based learning and for practice. Furthermore we are applying principles of connected and constructivist learning, peer-to-peer education and interest-driven learning. Our courses are supposed to build communities of practice.

One of the main goals is to bring together academia and practitioners, students and teachers, users and developers. This also contributes to people under served in our educational system. We lower the barriers for lifelong learning, lower the barriers between formal and informal learning, lower the barriers between lurking and contributing, lower the barriers between learning, working and teaching, lower the barriers between offline and online learning.

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