Testing HootCourse for 'studio' environment in EDP4130

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been doing some updates to my EDP4130 Technology Curriculum and Pedagogy course. Mostly I’ve been working through the assessment elements and I’m now at the stage of reworking the major assessment piece.

When I’ve run this course, or its predecessor, in the past I’ve used a major assignment in which whole classes have worked collaboratively to develop curriculum materials that are made available in a shared pool. Students appreciate the chance to develop resources that they can expect to use post-graduation and are challenged by the need to manage the process with a large group.

Until last year I had only ever attempted that with face-to-face classes. That presented some challenges but generally worked well. Last year we had a completely online section as well as face-to-face on multiple campuses. Management for the students in the online section was substantially more challenging so I’m looking for alternatives that preserve the best aspects of getting multiple heads working on the same materials but avoid some of the more awkward challenges in the online environment.

I’ve often thought that a ‘studio’ approach might work by exposing sufficient of the works in progress to gain the benefits of constructive comment but managing that in a typical Moodle environment is not easy. Discussion forums do not seem appropriate and the Moodle blogs are awkward and limited. I was considering using external blogs and pulling relevant posts in through an RSS feed from Diigo or Delicious with students using ifttt or some other process to automatically post bookmarks to their posts into the pool. Now I’m wondering if HootCourse might achieve that and a little more. Hence this test post from my HootCourse.