The goal of e-Literate TV (ETV) is to help school communities develop a working consensus around how they can use learning technologies to achieve important educational goals. For example, we’d like to be able to help schools that are motivated to improve student retention to identify appropriate ways that technology can help them do that. To do that, we have to do more than just provide relevant information. We have to provide it in a structure that encourages a productive culture of conversation and consensus building about these sorts of issues. It’s education as change management.
In order to make ETV useful in that way, we’re developing (inventing? rediscovering?) a number of design principles. The first one, which I’ve written about before, is differentiated engagement. The ways in which deans, advising faculty, non-advising faculty, technology support staff, and other stakeholders need to be involved in a conversation about, for example, adopting a retention early warning system are different, as are the needs and interests of different individuals who have these roles. With the layered, hyper- and transmedia approach that we are able to take with our episodes, we can invite people to participate in the ways and to the degrees that are appropriate for them. We can help them find their zones of proximal curiosity, encouraging them to explore the issues a little further than they might have on their own while also recognizing that each individual is going to have limitations on how much they need or want to know.
A second design principle we’re exploring is what we can call “community-negotiated focus.” Every school community is going to have its own collective zone of interest within a given topic. For example, Berkshire Community College may only be interested in MOOCs in cases where they are being used in an attempt to support remedial students or underserved populations, while Colorado State University Pueblo may be interested in how MOOCs are being used to flip classrooms and related labor issues. Once again, one size does not fit all. Phil’s recent post about our commitment to release the ETV videos under a Creative Commons license is intimately related to our goal of enabling ETV to be a resource that particular academic communities can customize to serve their particular needs.