April 15, 2015

Rhizo15... Learning SUBjectives: whoo-hoo!

LEARNING SUBJECTIVES!!! Just having this phrase in my vocabulary already makes #rhizo15 a triumph... because I loathe learning objects. Yes, I LOathe LOs. Here's Dave's video:

I have no idea what my students are going to learn in my classes. I hope they learn A LOT... but I know that they are all going to learn different things. It would be horrifying, in fact, if we were all learning the same thing.

Thinking the same things.

Saying the same things.

Going in the same direction.

So, three cheers for LEARNING SUBJECTIVES. If anybody ever tries to get me to define my learning objectives, I will reply ... with subjectives. :-)

Subjectivity is my objective.

Choice. Cuique suum: to each their own.

For example:

One of the best things I did in my Myth-Folklore class this year was to create something I call the UnTextbook, which is a giant collection of myth and folklore readings from around the world, and the students build their own textbook week by week with the choices they make. Students take notes on their favorite stories from what they read each week (they share those notes in their blogs), and then they retell one of the stories in their own way (and the stories go in their blogs too). So, one layer of personal choice and then another layer of personal choice... all those blogs, all those stories — and then at the end of the week, they visit each other's blogs and see what they can learn from each other.

Different reading, different writing... nothing the same. The best antidote to boredom I can think of, as well as the best recipe for learning.

When I did the calculations based on students choosing and choosing and choosing week by week from all those reading units, I calculated that this is the number of possible textbooks:

This summer, I am really excited about building an UnTextbook like this for my Indian Epics class.

MY SUBJECTIVE: I'm hoping that #rhizo15 will give me all kinds of ideas to energize that process.

Varietas delectat.
Variety delights.


  1. I love this untextbook idea, Laura! I love even more that you did the math to accompany it! Kindred pedagogical spirits!

    1. Ann, she does not just do the math, she grabs code to randomize it all!

    2. Ha ha, Vanessa saw that whole summer happen: the math was hilarious, because it started from a few thousand combinations in May, and then ZOOM, the numbers got bigger and bigger as I got the 100 units done month by month.

      And it will be happening again this summer, Ann! Indian Epics won't be quite as wild... but it's going to be pretty wild!

      Vanessa, did you see about the Amar Chitra Katha comic books??? OMG: they went on sale (70% off!), so I bought them... AND the Univ. of Oklahoma Library (thanks to Stacy the miracle-worker) bought a set too, so I can include the comic books as reading options!!!
      Amar Chitra Katha: Ultimate Collection

  2. Laura, I'm a big fan of your uncourses, as you know. And now I'm in awe of your maths or code even! I am thankful that you have it all open and so I might be able to share some of your goodness with some of my teachers and students.

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Tania! I have had so much fun connecting with you in our different spaces thanks to Connected Courses... and now the Rhizo. This is going to be so much fun! I am cataloging my comic books today, whoo-hoo. I hope I can make a useful catalog so that people can more easily find what interests them (the ACK site is a little confusing, lots and lots of clicks, not so easy to search). So much fun!!! :-)


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