Probably the most remarkable content this week was an interview (45 min) with Rob Blair on his (and many others’) course on Democratic Erosion (syllabus). This was all part of the online course I am taking for #openlearning19 at the Open Learning Hub.

This is team teaching on a whole new level. It is team learning. It is collaboration between students, professors, and institutions. It works because faculty, starting at Brown University, then expanding last year to more than a dozen universities, were all able to work together on a common syllabus, then sharing comments and produced work. This year there are over 25 universities involved.

Do watch the interview. Gardner Campbell covers the issues, starting with the technical, then moves on to design and administration. They get into the nuts and bolts of how the program was set up. It was enlightening. It is revolutionary. It breaks down the classroom walls and tasks students with creating relevant materials for distribution to a real audience. The content is now being collected by graduate researchers who will use it to synthesize into a body of work useful to the outside work. This is a truly relevant audience.

I floated the idea of working together within our department, and it went nowhere. I am now considering how to adapt this framework to my language classes here in Tokyo. There is a lot of potential.