Tuesday, June 14, 2016

LEM: Community Portfolio

Below is my response for the Learning Design Challenge #10: Sharing Individual Content via Community Portfolios. #DailyLEM10

This is something I really want to do for my own classes next year, both with memes created by the students (and their thoughts about those memes), and also the stories they write. For this example, I pursued the meme idea since that fits in nicely with the workshop on open content that we did earlier this summer, but without specifying the nitty-gritty of the community space: Incorporating Open Content.

Right now, students have their own blogs and/or websites as individual portfolios, and I curate content myself (I pin new stories to Pinterest Boards like this one: Indian Epics Fall 2016 which students see at the Project Directory class page), and I keep a lasting archive (eStorybook Central), but I would like to create something more student-driven, where they are putting content into the community space based on what they consider their best work. Right now I don't even have mechanisms in place to harvest the memes they share/create; I only curate stories.

As I've been wrestling with this question for a long time, I see it more as a technology problem than a design problem: I know what I would like to have happen but I had a hard time finding the technology to support it... until now! While on my evening walk yesterday, I had a real brainstorm, and I'm excited to share that here!

What is your desired experience for the activity?
* I want students to be able to share the best things they create (memes, stories) with other students in the class, and I want students to be able to easily discover that content. My goal is to diminish my curatorial and administrative role in order to hand more of that over to the students; after all, only the students know what they consider to be their best work!

How will you motivate participants to engage in “authentic” sharing?
* Students already create content in their own spaces, and they visit each other's spaces as a mode of sharing and learning, and motivation there is very high — so I don't need to do any motivating; students will be even more motivated if I can help them drive the curation process more actively.

What kind(s) of feedback make the most sense for this kind of environment?
* I already have some good student commenting processes in place; my goal here is to add new avenues both of sharing and of discovery which will improve the commenting: the more students are identifying their own best work and, consequently, finding content that is really high quality, the better the commenting process will be.

What are some possible constraints for this design?
* The real constraints are technological: specifically, the mechanisms for sharing (students identifying best content that they put into the shared space) and the mechanisms for discovery (students exploring the shared space to discover what they like best).

Plus: A technological nice-to-have...
* I would like to have one version of the solution be Canvas-friendly; I personally don't use an LMS for my class space, but if I could find a way to make this work in the Canvas space, it is more likely to be an option other faculty at my school would consider.


EURKEA: Inoreader! The key to my solution is this: I will use Inoreader (which currently aggregates all incoming content from my students' blogs), and specifically I will use Inoreader Rules. So, if students include a keyword in their blog post somewhere, I can use an Inoreader Rule to automatically assign a tag. I will just need to write up instructions for how students can add a simple but distinctive keyword (like MemeGallery, one word) when they want to flag something as best content. I can also manually add the tag, if needed, and if a student changes their mind, I can also remove the tag manually. (I already have some processes like this in place for student-generated content; for example, here is the stream of stories for the class — but without a student self-nomination process: Myth-Folklore Stories.)

Once the self-nominated content is tagged for the Gallery, I can then easily redisplay that content in all kinds of ways!

I can put it in Canvas, like this: Meme Gallery. To do that, I use Inoreader's export to HTML feature:


Even better: IFTTT will deliver that content to all kinds of platforms! In IFTTT, the trigger is "Inoreader: New tagged article" (including articles tagged by a rule). Then, the IFTTT action can really be anything. Just to show one example here, I set up a Tumblr that will be filled with content automatically. Here's the IFTTT recipe:

And here's the resulting Tumblr: Meme Gallery Tumblr. Of course, I can play with the gazillions of Tumblr themes to find the best display. I also have access to all the features of Tumblr too. Lots to explore there! I just set this up super-quickly as a test case.

Why Tumblr? An excellent Tumblr feature for my purposes is the randomizer. Randomizers are essential for browsing and discovery for this type of content, and Tumblr is great at delivering posts at random (just add /random to the Tumblr URL). Here's the link: Meme Gallery - Random! I also included that randomizing link in the Canvas page.

VERY happy with this. The real magic is in the technology here, not so much the design. I am so excited to try this out with real student blogs in the Fall!!!

Click here for full-sized view:


Update: I had faked the Inoreader tag to test this out, but I also put a rule in place that will scan all my blog posts just like I want to scan all incoming student blog posts... and it worked! I just published my Growth Mindset Cat meme and because the keyword appeared in the post, presto, there it is in Canvas!


Update: I also created an IFTTT recipe with Pinterest... and that worked too! There's the cat, automatically sent to Pinterest:

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