NC: Novel Content Sourcing: Reframing Curriculum for the 21st Century


In this session, we will offer the concept of novel content sourcing as a way to rethink the design of educational spaces in an increasingly diversified field of resources. While the early days of “Web 2.0” drew our attention to what appeared to be a clear cut division between traditional instructional models and newer open models, the rise of new collectives like Wikipedia and for profit enterprises like Facebook complicates the field. For students willing to consider the full array of options at their disposal, these new players appear alongside public and private institutions, giving students ways to select from a variety of learning experiences. For educators working inside of public or private institutions, these collectives can be viewed as a threat or as new possible resources and partners in advancing instructional practices. For these stakeholders, we think the concept of novel content sourcing can serve as a way to reconcile traditional institutional mandates to protect content with commitments individuals may hold to open and copyleft movements.

Looking beyond the classroom, novel content sourcing can reframe institutional perspectives on the roles of new collectives and other players. Thus far much of the dialogue from within educational administration has focused around the threat that many of these entities can pose. A novel content sourcing framework encourages us to ask whether there may be constructive partnerships that institutions can engage in to address new challenges around not only curriculum, but also issues of credentialing, privacy, and student services. In considering novel content sourcing as an approach to instructional and institutional design, a range of issues that are endemic, particularly within the landscape of higher education, rise to the surface. Resources developed without an educational aim may be capable of facilitating powerful learning experiences, but what other agenda is carried by the use of a tool like Facebook as a classroom or school resource? As a leader, how do you work with faculty who are resistant to the use of non-traditional instructional technologies? For that matter, as a teacher how do you work with students who crave traditional instructional modes when you’re developing a course using digital media? Through the use of the novel content sourcing concept, this panel will seek to raise these and other questions in an attempt to reveal just some of the conditions that attend the entrance of new collectives into the education dialogue.