Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reflections on the Project and Plough Boys

This project has provided a really interesting learning opportunity.  Rather than knowing right at the start what our final product would look like, we, as a class, embarked on a journey.  The end result was a curriculum model and platform that I don't think any of us had expected at the start.  At the beginning of the semester, we struggled with the question of how to create an eBook that would be more than just a digital version of an anthology.  But what we created wasn't even an eBook.  Instead, our book evolved into a curriculum which took form not in writing, but in videos.  

So then we were, and remain, faced with new questions: who would use the system we had put together and how much of it would they use?  Would it be used primarily by high school/middle school instructors as supplementary material?  What about university level and homeschooling families?  If used in a classroom, what might be used?  The introduction videos? The quizzes?  It is certainly a lot of questions to answer.  My preliminary thought is that these videos would be useful as a part of an online course.  Online courses are being used more and more in today's society and the online medium would allow for easy integration of videos, online badge systems, and links to external study sources.

This learning process has also meant a lot of creative work on the part of the individual theme groups.  While we were only able to work on three of our six themes for the final product, each theme group had ideas and concerns about our individual topics.  As a member of the Plough Boys and Bibles group, I wondered how Plough Boys would have developed if we had time to create this theme's curriculum.  One of the question we had as a class generally which tied in particularly with this theme was the question of faith.  As students at a church-owned university, there is a (I think) natural desire to share our religious knowledge as well as or in conjunction with our secular knowledge.  Since the Plough Boys theme is all about the accessibility of religion, there is a ready-made connection here.  Like early Protestants, we want to make our religious beliefs accessible and understandable to others.  But we certainly don't want to cram our beliefs down anyone's throat or be so religiously focused that it adds a bias to our work.  This would limit our audience.  In short, the idea of "how much religion?" is both important to the Plough Boys theme and to our class in general.

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