Image by poptech via FlickrMike Wesch posted this video to YouTube via his channel. I like his work. I have been in classrooms that size before, and he seems to make his work just as much about that class as the rest of the world. I love that he starts this out with a quote from McLuhan who becomes more relevant as information and networks expand and deepen. I am really interested in assessing user-created content like Wikipedia, collaborative projects, and personal blogs. This kind of content is no longer the information of the future but what is happening today. Creating content via social media and networks is a different project than a 20-page research paper with a single author. The kind of culture that sustained that kind of academic research is shrinking and yet, that is what we are training students to do: to publish in journals that will no longer exist in the form they are currently in IF they will even exist at all. What Wesch's videos do is get people thinking about what we need to do as teachers and students to participate in this "new" culture. One of his first videos "A vision of students today," was seen by some faculty I showed it to as depressing and confrontational. It depends on your perspective, I guess. Another faculty member I was working with saw it as a wake-up call - a joyful, liberating call and we rewrote her syllabus to include the tools the students were actually using. In other words, it is painfully obvious that the media we are using to teach is woefully out-dated and becoming irrelevant. The only people who are going to go on and make a living writing 20-page papers are people who are going to go on to make other students write 20-page papers or publish in journals that publish 20-page papers. And why would you assess every subject the same way? We are missing an opportunity to help students become life-long, creative participants in knowledge creation.
I am interested in your response to Wesch's work. Feel free to comment: where do you think assessment is going to go in the world of collaborative authorship and social media?