Puttin’ the “fiction” back in “OpenFiction”
It’s been too long since I’ve written anything in this space about fiction in general, and the OpenFiction Project specifically. Events however conspire to bring both back to the fore. But first, a detour into advisory work. One of the real pleasures of my job is that I am asked quite often to provide advice to other open projects, a pay-it-forward activity that pays dividends back to me and MIT OpenCourseWare by helping us keep in touch with the latest developments in open education.
I’ve accepted a few requests to participate in advisory boards for projects, a larger commitment that I try to take on only as I have sufficient time and strong interest in the program. One of the projects I’ve advised for a while is Peer-to-Peer University, and it’s been a pleasure to watch that community develop over time (though I’m not sure my advising has had much to do with it). P2PU is a really innovative online learning community that has recently developed a new approach to supporting scalable learning based on challenges and badges. More at another time on how these work (or visit the P2PU blog for more information).
In discussions with (mostly) Philipp Schmidt, a co-founder of P2PU and fellow OCW Consortium board member, I realized that the challenges model they’d developed for HTML programming might also work very nicely for the OpenFiction Project courseware. I’d been meaning to do a little pruning on tOFP content for a while anyway, so I took the opportunity to do so, and then created a challenge for the first part of tOFP content on the P2PU site.
I’m not 100% sold on the way it is working together so far. I have tried in tOFP content to preserve as much of the original language and pedagogy of the online course from which the materials were taken as possible, and that language refers to craftbooks, bulletin boards and other features that were a part of the course structure, but are not part of the current site structure or the challenge structure. To work effectively with the materials in the P2PU context, users will have to understand the historicity of materials and how to use the P2PU features with the content. The alternative is to undertake a significant redraft of the content, tailoring it specifically to the P2PU format, something I might consider if the model seems to work.
Also, I’ve been asked recently to join the advisory board of Writing Commons, and this seems to coincide well with the above developments. I’m going to be writing a piece on tOFP and the above experiment for that site, which will give a better idea of how the P2PU/tOFP combination works. I will throw that up here as well.
Seems like the only thing not going on in my writing world is actual writing…