Are you open to feedback?

Cartoon from villagegreentownsquared.blogspot.com

The typical college course I designed and taught required students to  create projects or write papers on topics that were meaningful to them. Completed products were turned into to me. I provided feedback and rankings (gave them a grade). This model seems insufficient to me now. I had 20-30 students in each course. They were quite active creating multiple projects and papers. I was the only one providing feedback on everything.  And no one else saw their work. This was a learning prison where feedback was minimal and hidden.

The Internet has opened the world to opportunities for each of us to be artists. We can display our work in the open, and improve from the feedback we receive, and the connections we make.  

However, this is not easy to do. It takes practice to learn in this new open world of learning. When I approach faculty with the idea of learning in the open they are often full of fear. Afraid of being exposed as frauds by saying something incorrect. Afraid they may be doing something else wrong. Afraid their students will cheat. Afraid of the technology. Afraid it will be to much work. Afraid their students will say something inappropriate. Afraid of change.

When I create and share, and let my own light shine, I unconsciously give learners permission to do the same. This act of sharing liberates me from my our own fear, and the connection I make with other learners liberates them.

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