This post from Andrew Rikard, a student from Davidson College is one the most insightful that I’ve read in some time. I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew on a recent trip and am a huge fan of his advocacy of the student voice.
I’m a huge fan of the Domain of One’s Own project - something I think all universities can benefit from - but it’s interesting how little is heard from students directly on the topic. In this post Andrew calls into question, not the motive but the benefit that can be gained by working in this space without changes to curriculum and the ways we measure and reward “learning” in higher ed.
I agree that owning data has the potential to give students agency and control. But it is not a guarantee.
I want to shift the emphasis from data possession to knowledge production. Gaining ownership over the data is vital—but until students see this domain as a space that rewards rigor and experimentation, it will not promote student agency. Traditional assignments don’t necessarily empower students when they have to post them in a public space.
While concepts like Students as Producers are vital in changing the idea of assessment, it’s important that what is produced and created is meaningful.
Another interesting question is whether assignments - and hence things like ePortfolios - actually represent a student, their identity and passions? Does putting these assignments in public and attaching value to them in this way actually counteract agency?
Andrew wraps up this post highlighting what Domain of Ones Own really represents:
The domains project isn’t revolutionary to the traditional classroom, but it is revolutionary to a classroom reimagined around public scholarship, student agency and experimentation. It makes sense when students find ownership in what they choose to create, how they put it online, and how it engages a broader audience. The question bigger than data ownership is how to make ownership over ideas happen.
Source: Do I Own My Domain If You Grade It?
Image: construction-clouds-reflecting-on-glass-and-windows by ahlea CC0