Watched Taking Care: Affective Labor in Digital Learning from OEERxDomains2021 (YouTube)

Apr 21, 4:45 AM 30 min

Speakers:Lee Skallerup Bessette and Susannah McGowan

Openness can be fraught for faculty; the classroom has often been a sanctuary of academic freedom and teaching approaches are personal in the strongest sense. In preparing our faculty for the Fall 2020 semester, we, as faculty developers and academic technologists at CNDLS at Georgetown University, were working with faculty who were openly discussing their pedagogy and the limits of their knowledge of digital tools and learning strategies.

The work moved us past knowing “what works” or “what’s possible” (Hutchings, 2000) in using tools into the realm of affective labor (Horthchild, 2012), where we managed a complex interplay of support, emotions, and uncertainty in order to evoke the proper emotions from faculty. To make our expertise on pedagogy and digital tools “stick” (Ahmed, 2010) we worked within our own emotions while fielding the emotions of faculty. But this work, while taxing, has borne fruit: more faculty are embracing open pedagogical practices such as Domains, ungrading (Blum & Kohn, 2020), and flipping the classroom (Talbert, 2017). The presentation will work to uncover the affective labor we have been practicing, ways to acknowledge it, and what joys it can bring.

  • Ahmed, S. (2010). The Cultural Politics of Emotion. Routledge.
  • Blum, S. D., & Kohn, A. (2020). Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (And What to Do Instead). West Virginia University Press.
  • Hochschild, A.R. (2012). The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling (3rd ed.). University of California Press.
  • Hutchings, P. 2000. Approaching the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. In Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, edited by P. Hutchings, 1–10.
  • Talbert, R. (2017). Flipped learning: A guide for higher education faculty. Stylus Publishing, LLC.

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

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