Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 11 seconds

Riddle: Opportunity for Rhizomatic Curriculum

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 11 seconds

Talk about an opportunity to apply rhizomatic learning! I was planning to make my class more of a “community as curriculum” than my usual (which already is my approach, quite a bit) but I may be given a golden opportunity to do this.

I might end up teaching TWO different courses within the same class period. As in, half my students will need to be learning one set of standards, to be awarded a particular course, and the other half another set of standards.

Now, I never really “stick” to standards in a strict way, but rather define them broadly and negotiate what they mean, how we can reach them, and how they would be useful to my students throughout the semester. I try to have room for students to meet their own learning goals in each assessment we do, an assessment they can use in their context rather than just submit to me.

But having students clearly see that their objectives for taking the course are completely different (even the externally set objectives in this case!) – this will both help clarify for them the concept of rhizomatic learning, where a community can support each other but each individual can still have their own goal
it will be a heck of a challenge for me to show if I can really do this and make it work! I an asynchronous setting, this is easy. In a f2f setting… Not sure! One approach might be to occasionally hold an asynchronous online class for one group while i meet the other f2f.

Important note: half the students will have taken a course with me before. The same course title/number that the others are taking for the first time (course on ethical, legal, social and human issues in ed tech). Thankfully, i was planning to teach the course quite differently anyway! They may not recognize it from last year! Haha

The other course is a bit more defined by the institution in that it is like a capstone course for the entire ed tech diploma, where students need to create a project integrating their learning across the diploma courses. And present it to others.

I know I can do this… I don’t know exactly how, yet, and I think this will develop as I get to know my students and start working with them towards something meaningful. I am pretty sure I will need help!!!

I am asking others to brainstorm with me… I have a few ideas in my head, but would like to hear others’ ideas… Hence the blog… Putting myself out there ๐Ÿ™‚

14 thoughts on “Riddle: Opportunity for Rhizomatic Curriculum

  1. o Maha I look forward to hearing how you do this challenge! I’m just thinking something a bit similar myself this week – one class I’m teaching is badged as both for credit and not, to meet needs of different courses and cohorts while giving students the chance to do it, and after a couple of years of having them all together and watching the numbers rise, I’m thinking I should offer an entirely online version for the non-credit students and give the credit students a blended, flipped class experience, so they do the online version plus have classroom time to workshop assignments together and discuss in greater depth perhaps than might happen online.. it’s a class for PhD writers, so they essentially have their own learning goals anyway, in the form of improving their own writing for their project, but I’m thinking it would be nice to have a comparative study going on of the online only version vs the blended version… love to chat further with you about this kind of thing ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. starting in just a few weeks Maha, so much to do prep wise… I think it’s the way to go, as long as I can get the website to meet my own standards in time ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. When in doubt, I ask Goha.

    Once Goha was invited to deliver a sermon. He climbed up on the minbar and asked, “Do you know what I am going to say?”

    The audience replied “No.” So he said, “I have no desire to speak to people who don’t even know what I will be talking about!” Then he left.

    The people were embarrassed and called him back the next day. He asked the same question but this time the people said, “Yes!”

    So Goha said, “Well, since you already know what I am going to say, I won’t waste any more of your time!” Then he left.

    This confused people even more. They decided to try one more time. Once they invited the Teacher to speak the following week.

    And once again he asked, “Do you know what I am going to say? ”

    But, this time they were prepared: half of them answered “Yes” and the other half answered “No”.

    So Goha said, “Let the half who know what I am going to say, tell it to the half who don’t,” and then he left.

    1. Really? How do you mean “you have an Egyptian family”? ๐Ÿ™‚ it could mean many things and now I am curious… Could mean host family while you studied abroad, or Egyptian study abroad who stayed with you, or one Egyptian parent, or Egyptian wife, or…. Uncertain ๐Ÿ™‚

      Maha Bali, PhD. Associate Professor of Practice, Faculty Developer, center for Learning and Teaching The American University in Cairo

      Sent from my iPad


      1. My wife is Egyptian and everyone speaks Arabic at home. We have a home in Alexandria. I’m waiting for things to settle down in Egypt so we can leave Saudi Arabia… been here long enough. Tried to get work at AUC but they have VERY narrow view of who they’re looking for.

    2. Mark, just so you know, I’ve told this Goha story to a couple of people at work today and we all agree I gotta say it in the beginning of class!!! Also… I might actually do it! Some of the students took one course with me that I am now teaching the other group – so I’ll ask them to try to teach part of the course to the others. Thanks a million! (will try to find you elsewhere to continue personal conversation about Egypt)

  3. Hi Maha, i do not know what the content is like but put in your situation, if the content is fairly similar, then one of the things i’d definitely do is ask the 2 halves to teach each other, to exchange ideas, etc while i facilitate. You will definitely have to let us know how this pans out.

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