The World Wide Web forms a big part of everyday life as well as work and study. It’s where we share knowledge, form opinions and engage with journalism, politics, education, culture and science. But are we critically engaging with how websites and online services are made and how they work?
Coventry.Domains Learn is an open resource comprised of over 50 guides to support students and staff to make use of institutionally provided web hosting for the purposes of learning, teaching and research communication. Topics include onboarding and technical information through to guides on accessibility, privacy and copyright. The resource frames the Coventry.Domains initiative as an opportunity to understand what the World Wide Web is, issues related to different experiences on the web, and the expanded role of the web in contemporary life (Heywood, 2019). All with the intention of introducing Coventry.Domains not only as a means of creating portfolios and blogs, but as a possible space to play with the broader potentials of making and sharing work online.
This presentation will use Coventry.Domains microsite Learn as a touchstone to explore ways in which the open web as platform can boost digital fluency and foster active learning by providing access to the means of web production. We will present how open web principals such as those outlined in ‘Seven ways to think like the web’ underpin the content of Coventry.Domains Learn (Udell, 2011). By exposing the technologies that make up the web and providing materials that outline strategies for working on the web, learners can go beyond developing the literacy to complete a task for a defined purpose towards building the procedural knowledge to work and live in a hyperconnected world. The presentation will use social space as a conceptual tool to understand virtual space to propose how framing free institutional hosting as a ‘possible space’ promotes learner agency, emancipatory practices, and opens new potentials for teaching online (Lefebvre, 1991; Stavrides, 2018).
We will describe the process of planning and compiling the resource to work at scale: to meet the needs of a large diverse community of students and staff at Coventry University, as well as the public. Coventry.Domains and microsite Learn were imagined to propose that all should have access to the means of web production as well as the agency to learn on the web in such a way that does not necessitate working under surveillance capitalism. The initiative also aims to advance the argument that educators and students should have the means to envision and test new forms of working and collaborating online. The presentation will explore how the resource has been designed to drive practices and scale to this end.
Heywood, L. (2019, September). Learning on the Open Web [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://coventry.domains/learn/learn-on-the-open-web/ [Accessed 15/01/2019]
Lefebvre, H. (1991). The Production of Space. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Stavides, S. (2018). The Potentials of Space Commoning: The Capacity to Act and Think through Space. In N, Dockx et al (Ed.). Commonism: A New Aesthetics of the Real (pp.345-358). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Valiz.
Udell, J. (2011, January). Seven ways to think like the web [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://blog.jonudell.net/2011/01/24/seven-ways-to-think-like-the-web/ [Accessed 15/01/2019]