Welcome to Data, Code, Ethics at Digital Pedagogy Lab!


Seriously, if you haven't read the Getting ready and getting started page, click that link above. RIGHT NOW! :) It has important information that you need before the start of DPL.

The Covid–19 pandemic has changed many things, including the format of the Lab and this course. Let me be clear right from the start that you are in charge of your path through this course. If you've been aching for community, we're here and waiting for you! If the Lab is your much needed opportunity to lock yourself in a room alone with your thoughts, we've got plenty to read, write, and wrestle quietly with. If you've got all the time in the world this week, holy cats do we have things to do. If you've just got a couple hours each night after the kids are asleep, take the opportunities you can and choose the activities most important to you. There are no "read this by Wednesday at 9am" rules, nor "post once, reply twice" strictures. You're in charge.

That said, there are a few things I'd like to ask everyone to try to do this week:

  • Try to do something every day. We're together too short a time not to make use of it. (Though, I know things come up, many of which are more important.)
  • When you do something for this course — read, write, or perform a hands-on activity — share an insight with the group. This could be anything from a sentence to a blog post. Something tricky you overcame, something profound you took away, anything you think might be of value to others.
  • Do something of each topic. The course purposefully brings data, code, and ethics together. At some point in the week, please engage each of them in a substantive way. And to the extent possible, wrestle with their intersections. This includes learning to code (a little bit). More on that later.
  • Do something of each activity type. Don't just read ... or write ... or wrestle with the tech. Do your best to do some of each at least once this week.
  • Make it relevant. Try to make at least one of your acvtivies this week a substantial creation that you can bring home to your institution, your discipline, or some aspect of your day-to-day. A revised syllabus, a new assignment, plans for a research paper or policy proposal. Something that ties data, code, and/or ethics to your work in or around education.

The work

You will find three kinds of work: reading, writing, and hands-on. There is much more information about each of these on the appropriate pages on this site. As discussed above, you are in control and can choose what to engage and what not to engage, but please diversify your work: do some reading, some writing, some hands-on (including learning to code); engage data topics, code topics, and ethics topics.

Also, some of these activities and readings are student-friendly. In fact, you'll find modules lifted right from the University of Mary Washington's Domain of One's Own curriculum (which I helped create). There are also readings and activity prompts that I've used in my own undergraduate teaching. If any of them appear useful for your own teaching, feel free to borrow liberally.

Full details can be found on these pages:

Online discussion

Our primary discussion forum will be Slack. (Follow that link to our Slack community, or click on "Discuss" in the site menu above.) It's much more conversational than a threaded discussion forum, and I have used it for every online course I have taught (if I had the institutional freedom to choose the discussion forum, that is). It's not perfect, but it is very good for our purposes. If it's new and/or challenging for you, feel free to reach out to me. I'm Slack-fluent and I'm happy to help you out. You also may find this video (from a previous online DPL course I taught) helpful. It's a few years old, and some things have changed since then, but not much. It should help you get your bearings.

Live meetings

This course is designed to be primarily asynchronous, i.e., you choose what to do and do it on your own schedule. However, we will have daily check-in meetings and three "office hours" times for us to gather. These are completely optional, but I encourage you to come as much as you can, even if just to chat with others in the course. We can also add impromptu meetings, as needed. And, of course, you are free (and encouraged!) to meet with each other in smaller groups.

We will meet live every day immediately following the morning announcements for approximately 30 minutes. Assuming morning announcements run approximately 30 minutes, that will mean starting at approximately 9:30am EDT (13:30 UTC) every day. These meetings begin on Day 1 (Sunday, 26 July) and end on Day 8 (Sunday, 2 August).

I will also hold "office hours" on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (27, 29, and 31 July), 5pm–6pm EDT (21:00–22:00 UTC).

These meetings will take place via Zoom. For security reasons, I will share the Zoom link in Slack and will not post it here.

Contacting me

The best and fastest way to get a hold of me is via Slack. If that's what you're having trouble with, or you want to get in touch with me in a more familiar or long-form format (or after the course is over), you can email me at kris.shaffer@protonmail.ch.

Thanks to lucas law for making this photo available freely on unsplash.