P2PU Poetry Learner Goals and Metacognition

For the P2PU Course Hack this Poem, Tracy Tan and I put learner goals and metacognition front and center in its structure.

Previous courses have been content-centered–I selected poems that I thought were the best at what they did.  Extended metaphor, voice and tone, deploying mystery–I had my pet poem for each box.  Tracy’s input and recent reading have prompted us to recast the course as goal-centered.  Instead of my favorite poems, what is it we really want learners to know, and what do they want to learn?

These considerations have radically changed the way we approach the P2PU Course for the better.  Scholar Elsebeth Korsgaard Sorensen notes the tether between metacognition and collaborative dialogue which we hope to implement here. In the first week of the P2PU course we’ve asked learners break down their favorite poems into parts, they’ll be answering the question “this poem works because….”  We’ll be pulling all of those aspects of “successful” poems together as the course’s rubric.  Folks will evaluate themselves and each other based on a commonly-determined set of criteria.  Each week will be a cyclical self-assessment, where the learner moves through the group-established objectives.

But while Sorensen makes note that we need to check course interactions that seem to go on without end (The Continuing Dialogue) course momentum isn’t discussed.  How can we design courses with smart pacing to keep learners coming back?  For P2PU, we’re releasing the course tasks 1 at time, per week, so the course comes in waves, and learners have fresh tasks and content to come back to week-to-week.

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