Metathink #2: Fair Use

I decided to reflect on the Fair Use post that I completed, using a few of the questions provided for the “thinking about thinking” assignment as a guide for my reflection.

What did you find most challenging? I found it difficult to get over my concern about potentially breaking copyright law and actually post the copyrighted materials in a public forum online. I frequently use/used copyrighted materials in my teaching, but that was usually within the confines of a classroom or hidden behind a password-protected LMS, so I felt “safer” about it. I could relate to Linnea’s fear about “being a criminal,” especially because I chose to use a photograph from the New York Times— a photograph is a creative element, and the New York Times isn’t a small or inconsequential publishing entity. Linnea posted a “Fair Use Evaluator” tool, and I think I will use this frequently in the future to help justify my use of copyrighted materials, so that I can use the best possible materials confidently.

Why do you think I required it? I particularly liked this assignment because it moved us beyond just “thinking” about fair use in the academic sense, and gave us the opportunity to practice fair use. Last semester, I took ED 653 (Instructional Design) and one of the concepts frequently emphasized was the value of “performance-based learning.” We learn by doing, and I think this assignment gave us the opportunity to “do” and therefore “learn.”

What advice would you give a student if you could travel into the future and give them advice? I would advise them to push the limits of what they feel comfortable with, copyright-wise. In other words, this is your opportunity to get feedback on what is/isn’t fair use… in the future, you’ll have to make that decision on your own. So don’t “play it safe” for this assignment; use materials that are questionable so you can take advantage of the feedback and start figuring out for yourself what works and what doesn’t.

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Collaborate (a little) & metathink

Collaborate (a little)

For this assignment, I met in a Google Hangout with Sarah, D’Arcy, and Linnea. These were the original 10 statements we were asked to discuss/revise:

  1. We should have a high degree of tolerance for group members who are late to synchronous meetings or do not attend due to other obligations.
  2. Creating friendships and completing the group task are equally important.
  3. Criticizing other group members should be avoided.
  4. All group members should have identical goals and reasons for being involved.
  5. Majority rule is the best method of group decision making.
  6. If one group member is not pulling his or her weight, the other group members should confront that person together.

During the Google hangout, we went item-by-item and discussed whether or not we agreed with each statement. These were our final statements, which D’Arcy made into an infographic.

  1. The most important goal for a group in this class would be to complete the stated task(s).
  2. Groups are most productive when a leader steps forward to run meetings and allocate tasks.
  3. Group members should do everything in their power to attend scheduled synchronous meetings on time.
  4. While a good working relationship is important, completing the group task is the most important priority.
  5. Group members should respectfully engage in constructive criticism when appropriate.
  6. Resolving small conflicts in a professional manner will help prevent conflict escalation and group dysfunction.
  7. Whenever possible, group members should attempt to reach a consensus to make a decision. When that’s not possible or time is limited, relying on the leader’s guidance or majority rule is acceptable.
  8. Group members should be held accountable for their contributions to the group.
  9. Depending upon the learning objective, groups should be evaluated as a whole, as individuals, or some combination of the two.

Thinking about the thinking

What did you find most challenging? It was somewhat challenging to find a time that worked with four very different schedules. I am also on the east coast, so meeting at 6pm AK time meant it was 10pm my time. That really wasn’t a problem for me- I just realized I probably don’t do my best work at 10pm!

What questions remain? I am curious to see how these statements are used later on in the class. I would also be curious to hear how/why other students came to different conclusions about the statements (as compared to our group).

Why do you think I required it? I think it was a great opportunity to practice collaboration. I liked having the flexibility to complete it in a small group instead of partners, too, as that changed the dynamic in terms of collaboration and dialogue.

What advice would you give a student if you could travel into the future and give them advice? Plan ahead! Too, I’d recommend using whatever tools you have available / are comfortable with. D’Arcy set up a Doodle poll to coordinate a time to meet, and Sarah set up a Google Hangout link. Using both of these tools helped streamline our coordination and made completing the assignment that much easier.

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