Peter Taylor;
Peter J. Taylor, UMass Boston

Sydney 2018: Infrastructure and co-design

Collaborative Explorations (CEs) aim to support and build trans-national community beyond formal programs of study and engage participants in deep and meaningful self-directed learning inquiries.  Since 2013, the graduate programs in Science in a Changing World and in Critical & Creative Thinking at UMass Boston have hosted more than 30 CEs with participants across the globe.

CEs are an extension of Project-Based Learning (PBL) and related approaches to education in which participants address a scenario or case in which the problems are not well defined, shaping your own directions of inquiry and developing your skills as investigators and prospective teachers (in the broadest sense of the word). The basic mode of a CE centers on interactions in small groups over a delimited period of time, designed to sustain the face-to-face PBL experience of re-engagement with yourself as an avid learner and inquirer. An online CE consists of live sessions for an hour over 4 weeks and exchanges on a private community between sessions.

This Making and Doing presentation will provide information to help others run their own CEs, display samples of the process and products of CEs, offer a 15-20 minute experience of tools and processes used for inquiry, dialogue, reflection, and collaboration in CEs.  The topic of these micro-CEs will concern the challenges of drawing wider attention and adoption/adaption of initiatives in STS that subvert the neo-liberal logic that clicks and going viral is what count in the digital age.

I've changed. I've changed on all levels. On a political level. Work level. Personal level. Professional level. And it has been a positive change I have an infrastructure in my brain, so I know what I am doing now when I am with people, when I work in groups. (A new CE participant’s reflection at the end of her first CE, December 2013)

—– (n.d.) Collaborative Explorations,

Taylor, P.J., F. Sullivan and J. Szteiter  (2014) Slow EdTech: Pedagogical principles, collaborative explorations, and persistent challenges, Working Papers in Critical, Creative, and Reflective Practice,