“The building of [Domain of One’s Own]…doesn’t occur through any one, single course. It grows incrementally and organically as they move through the incremental and organic process of learning.”

Martha Burtis

Engaged pedagogy does not simply seek to empower students.  Any classroom that engages a holistic model of learning will also be a place where teachers grow, and are empowered in the process.

bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress


We begin this unit’s reading with a chapter that, notably, does not mention technology.  In Teaching to Transgress, bell hooks explores the notion of education as “the practice of freedom.”  The chapter invites us to think about the pedagogical frameworks within which we are situating Domain of One’s Own.  Reading hooks, we hope we can have discussion about our hopes for empowering students with a domain of their own.  Equally important to our discussions in this FLC is some collective reflection on how integrating domains into courses might also challenge and empower faculty.  bell hooks is (occasionally) on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bellhooks

Beyond thinking abstractly about Domain of One’s Own as space for critical engaged pedagogy, we are also sharing selected readings that explore the possibilities afforded by the web for teaching and learning. We read a chapter from Martin Weller’s book, The Digital Scholar, titled “The Pedagogy of Abundance.” Martin is a Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University, directs the OER Research Hub, and is a prolific blogger at http://blog.edtechie.net/ where he writes on Digital Scholarship, open education and impact of new technologies.  You can also follow him on Twitter here:  https://twitter.com/mweller . In this chapter, he suggests some of the broader implications and possibilities for radically different pedagogical approaches that digital, networked, and open approaches make available. At the center of Weller’s chapter is the notion of a new abundance of content and connections and its implications for teaching and learning.

In her short blog post, Bonnie Stewart explores the meanings of “open” that the Internet makes possible.  She’s looking in particular at the blurring of boundaries between privacy and professionalism in the sharing and thinking space of Twitter.  “It is the kind of ‘open’ that takes traditionally-closed subject roles like ‘teacher’ and ‘student’ and forces everyone to navigate new ways of interacting, based less on the safety net of hierarchy and formality and more on plain old engagement with ideas.” Bonnie’s piece might help us consider how working with domains invites faculty and students to reimagine their sense of their roles in the structures of teaching and learning.

How might domains be integrated in ways that empower students to participate more fully–to become agents of–their education?  Jody Rosen (an assistant professor of English) and Maura Smail (chief librarian) draw on their experiences at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY.  In this piece, instructor and librarian collaborate to imagine the ways that open platforms and tools empower students, as well as challenge faculty to reimagine their practices and experiment with new models and relationships in teaching and learning.

Finally, we share a video interview with Alec Couros by Internet pioneer Howard Rheingold.  Alec is a professor of educational technology and media at the University of Regina. In this short video (about 12 minutes), Alec shares his approach to networked and open learning and tells the stories of how his students make their learning visible online. Alec blogs at http://educationaltechnology.ca/couros/ .  We’ll read a longer article by Alec when we turn to scholarship and digital identity in our next unit. We suggest you follow Alec on Twitter here https://twitter.com/courosa

Additional Resources

It might be helpful to look at this small sample of DoOO teaching projects, demonstrating some of the ways that faculty and students are using domains in teaching and learning.


Katherine Ostrum teaches Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University. In this post, she blogs about teaching with Domain of One’s own.

http://digital.anthro-seminars.net/ and http://sts.anthro-seminars.net/

are two course sites created by Davidson College faculty member, Fuji Lozado.  They are both excellent examples of how to use your domain to create digital learning spaces, as alternatives or accompaniments to the LMS.

A short piece by W. Ian O’Byrne on moving from digital portfolios to Domain of One’s Own.


Featured Image by Alan Levine, 2016. CC0.