And it was here, within the customary introduction stage of the course a reference by Kate Bowles @KateMfD to “hospitable pedagogy” immediately caught my eye. The reason being that only last week I read “Critical Digital Literacies as Social Praxis” where, in the chapter by Anna Smith and Glynda Hull, I came across the concept of hospitality as an aspect of Cosmopolitanism (p.63-66).
On first encounter, the notion of hospitality really resonated with me (see why), and it did so again when it emerged in a #moocmooc Twitter chat as an associated concept of Internationalism. Ironically though, I missed the chat itself because of what might be considered the inhospitable pedagogical design of the MOOC MOOC course (time-zone grief!!).
Hospitality forms a crucial part of cosmopolitan philosophy as it foregrounds our relationships with guests, outsiders, foreigners and others, and as such is significant for online participants in a global and digital age. As Kate points out, every online host is sometime a guest and every guest can be a host somewhere too. Furthermore, there are increasing opportunities for people of diverse ages, nationalities and socio-economic positions to engage with new kinds of texts in the digital sphere and make comment on social issues, provide entertainment, produce news or engage in learning activities. Increasing reciprocity between authors and readers and the fact that texts are virally distributed through the web and across networks gives increased possibilities to encounter “distant, unknown, imagined others” (p.64).
In a media sense, hospitality translates to an obligation to listen, which in turn translates to thoughtful openness towards pluralist meanings and to the inhibition of prior assumptions. Consequently, in order to anticipate and accommodate not just issues of global housekeeping but also diverse cultural interpretations we must adopt not only new creative learning designs but new dispositions too, cosmopolitan practice in fact.
That’s what I’ve learned from my MOOC MOOC experience. Plus, I’m coming to think that it’s not so much the massiveness of the MOOC that’s important just as long as it’s open and online, and that a community may be preferable to a course. That’s why I’ll continue to call by and say “hello” to the good folks of the Hybrid Pedagogy community from time to time.
Smith A. and Hull G. Critical literacies and social media: fostering ethical engagement with global youth. In: Avila, JA and Pandya JZ eds. (2012) Critical Digital Literacies as Social Praxis, Peter Lang Publishing, New York