Teaching done right

Cory Doctorow has been teaching an undergraduate course at the University of Southern California called ‘PWNED: Everyone on Campus is a Copyright Criminal’. The class was open to anyone on or off campus, and lectures were podcasted. The students edited a class blog and were expected to improve Wikipedia posts relevant to the class. For the end of semester, each student turned in a final project that related the course material to their lives and major areas of study.

In this post Cory highlights some of the projects. “From the class discussions and one-on-ones”, he writes,

I knew I had a really amazing bunch on my hands, but I was absolutely gobsmacked by the incredible quality of the final projects. From founding a record label to conducting public polls to writing guidelines for journalists to interviews and classroom materials, my students did me better than proud.

I encouraged my students to do work that would be of use to the world at large. I hate the idea of the usual college final paper, which the student doesn’t want to write, the prof doesn’t want to read and no one else wants to ever see. Instead, I challenged them to produce useful work that the world could benefit from, and they met and exceeded the challenge…

Worth reading in full. Wonderful stuff. Cory is a genius.