Dispatching The Patchbook

Patches the cat almost did me in. We’ve been conceptualizing our Open Faculty Development Textbook for a few months now and were searching for a foundational idea to build the project around.

The other day, on a not-directly-related search, I was trying to find an image for a badge or patch for faculty to wear once they’d agreed to contribute to the text, so I CC Flickr searched for ‘patch’. I was inundated with images of Patches the Cat, sometimes with his owner, sometimes not. I’m glad you love your cat, buddy, but it wasn’t helping me.

I thought it was funny to see so many pictures of Patches, but was disheartened that I wasn’t finding what I was really looking for. And in the back of my mind that this project didn’t have a hook yet. I don’t remember exactly the mental steps it took to go from Patches the Cat, to The Faculty Patchbook, but it happened, and here we are with our hook.

Patchwork. A community quilt. This is what we’re trying to make. A community built collection of ‘chapters’ or whatever you want to call it. Each individual telling the story of one pedagogical skill in order to build an entire quilt. Tales about pedagogy for teaching in-class, online, designing/redesigning lessons and courses. Whatever the community quilt needs to cover our teaching and learning needs.

It seems serendipitous that in further searches for ‘quilts’ and ‘patchwork’, I came across a very fitting image by the cogdog himself, whom I take a great deal of open learning inspiration from. This image is now the feature image on the About this Project page for The Patchbook. The link is coming, don’t worry! 🙂

Farm Quilt flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Check out the quilt in progress here. There you’ll see a description of what we want to do and how you can get involved, too. Fleming College’s main campus is in Peterborough, Ontario, (also known as The Patch!) and we are dispatching The Patchbook out to you and with you.

Maybe it should be dedicated to Patches the Cat.

Feature photo: “Patches” flickr photo by Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue https://flickr.com/photos/waffleboy/8918477914 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license


10 thoughts on “Dispatching The Patchbook”

  1. I like the name, and the project. We (faculty who teach the largest required course at George Mason University, English 302, a junior-level writing about-and-in-the-disciplines course) are in the process of creating something with some parallels: the English 302 OER collection, which offers creative commons-licensed examples of assignments, activities, etc. designed by individual teachers (who have considerable freedom to design our own approaches to meeting course goals and approaching common assignments). We expect that, although the language of the grant we received assumes we’re creating “a course,” we’ll eventually end up with something more like a menu of mix and match possibilities. We also expect we’ll end up with multiple version of many assignments and activities.

    Do you envision anything similar happening (e.g. different, perhaps even contrasting, takes on some topics?) Or is the idea to have a somewhat unified “voice” (a discernable big picture out of many little ones, perhaps, to return to the patchwork metaphor)?

    1. Thanks for your comment! Where will i be able to find the collection youre working on? I would be all for different takes on the same topic even if they contrast. People can judge the take they prefer for themselves. Choral explanations!

      1. Unfortunately, we’re still working on a public version of the collection. It’s currently housed on a Blackboard organizations site — the best we could do given all that we had to do in the relatively short space of a summer. We’re hoping to move to a digital journal-publishing platform, and to index in OER commons, but that’s probably 6-12 months away. I’ll try to get the word out when we do get there!

        And I like the idea of choral explanations.

        1. Cathy,

          As part of our OER Degree project, we are working on a similar thing for English 101 and English 102, both comp and rhetoric type courses. We are just up the road from you in Maryland– would love to chat some time about your project.

  2. Love the concept and the hook. This is a great project. The site looks great, and I am looking forward to seeing how it develops! A group of colleagues and I developed an integrative learning field guide a couple of years ago (now field guides are all the rage.) I like the layout and structure of what you are doing here, and this gives me some good ideas for revisions to that project!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. What Samantha said! (re: project and hook). Would so love to see my university embrace something like this. I think I’ll tweet it out the site and blog to them. 😉 Thanks so much!

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