mwesch reinvents classroom again with World Simulation
August 5th, 2008

(Thank you, Lee!)

Ever since he started to use video in his ethnography classes, and turned his students into coproducers, the university professor known to millions on Youtube as mwesch has been brilliantly demonstrating how Web 2.0 tools can be used to turn the entire old knowledge delivery paradigm of the classoom inside out. I am also provoked to change my way of teaching, in reaction to the very deeply sadly wrong institutionalization inherent in the question “will that be on the test?” Now, he’s come up with The World Simulation. Go Michael Wesch!

The World Simulation is a radical experiment in learning that is the centerpiece of the Introduction to Cultural Anthropology course at Kansas State University, created in a fit of frustration with the large lecture hall format which seems inevitable in a classroom of 200-400 students. Of utmost concern to me, was the nature of questions I was hearing from students, which tended to be administrative and procedural rather than penetrative, critical, and insightful. My least favorite question was also the most common: “What do we need to know for this test?” Something had to be done, so I set to work creating the World Simulation.


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