¶ Recommendations

The following recommendations are intended to help reduce the challenges that can arise when leading a class through digital pedagogy assignments.

Learn the technology, at least a little. If a librarian or instructional technologist is supporting the technology components of an assignment or activity, it is still a good idea for instructors to learn the technology, even if it is to gain only a basic understanding. Knowing something about the technology will enable instructors to have more in-depth conversations with students about the assignment or activity, maximize learning outcomes, and better understand students’ experiences.

Scaffold larger projects. Scaffolding larger projects into smaller assignments can help students stay more organized, better manage their time, and develop their skills systematically.

• Strive to make digital projects ADA compliant. If a digital project (e.g., a website) is going to be public, try to make it as ADA compliant as possible. Compliance means doing things like making sure that web pages have headers and images have labels. Being conscientious about ADA standards will make the project accessible to a broader audience and will make students more aware of and sensitive to such needs. (See Accessibility Basics and W3C Accessibility Guidelines.)

Have conversations about copyright and fair use before students begin incorporating media into their work. Even though the fair use doctrine enables students to incorporate media into projects with less concern about copyright, they should understand why they can more “freely” use media for a class assignment and not for other venues. (See more on intellectual property rights.)

Include a disclaimer statement on public student projects that explains they are student work. A disclaimer will help prevent less information literate people from seeing such projects as an authoritative source. Additionally, it will signal to educators that the projects are potential teaching models. To that end, it is also helpful to include the assignment(s) that led to the projects' creation.

• Have at least a basic plan (or better yet a detailed one) for how you will evaluate student work. You and the students should have a clear idea of what the expectations are for the assignment(s). Waiting until the work is completed before determining how to evaluate it can make grading difficult and can leave students feeling unsure about the quality of their work and the fairness of the grading (see "Evaluation").

• Decide whether you want to maintain or archive student work. Digital technology is inherently impermanent (e.g., links break, and file types become obsolete). For this reason, it is important to decide whether you want to maintain or archive student work. (See the “Maintenance and Archiving” for more information.)

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