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Digital Pedagogy - A Guide for Librarians, Faculty, and Students

This guide is meant to inform the user about Digital Pedagogy. It includes information on educational theory, a collection of case studies, and resources relevant to the study of digital pedagogy.

MOOCs and Best Practices

Best Practices:

In 2012, work on the Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age was begun in Palo Alto by a group of professionals concerned with Higher Education, including John Seely Brown, Cathy Davidson, Sean Michael Morris, et al. The document’s preamble emphasizes the fact that due to evolving technologies, anyone on the planet can be a student, teacher, and creative collaborator. Although the document speaks of education in the digital age in general, the emphasis is on  MOOCs, which the authors describe as the darlings of the moment. They emphasize that online learning a powerful and potentially awe inspiring opportunity, and can create meaningful and massive opportunities, although there must be a further exploration of the pedagogical potential of online learning. The purpose of the document is to articulate opportunities for students. Broad goal is to inspire open, learner centered dialogue around rights, responsibilities, and possibilities for education. What follows the preamble is a Bill of Rights for Students, as well as principles by which online learning should be designed.

Bill of Rights:

The Bill of Rights focuses on right to access and affordability, the right to privacy, including the disclosure of what type of information is being collected, right to create public knowledge so that students can contribute and share ideas in a visible and connected way, the right to own one’s personal data and IP with an emphasis on educating students about ways they can protect and license their data and ideas. Additionally, the Bill of Rights discusses financial transparency of the system that is being used, as well as the rights to pedagogical transparency and understanding the intended outcomes of online program or initiative. Also, the Bill emphasized the right to quality and care, diligence, commitment, honesty and innovation as well as the right to great teachers and thoughtful facilitators.



  • This document also describes the principles under which MOOCs should be designed. This includes the following:
  • Global contribution, meaning that MOOCs should originate from everywhere in the globe, not just the US. Design principles should also emphasize value such as skills development, retraining, and flexible learning opportunities.
  • MOOCs should be flexible: the best programs will not simply mirror existing programs but will offer students the development of skills in new digital tools and pedagogies to widen their horizons.
  • At their best, MOOCs should emphasize hybrid learning, and should not be tethered exclusively to the digital realm.
  • They should be persistent and innovative: technical and pedagogical and should include a wide variety of approaches and tools.
  • They should provide an opportunity for formative assessment, and an opportunity to revise and relearn until the material is grasped.
  • They should value experimentation, civility, and play by making new things familiar, cultivate imagination, questioning, tinkering and connecting: making new things familiar, cultivate imagination, questioning, tinkering and connecting.

For a complete list, and additional information, please see