Tag Article List: universal design for learning

Triple Threat or Triple Opportunity: When a Pop Culture Course Goes Online at a Community College

Lance Eaton
North Shore Community College
Lynn, Massachusetts, USA

Alex Rockey
California State University, Bakersfield
Bakersfield, California, USA


Teaching popular culture comes with many opportunities and challenges in a traditional classroom, but equally interesting and valuable are the possibilities that teaching such a course online can provide. This article explores how “Popular Culture in the US,” an online course at a community college, embraces some key attributes of the digital world such as multimodal communication and Web 2.0 interactivity. Evolved from a face-to-face community college course, the online version has increasingly developed to move from an instructor-centered to a student-centered approach that relies upon various engagement strategies. By using student choice, OER-enabled pedagogy, and constructivist approaches, the instructor engages students by leveraging the Internet to educate students, empower them as creators of content, and support critical participation in popular culture. The article illustrates how teaching within the online space can enhance teaching and learning, particularly for courses that have a disciplinary focus on popular culture and media.

Keywords: pop culture, online course, constructivism, community college, universal design for learning, open pedagogy, open educational resources, interaction, multimodal

Author Bios

Lance Eaton has been teaching at North Shore Community College for over 15 years. He has Master Degrees in American Studies, Public Administration, and Instructional Design. He is currently a PhD candidate at UMASS Boston in the Higher Education program and his dissertation focuses on how scholars engage in academic piracy. He is also the Educational Programs Manager at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and a part-time instructor at Southern New Hampshire University. He has given talks, written about, and presented at conferences on open pedagogy, hybrid flexible learning, and digital service learning. His musings, reflections, and ramblings can be found on his blog: http://www.ByAnyOtherNerd.com.

Alex Rockey, PhD, is an instructional design consultant for the teacher education department at California State University, Bakersfield. Alex also will teach and supervise emerging educators at CSU-Bakersfield in the fall. She has experience both as a teacher in K-16 contexts and as an instructional designer. Her research focuses on the ecology of feedback in online courses that considers instructor and student perceptions as well as the impact of mediating technologies. She curates her work on online education on her website: https://alexrockey.com/.

Suggested Citation 


Eaton, L. & Rockey, A. (2020). Triple threat or triple opportunity: When a pop culture course goes online at a community college. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, 7(2). http://journaldialogue.org/v7-issue-2/triple-threat-or-triple-opportunity-when-a-pop-culture-course-goes-online-at-a-community-college.


Eaton, Lance and Alex Rockey. Triple Threat or Triple Opportunity: When a Pop Culture Course Goes Online at a Community College. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, vol. 7, no. 2, 2020. http://journaldialogue.org/v7-issue-2/triple-threat-or-triple-opportunity-when-a-pop-culture-course-goes-online-at-a-community-college.

Download as PDF