Neal Hebert asks for pedagogical advice in this comment. I thought I'd begin the series with this trick of mine. Send an email to one of the New APPS Borg (resistance is futile, Eric and Mohan!) and we'll post your pedagogy trick.
One of my tricks is to have the students break into 3-4 person groups to consider a question on that day's reading. I then leave the room for 10 minutes to give them time to discuss.
I tell them I'm leaving the room to symbolize that they are in charge of their learning. I tell them that we're not in an information transfer class, but that I'm trying to catalyze the students' ability to explain the issues of the course to others not in the class. All that to avoid the structure whereby I input some information, ask them to output the same information, and then test them by measuring the correlation between input and output.
Now not all courses are so simplistically structured as a pure info transfer course. Most ask the students to master some operations as well and then perform them on the test with the info transmitted by the teacher. But this is still a closed loop, with all the interaction being teacher - student. Althougth there is an implicit asssumption in these classes that the information and operations learned will be eventually put to use in "the real world," I think thematizing from the start the relation with the outside really helps.
So the key for me is to tear down the fourth wall, as it were, and to ask the students to consciously develop skills that will enable them to interact with people not in the classroom.
And, I always add, these skills include the ability to motivate people to see the importance of the issues. My slogan here is that I want to turn on and empower the students to turn on and empower others with the ability to turn on and empower still others. I usually throw in a rhizome diagram here, as you might expect.