Ann's oldsmooc week 2
Cloud created by:
17 January 2013
Snowy Sunday 20th Jan (also adding this comment here as learning blog getting a little long)
Catch up Sunday again, but that's OK.
During the week I did browse the (somewhat fewer) senarios and team issues appearing. It seems as though discussions are largely happening elsewhere - did catch up with some on twitter, and nice to invited to the 'lost' cloud. Thought today that I would have a look at the issue of context and the different types suggested for this week, personas, force flow and ecologies of learning.
First, on context.
The issue of context is always problematic, and I revisited Richard Edwards (2005,2006 and see below) work from the TLRP (Teaching and Learning Research Project) for some of the debates that he looked at there - considering Wenger and situated learning, Actor Network Theory, Engestrom's ryzhomatic learning (not sure of spelling !) and the issue of techologies and learning where complexity and network theories abound. I tend to agree that perhaps it is not really useful to separate out the 'person' from the context - the person probably is the context - a social practices type of approach - as the person only makes relevant to their context what they want to - even if it is provided to support their learning they may ignore it - (as certainly I have here in not signing up to a facebook account to join a group!) .
Overall the most useful ideas seem to be to consider different 'strata' to prevent an attempt at mapping the whole world, which the ecologies network approach seem to move to in some places. So strata can be workplace, home, study interest area (domain), university, school, social club, informal network of friends, etc and this then focusses our attention on how permeable these strata may be and if, whether, there are links across these strata ( across boundaries) and how these are working.
So if a context is the person in a strata of operation then the context for learning is a 'frame' for learning about something within the strata, the resources that might be drawn on to support or scaffold that learning then, I think, could be 'mapped', or at least in thinking about researching how learning is scaffolded, we could usefully map the way interactions with people and things take place. Of course what is always missing in a 'map' is the issue of time and agency, people are always disruptive! Another good reason for allowing the learner to co-contribute to the shape of any learning design as it takes place.
Ecologies of learning:
The main issue for me here, apart from trying to 'map the world' is that Lucking says (p117) 'by definition a Learner -centric Ecology of Resources can have only one learner at its centre' so how can learning design as an activity achieve its aims to be a broad enough activity to cater for the groups, university level curriculum design claimed for it at the start of this course as a new 'design' science? I am struggling with this issue of 'teacher led design' yet putting students at the heart of learning, particularly when we have issues of mass education to consider.
Personas though are even less satisfactory for me - they seem to be reducing the amount of recognition of the learner as an active participant and in some cases becoming close to stereotyping! How would one deal with the many varied 'personas' within one group of learners in learning design? with an institutional curriculum does this reduce to 'who are are customers?' and assumptions about their learning agendas and needs?
None of these are easy questions to resolve - and certainly the ecologies approach comes closest for me to what might be useful for a 'teacher' designing for another - scaffolding is good, and looking at resources seems valuable.
I continue in my quest to see if a learning design approach can fit a 'larger' curriculum than one leaner, one learning activity........
Hugues made an interesting point on teams - and learning design being always centred on the knowledge and course initially designed by the professor. If that is the case can we say that Learning Design is student centred? it seems in the explanations I have read that the move from 'instructor' to learner centred is far enough for some - student centred seems to imply losing control over the 'knowledge' to be imparted. And I think imparted is the key issue here - because does LD always direct the learner to the 'right' answer - in some cases it seems so. The more interesting examples of LD that avoid this are concered with empowering learning - say digital literacy, or design for a learner to design their own learning....... so, Does scaffolding learning always imply power - Friere didn't think so, but that was learning from the heart - to support others, not to support the financial and knowledge interests of the large institutions designing learning for others.... a problem Yishay wants to change from within.
R. Edwards, G. Biesta and M. Thorpe (2009) (eds) Rethinking Contexts for Learning and Teaching, London: Routledge.
T. Fenwick, R. Edwards and P. Sawchuk (2011) Emerging Approaches to Educational Research: Tracing the Sociomaterial, London: Routledge.
12:21 on 20 January 2013