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ICDE Symposium: Creativity and ODL

Cloud created by:

Patrick McAndrew
3 October 2011

Coordinated by iCreaNet and Aarhus University, Denmark. It addresses a number of inter-related issues about creativity, learning theories, learning design, interculturality, sustainability and collaboration issues.

  • Prof. Asger Harlung
  • Prof. Barry Sponder
  • Prof. Elsebeth K. Sorensen
  • Prof. Fredric M. Litto
  • Prof. Gila Kurtz
  • Prof. Graínne Conole
  • Prof. Jun Oshima

This symposium calls for a new Educational Paradigm with education lagging behind other aspects of life in responding to the changing world. The aim is not to spend time defining terms but rather finding a way to be creative. 

Asger outlined a new paradigm with three characteristics:


  • Well found and argued criteria should replace the pursuit of exact definitions
  • Seeking qualified understanding should replace striving for "knowledge"
  • "Gardens of forking learning paths" should replace standardisation in educational contexts.


Too much standardisation does not support creativity. The split between the traditional found in educaition and the changes felt in everyday life (Wiley & Hilton, 2009) and the need to switch from convergent thinking to divergent thinking imply a more diverse approach to learning. Approaches that encourage curiosity, suggestions, and options for assessment: convince us that you master this, find an appropriate way of doing so. The assessment echoes the badges approach to recognise achievements. The way forward is likely to be via grassroots rather than top. This leads to a form of project based learning. [The description of forking paths reminds me of the chaotic bifurcation images - not sure if the ideas here will lead to the complexity, or if this is good or bad!]

Bifurgation graph


Barry spoke about about using learning styles to compare the impact of different web 2.0 tools across different cultures. The idea being to then correlate the results. His argument is that the "learning styles" dominate over the culture. In particular the provision of web site creation under a reteach model was a success. As summarised by a comment from the audience "putting the technology in the hands of the student". He then followed up this session by describing the structures of his teaching which encourages the creation of websites with embedding and screen recording via screencast-o-matic, feedback via Google docs, annotations through crocodoc, sharing with dropbox, publishing via lulu, and avatars with voki. By using free versions the practice can be applied immediately.

Grainne commented on creativity as an essential skill as everybody becomes a particpant in learning. She divided creativity into Process, Product, Person, and Place and into stages: Preparation, Incubation, Intimation, Illumination and Verification. She referred back to work with Giota Alevizou on characterising the creativity supported by new media. The example of MOOCs as a sign of the release of educatonal creativity seems a good one.




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