by Stephen Downes
Dec 03, 2014
Two design models for online collaborative learning: same or different?
online learning and distance education resources,
Tony Bates looks at "what we might call the Toronto school, Linda Harasim and her former colleagues at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) in Toronto (although Linda has been firmly based for 25 years at SFU in Vancouver/Burnaby), and the Alberta school, Randy Garrison, and colleagues Terry Anderson and Walter Archer." Both sets of thinkers were influential in Canadian distance education in the 90s and beyond. Interestingly - but perhaps not surprisingly - both sets were interested in what Harasim called online collaborative learning (OCL) and the other three called the Community of Inquiry Model (CoI). As Bates says, "online collaborative learning can lead to deep, academic learning, or transformative learning, as well as, if not better than, discussion in campus-based classrooms." But it doesn't scale well, and requires the contribution of skilled instructors.
Beyond Hello: Ignite Your Passion for Discovery
This is a nice project that is worth a nod. Dean Shareski is traveling across Canada hosting evenings where educators can gather and share stories with each other. The program is called Beyond Hello: Ignite your Passion for Discovery, and is sponsored by the Discovery Education Network. "These 5 minute talks take a great deal of work to develop and while short in duration, impact folks for long after the event," he writes. Voluntary informal learning in a pub: if it can work for teachers, it can work for anyone.
Innovating Pedagogy 2014
The Open University has released the 2014 edition of its 'Innovating Pedagogy' report. It's set up much like the Horizon Report, and so has its strengths and flaws. In particular, while it is capable of insight (such as the discussion around threshold concept' it has the flaw of predicting events that have already happened ('flipped classroom', 'learning by storytelling') and predictive hackney ('learning to learn'). I think the time scales are pretty random. I list only the first of eight authors.
No script for rhizomatic learning
Teens always have posters in their rooms (those who can afford posters and rooms, at least) and I was no exception. One of the first posters in my own room was a Turner - this one - and he remains one of my favourite artists. That's why I'm interested in the film, Mr. Turner. But I'm also interested in this commentary from Jenny Mackness, which describes the process of making the film. There was no script or roles or scenes or anything else. Mike Leigh says, "I say, come and be in my film. Can’t tell you what it’s about. I can’t tell you what your character is. We’ll invent that as part of the process. And you will never know any more than your character knows." Which of course is one of the core ideas behind the MOOCs that we've built as well.
Case Studies on OER-based eLearning
Som Naidu, Sanjaya Mishra, Shironica Karunanayaka, G. Mythili, S.K. Prasad, Mohan B. Menon,
Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA),
There are four case studies provided: "Integrating OER in a Teacher Education Course," from Sri Lanka; "OER-based Post Graduate Diploma in e-Learning," from India; "National Institute of Open Schooling – Open Educational Resource Initiative," also from India; and "Developing a Fully OER-based Course," from Malaysia. 56 page PDF. I think these provide a fairly wide cross-section of the application of OERs in learning, though I would have liked to have seen an OER-based MOOC study, and a case where learners themselves directly accessed and used OERs independently, as this is probably the widest use of OERs generally.
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