by Stephen Downes
Oct 23, 2015
Beyond Instructional Design: Open Spaces and Learning Places
Stephen Downes, Oct 22, 2015,
American Distance Education Consortium, Online, via GoToMeeting
This presentation focuses on the differences between a program and an environment, instructional design approaches through multi-year games, and the pedagogy of spaces and places that lend themselves to connectivist learning environment designs.
Learning -agogy Overload
I sort of rolled my eyes when I first heard the term 'androgogy' (this would be back in the early 90s) not so much because I couldn't see how teaching adults might be different from teaching children but because I couldn't see why the term 'pedagogy' couldn't just be expanded to include all forms of teaching. This was I was just beginning to realize that the favourite actuvity of education theorists is to draw distinctions and create taxonomies. I never did find that a particularly useful way to approach research, and so I've ignored most of the new '-ogies' that have filled the field since then. This summary by Matt Crosslin fills that (small) gap in the 16,000 posts of OLDaily, and I echo his observation: "his gets at the root of why Ed Tech solutionism is so wrong: people are unique, different, and ever-changing. We can’t have one idea or solution that works for all people at all times."
Edinburgh University’s updated Manifesto for Teaching Online – 2015
I'm not particularly enamoured of the Edinburgh University's manifesto for teaching online in and of itself, but I really appreciated Jenny Mackness's commentary, which either raises questions about the individual points or, more usefully, offers support and annotations from the literature. Not that I always agree with her - when she says, for example, that "openness is under-theorised" I want to cringe, because I don't think anything needs to be 'theorised', much less openness. And I think the observation that "all forms of openness entail forms of closed-ness" is either trivial or false: trivial, in the sense that any name can be defined in terms of its opposite, or false, in the sense that there are some kinds of openness (space, for example) that know no bounds.
Slides and Resources from My Keynote at The Allen Experience
Here's a slide presentation that reflects some of the themes I talked about in my own presentation this week. "Don't think like an instructional designer," he advises. "Think like a game designer." I think this is good advice, and I like the way he turns his presentation into a game (though I wish he hadn't just made it one of those branching games where you choose 'A' or 'B'). But this is just right, isn't it: "People are motivated when they have autonomy, mastery and relatedness."
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