Learning Solutions Magazine

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Choose and Embed Social Media in Your MOOC
inge de Waard Learning Solutions Magazine 2012/05/31

Inge de Waard writes a short post to show "how to add meaningful social media tools that engage participants and increase learning in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). I’ll give you a look at what is out there and link it with real life implementation examples."

Today: Total:9 [Comment] [Direct Link]
Massive Open Online Courses: Setting Up (StartToMOOC, Part 1)
Inge de Waard Learning Solutions Magazine 2012/04/12

Inge de Waard writes, "In this first part of a six-part series, you will learn about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which are courses in the Cloud. You will also learn how to set up the core spaces for MOOCs. The articles that follow in the series will move from basic to more complex course features. Having organized MOOCs myself, I admit that for newbies it might look a bit scary at first, but it sure is worth the result." Today: Total:16 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Research: What Is the Learning Effect of a Course Map on Advanced Learners?
Chris Stape and Michael Gardner Learning Solutions Magazine 2011/12/12

Well, I think the study poses an interesting question to consider: whether there is an impact from the course map on learning outcomes. They authors conclude there's none. "Based upon the results of this study, for the advanced learner there is no significant difference in achievement whether you show the course navigation continually or not, and no significant difference in the amount of time to complete the course." But this would depend, it seems to me, a great deal on how much the course map aligned with the field being studied - if it's just a list of topics, it wouldn't mean much, but if it's a web of dependencies, then maybe it would. Additionally, since cognitivism is wrong - the brain is not like a computer - the theoretical basis for this study needs to be questioned as well. But, it an interesting question. Today: Total:25 [Comment] [Direct Link]

The Ubiquity of Informal Learning: Beyond the 70/20/10 Model
Ben Betts Learning Solutions Magazine 2011/07/15

"I’ve had a bit of a bugbear," writes Ben Betts. "It’s 70/20/10, the oft-quoted model from which we derive that the majority of learning happens from on the job experience... I think we’ve got the wrong model at the heart of the [informal learning] movement." First of all, he writes, the model - first mentioned here - doesn't have a basis in research. "70% as a figure isn’t a part of the case study results or conclusions." The model isn't useful either. "Informal learning has always been present. It isn’t a new idea and it certainly isn’t powered by the internet." So "what I believe is really important is that we maximize the effectiveness of informal learning and make sure the right habits get taught. And for that we need our good friend, formal learning." Today: Total:8 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Nuts and Bolts: From Classroom to Online, Think Transform not Transfer
Jane Bozarth Learning Solutions Magazine 2011/05/13

The title is the thing that really stood out for me and it alone makes the article worth a link: "Think 'Transform' not 'Transfer'." Just one problem. The author is talking about course migration rather than pedagogy. So, the point of the article is to say that you should 'transform' an in-class course, rather than to merely 'transfer' it to an online environment. For example, "Look for ways to capture the richness that a good instructor brings to the classroom, such as responsiveness, a sense of humor, interesting stories and examples, and immediate feedback." Well, yeah. But there's a much more powerful statement that could have been made with the same title: when you are teaching, think in terms of transforming students, rather than of transferring information. You are helping students become something, not acquire something. Sadly, that wasn't the point of this article. This "nuts and bolts" missed the most practical advice of all! Today: Total:7 [Comment] [Direct Link]

The Human Factor: Social Media as Mentoring Platforms
Mary Arnold Learning Solutions Magazine 2010/08/23

Social media can be used to support mentoring, according to this article. "In reality, knowledge management is just mentoring with a new name. Companies adopt social learning platforms with an eye towards providing a space where employees can share knowledge and experiences, and guide colleagues to lessons already learned." Today: Total:8 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Rethinking e-Learning
Clark Quinn Learning Solutions Magazine 2010/08/16

This sounds right: "This recognition that our processing uses external representations is an important component in looking at ways to support performance. When should we provide tools, whether representational or computational, instead of trying to put all information in the head? We need a richer picture of how we perform, rather than a simplistic and ineffectual model that posits we can know everything we need." And I like what the author calls the seven Cs of 'natural learning':

- Choose what we are interested in
- Commit to do what is necessary to learn about it
- Create expressions of our understanding as application
- Crash when our expressions sometimes fail
- Copy others' performances
- Converse with others about the topic
- Collaborate to co-create a shared understanding as well as an artifact

I'd like to get a 'cooperate' in there somewhere. And maybe a 'cultivate'. And definitely a 'clarify', a 'criticize' and even a 'construct'. Via David Jones. Today: Total:7 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Nuts and Bolts: Brain Bandwidth - Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design
Jane Bozarth Learning Solutions Magazine 2010/08/03

There's a lot of push for cognitive load theory so it's probably important to be familiar with it. The idea is that because we can retain only a certain amount of information at a time, extraneous information should be trimmed from learning materials. Some people go so far as to suggest that cognitive load theory favours some (ie., direct instruction) modes of learning because these modes of learning do not involve extraneous tasks or concepts.

For my own part, I think cognitive load theory misrepresents how we acquire and store information. It supposes that information is atomic and symbolic, like a string of numbers. But our perceptions actually carry multiple meanings. Consider a string like 'school matters' (or 'the representative student'). This is not a single-meaning string, like a set of numbers. It embodies two separate meanings. We 'remember' only a single string. But we 'learn' two separate concepts.

Perceptual information is much more like 'school matters' than it is like a string of numbers. Any given perception has multiple meanings. The purpose of multimedia presentation is to embed multiple meanings - senses, connotations, frames of reference, background values, and more - into a single representation. The 'chimes' are not just chimes - they are telling you how you should approach this material, how you should think of it. And it's in these multiple meanings that the richness of our learning is embodied. Reduce that meaning to a simple essence, and you reduce the learner to a simpleton. Today: Total:510 [Comment] [Direct Link]

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