Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ Working Out Loud: an intervention study to test an agile learning method

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

The authors characterize agile learning in four dimensions: self-direction, iteration, collaboration and technology, and operationalize the concept using a model of working out loud developed by Stepper. The idea of 'working out loud' has been around for a while (the authors incorrectly attribute it to Bryce Williams, though it has been around in the community for much longer). The authors evaluated the method against three learning outcomes: vigor, work-out-loud behaviour, and psychological empowerment. "The results indicated that WOL significantly increased participants' WOL behavior and psychological empowerment at work," they write.Overall, though, I would say the results appear mixed; they report an actual drop in vigor, for example, over the long term. But this may be due more to Stepper's formalized method than to the idea itself. The original paper is paywalled; this link it to a copy on ResearchGate (17 page PDF). Via Mike Taylor, who calls it "the first scientific paper on the effectiveness of Working Out Loud (WOL)."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
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