creating our theories for learning #lthesep12 week 5

This week we are exploring some of the learning theories and the LTHESep12 groups is working in action learning sets studying specific wikipedia pages and editing these so that we increase accuracy. This should happen in advance of the session so it is prep. We are trying to flip the classroom. Will it work? (note to self: we must evaluate this when over and share advantages and challenges)

Plan B: If the above did not happen, the action learning sets will be given 1 hour to complete their investigation around a specific learning theory… and carry out the wikipedia task…


Tuesday 23 Oct 12: finalising wikipedia task (30min) action learning sets did prep in advance of the session > really pleased

We are then going to put the puzzle pieces together and create a mindmap that captures the main features of the learning theories we explored. Each action learning set will create a large visual representation. This will be their interpretation of this theory and application in own practice.


Tuesday, 23 Oct 12

Three action learning sets, three theories, three mindmaps. Comparing and contrasting will happen next. Not sure exactly how but perhaps through moving the action learning sets across the room and asking them to comment on each other’s mindmaps. But I also think a conversation would be really useful.


Tuesday 23 October 12 sharing findings and critique of theories and implications for own practice

Closer to the end of the session, we will invite our students to reflect on these theories and on others they have the opportunity to study and after Mark McQuire shares his experiences with us around open and connected learning, we will invite students to start putting their own learning theory together. (This did not happen as we ran out of time. We suggested for this to happen after the session and setting up this post will help us start formulating our theories). Do we need a theory? Do we need a law? Or a philosophy? Or all of this for good quality learning and teaching?

The plan is to continue the conversation after the session online and Fred Garnett has created a selection of useful resources to extend our thinking into new directions around open learning theories which might help us to start formulating our own theory or law of/for learning as Will said at the end of our session. Please access and study the following resources and add your comments here to this blog. Fred will be with us online and provide food for thought and also respond to your questions and observations.

We are looking forward to a lively discussion.

Chrissi, Rob, Mark and Fred


About pgcapsalford

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) University of Salford (UK)
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4 Responses to creating our theories for learning #lthesep12 week 5

  1. fred6368 says:

    I see quite a lot of people have visiied xtlearn and clicked on the link to Discussing Co-creating Open Scholarship
    If you wish you can comment on that blog. Incidentally my personal view on learning theory is that you should read as many as possible and use the ones that work for you, which is why I included Donald Clark’s 50 blog posts on learning theory (think of it as a primer) and Diana Laurillard’s model which provides a framework for design technology-enhanced learning systems. As you have probably guessed from my work I am interested in theorising open learning, and my blog is to promote the Open Context Model of Learning and subsequent work on heutagogy and emergent learning

  2. pgcapsalford says:

    Hi Fred,

    Thank you for making a start and inviting us to think about learning theories beyond the classroom. You talk about theorising (open) learning. I am wondering if you could briefly explain what this means to you and why this is so important to you.


  3. fred6368 says:

    I think I cover that in the blog, but let me put it like this. Historically educational institutions have said, come to us and you will learn. The process of learning has, for many long years, assumed to be turning up at a formal education institution and following the rules. Go to the lecture, take notes, go to the library, read the books and course notes, get the assignments and write the essay. Repeat what you have learnt in the exams, get a certificate which provides a summative record of what you have learnt. For a thousand years students have gone to University to “Read Geography” because for hundreds of years the only text books in the land were in University libraries. In the twentieth century we saw the development of student course books, rather than original academic texts, and the notion that students should have some responsibility for their learning, pushed forward by the more democratic US universities.
    However one of the things we ‘learning technologists’ found out when we started building online learning or tech-based learning systems is that if you built electronic lecture delivery systems you got little learning. You needed iterative systems, you needed multiple navigation paths (as learners learn in different ways), you needed discussion groups, you need formative assessments as a learning guide (and much else). In short if you tried to re-create the linear model (as described above) that formal education systems provide, and which are based on control (also known as instructional design) then you got little ‘measurable’ ‘learning’.
    It turned out, as someone memorably remarked in a workshop I held at a conference to review what was ‘effective e-learning’, that “learning is a mixture of *theorising and socialising*”. So if you dont design for this fluidity in the learning process you wont get learning from that process. It now seems obvious to me that learning is an *indirect* consequence of students being in the education system, the University provides a platform and a set of resources that *might* be combined into successful learning, but it wont be as a direct consequence of attending lectures. Best of all it supplies the *metaphor* that you are at a learning institution, so you are free to learn BUT ONLY if you choose to accept that mission!
    As Stephen Heppell says in the Future of Learning in a Networked Society “education prepares you to cope with certainty, there is no certainty in real life”
    So why Open? Well Web 2.0 is an open platform based on providing participatory tools and supporting social networks in which you are free to form “voluntary communities” (to use Yoneji Masuda’s phrase) and to self-organise your online time (and persona). The reality of learning in a University is that individuals navigate their own way around the physical world of the institution BUT only one or two of those navigations paths provide successful outcomes. Online in the post web 2.0 world the successful navigation paths are myriad and it is open to you to determine what successful navigation is (for you).
    Bernie Dodge (of SDSU) back in 1994 asked the question of his education technology trainee teachers “Is surfing learning?” Unanimously they decided it was and jointly developed Webquests, probably the first time teachers discussed whether “just browsing thanks” online was learning. They decided that any one individuals interest-driven movement from one subject to another was learning, ending the notion that we learn as a class. Webquests try to capture that freedom in a measurable framework, but Bernie was probably the first person training teachers to say that however *open* you are your learners will be learning…

  4. Pingback: to flip? or reflections on week 5 #lthesep12 @pgcap « Chrissi Nerantzi

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