Just going through some bits and pieces and come across this which I wrote a little while ago.
Where next for networked learning for Workforce Development in the NIHR CRN?
X & X are currently investigating integration of Google Apps with Moodle which could involve production of learning that is
- Linear modules produced by WFD or experts in the CRN
- Videos produced by WFD or experts in the CRN
- Tracking of user activity which is recorded in Moodle with the potential to issue badges for completion and export to other electronic portfolios
The common themes which have emerged from Networked Learning Conference this year do not provide new theories of learning but instead highlight different perspectives on digital learning such as analysis of conversations across social networks using discourse analysis, recording experiences digitally such as digital postcards and lived experience descriptions. Metaphors in learning have been discussed including use of
- jelly-like metaphors
Daring to (let the student) succumb to a process of inherent networked estrangement and sense of self. Learning is neither in the student nor in the teacher but in the pulsating and transfiguring messy process emerging outside the control of both. Students and teachers must become malleable targets or structures for whatever jelly-like qualia that emerge from the learning process gently and fearless put in motion by the teacher as guide.1
- Chronotopes and space:time relationship pairs
physical:virtual, online:offline, individual:community and workplace:university dialectical tensions that such transitions involve and allow new forms of practice and discourse to emerge Being in transition is always challenging and transformative. We conclude that learning in transition between workplace and formal educational spaces requires students to construct new chronotopes in order to make sense of their education and manage the continual changes of culture and identity necessitated by transitions2
Actor network theory has also been revisited with exploration of technologies as entities in a networked learning process. Communities as actor networks has been explored in early 2000s
The difference between actor networks and communities of practice is not that the former involves work and the latter do not. Communities of practice may be seen as actor networks, they are a case in point, since within them there is work involved in mimicking, demonstrating, practicing together. However, beyond a certain size a community of practice becomes an imagined community. What binds that larger community together are the actor-networks which link and connect multiple communities of practice – Cambridge dons, members of parliament, professional bodies, the suffrage movement. Such communities of practice as these can eventually be connected in a wider claim, a broader proposal for change in the direction of a future imagined community.
What seems still to be realised is a way of translating the concept of democracy based on multiple communities into practice. We look forward in learning of examples in practice because our guess is that the obstacle to such development is not due to any limitation in the technology so much as the way consensus-bound discourses dominate participative practices in adult and higher education3
Some examples of a mix of linear/non-linear tools that are not traditional learning platforms but provide opportunities for sharing.
Curation tools to learning anything
Lighter linear with a bit of non-linear
Some non-linear network mapping
Deepa Mehta , MyTool
Within a shared context, the linearity of non-linear interactions – choosing content to be curated, choosing when/how it is shared become patterns. Networks are hierarchies and the constraints force them to ultimately be linear too. So whilst a learner believes that there is more freedom to choose, less barriers to communicating with different people, there are still linear interactions which design their interactions in a similar way to instructional design of online learning such as modules produced by WFD.
A future option for Workforce Development would be to use analysis of interactions across different social media or networks to evaluate if there is any visibility of patterns and combine the data with any interactions on Google and Moodle. Understanding of how transition is changing how people like to learn and apply knowledge at a local and national level e.g. if I have this local identity in this community / site / group, how do I learn or share learning different with a national identity elsewhere and how visible are the two together.
Use of multimedia in digital learning is increasing and with Leeds University platforms there may be many partnership opportunities either for Leeds colleagues to produce and publish content or allow use of platforms for WFD and CRN colleagues. Whatever content is produced it will be of more value if it can be analysed within networked contexts i.e. who has produced it when, how have others responded to it, (sharing, discussing), how does it continue to evolve and the process become self-organised. A greater understanding of networked learning will help identify where are the more experimental areas which are less linear, less constrained appear and interact.
A team within WFD to support the expansion of networked learning could be created following discussion with Leeds colleagues and consist of the following :
- Creation, publishing and curation of audio and video artefacts
- Showing others best practices in creation, publishing and curation of audio and video artefacts
- Ability to extract data and present it in visualisations which can be shared with others
- An understanding of discourse analysis how to mine different interactions across social networks and provide visualisations of relationships
1. Bengsten S, Norgard T (2014) Becoming jelly: A call for gelatinous pedagogy within higher education, Networked Learning Conference proceedings 2014, available at http://www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk/abstracts/pdf/bengtsen.pdf
2.Timmis S, Williams J (2014) Lost in transition? Making sense of space:time configurations across workplace and educational boundaries, Networked Learning Conference proceedings 2014, available at http://www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk/abstracts/pdf/timmispdf.pdf
3. Fox S (2002), Networks and Communities: an Actor-Network Critique of Ideas on Community and Implications for Networked Learning, Networked Learning Conference Proceedings 2002 available at http://www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk/past/nlc2002/proceedings/symp/06.htm