This is my post in response to a Twitter Chat initiative. The topic relates to Emergent Learning.
To what extent would we allow such a learning system of “emergent learning” to ‘be’ and ‘to grow’ and to ‘emerge’ in Higher Education Institution environment? May be this is happening to some extent in MOOCs (xMOOCs, and cMOOCs).
What are the critical tenets of emergent learning?
Critical tenets of emergent learning (see this paper on Emergent Learning):
- The learner has the potential to advance and define their own essential knowledge base.
- The very uncertainty and lack of predictability of learning outcomes will be the key factor that adds value to a learning community.
- Emergent systems will provide the necessary triggers to enhance knowledge and understanding.
- Emergent learning will be one of the critical triggers to unleash individual creativity.
Such tenets have been revealed through our researches in MOOCs in varying degrees. These could best be further tested and validated using new and emerging tools and platforms – like the cMOOCs and social media tools.
Would the “bottom-up approach” based on self-organising learners be fundamental in emergent learning? I reckon that is where emergent learning could “shine” and grow. As shown in picture below, emergent learning would flourish most in a learner driven environment, in C & D, and in A & B if learners are fully supported and empowered in their learning journeys.
Picture: Google Image
“Emerging learning is likely to occur when many self-organising agents interact frequently and openly, with considerable degrees of freedom, but within specific constraints; no individual can see the whole picture; and agents and system co-evolve.” (Williams et al, 2012)
The key to designing for emergent learning is to define negative constraints, not positive outcomes.
I see MOOCs as the perfect platform to illustrate the importance of “the instructors or facilitators must dampen negative emergence and amplify positive emergence” under an emergent learning environment (Williams et al, 2011).
If we were to analyse the interactions among Twitterers, what sort of negative constraints would need to be defined? Up till now, I don’t think there are any rules set up on Twitter sharing and conversation yet. The trolling and plagiarism behavior might be some of the negative constraints that one would like to define, as they would likely destroy the cooperative and collaborative spirit of the networkers or practitioners of the COPs.
Trolling and cheating behavior in MOOCs are surely annoying.
Trolling in Twitter happened when those followers on Twitter make intimidating remarks or simply flaming the conversations on a strong and destructive emotional level.
Is plagiarism a concern on Twitter? I don’t see much need to copy others’ tweets, but have to be cautious in making judgments. Would RT be considered a plagiarised Tweet, especially without attribution to the originator? How about the intellectual rights when RTweeting, without acknowledging the sources of Tweets? It could be interesting to research if plagiarism on Twitter is a common phenomena.
Postscript: Like to refer to this post on cheating in MOOC