#Change11 Pedagogy, Mobile Learning and Assessment in MOOC

Should pedagogy come first?

We are going to have an education system (VET) here in Australia where the learners decide what, who, when, where, how and why they are learning. So, it is no longer just about pedagogy or technology first, it is about growing & developing the learner FIRST, so he or she would have self efficacy, autonomy & thus become a valuable networker, community member, and global citizen, adapting & shaping the network/community and even the world as a vision. Think global, act local, and contribute socially…

Wall Paper

So, it is Pedagogy towards Andragogy and self-directed learning, then heutagogy.  But what goes beyond heutagogy?  Will it be Connectivism? Networked Learning? Creative Learning?

In reflection of what has been discussed in this week’s mobile learning via Jenny’s post and Dr Zoraini’s paper on Design and Implementation of Mobile Learning at Open University Malaysia, there seems to be a significant movement in the widespread use of mobile phones (and devices) by learners.  I have noted the use of mobile phones for short message in SMS, or uploading of Twitter messages or posting on Facebook.

Here Jenny says:

But most interesting for me in this session was that it sparked a question in the chat room as to whether this form of mobile learning, where the principle form of communication is unidirectional SMS from tutor to student, encourages student dependence, learned helplessness and decreases the potential for learner autonomy.

Zoraini’s response was quick and unhesitating. She said that SMS is used to help students develop the habits and skills necessary to be effective distance learners.

I don’t know what the implications are when SMS are directed from tutors to students, as I have often received SMS reminding me of some development sessions.  To me, it sounds similar to a reminder message from someone out in the virtual space.  How would this help students develop habits and skills?

Dr Zoraini and her colleagues concluded that SMS tutoring was well received by learners.  However, here is a response by Louise sharing some of her skepticism on the effectiveness of mobile learning in the case study. This leaves me with the question: What sort of pedagogy fits into this mode of delivery?  Would it be blended education delivery based on teachers’ instructions with mobile technology?  May be this fits well into an Asian teaching schools approach in the university, where pedagogy comes first, based on teacher’s instructions.

In this mobile learning paper, effective learning is:

Learner centred

Knowledge centred

Assessment centred

Community centred

A Theory of Mobile Learning must take into account of the ubiquitous use of personal and shared technology.

These findings broadly match the social-constructivist approach.

How about effective learning from a connectivist approach in a MOOC?  I don’t think effective learning is always assessment centred, especially in informal learning, and so this leaves us with the question of: What is the role of assessment in informal learning?

Is assessment always necessary in learning (in particular informal learning or social learning)? Can people learn effectively without being assessed?  May be not, under a formal education system.  But if we argue that it is growth of a person as a product of learning (refer to Stephen’s slides on Connectivism), and based on Connectivism and transculturality, then the assessment would be embedded in the “growth of knowledge, skills and competency”, which could be reflected in the performance in study or that at work, and that comes naturally also in network conversation.

This could be a crucial question relating to the effectiveness of MOOC in learning.  Our past researches in MOOC all PUT assessment LAST as a design and delivery criteria for success in learning.  Why?  May be we couldn’t assess the learning emerged out of MOOC that easily, since lots of learning relates to conversation, interaction and development of PLE.  Due to the unique nature of learning in a distributed learning space, the assessment could be based on a subjective measure, and we could hardly measure it objectively, or collectively – as it is idiosyncratic in nature – that each participant has his or her own learning goals, and you can’t measure the success of the personal goals versus a MOOC course “outcomes”.