#Change11 How would a Shift of Framework help? A New Model for Understanding Time in Pedagogical Contexts

I enjoyed reading this Multidimensional Facets of Time in Online Learning by Pekka Ihanainen and John W. Moravec.

Ihanainen and Moravec provide a typology of Learning:

1. Temponormative Learning

2. Pointillist Learning

3. Cyclical Learning

4. Overlapping Learning

I am particularly interested in how they have elaborated on each category of  learning.  Here are my short notes.

Pointillist learning – Pointillist behavior and learning implies an ability to tolerate the insecure, uninterrupted, un anticipated and obvious absurdity of the “moment,” but at the same time it indicates a capacity to differentiate the essential from the unessential and to perceive the whole from fragments, almost as a fractal construction of personal experiences and understanding.  Such fractal construction of personal experiences and understanding also resonates with what I describe here, here and here.  I would like to expand this fractal construction in future research, where learning as conversation and social interaction could be viewed and conceptualised in a holistic perspective, under an ecology, or an experience in MOOC.

Pontillist pedagogy is the pedagogy of serendipity.  This sounds useful and I would like to relate to my experience here, here and Carmen’s post here where she reflected beautifully: Stepping out of a normal routine, finding novelty, being open to serendipity, enjoying the unexpected, embracing a little risk, and finding

In such a scenario, learning happens in instances and waves, independent of a definable pedagogical time.

In the overlapping Learning – “Pulsating waves of new knowledge generation within the learning group, beyond the learning group, and in the spaces between.”

I have conceived knowledge and learning as waves here, and so I would like to see if the Temponormative Learning, Pointillist Learning, Cyclical Learning, and Overlapping learning be metaphorically conceptualised as different waveforms, based on fractals and chaos patterns, where the different temponormative waves, pulsating waves and cyclical waves meet, causing interferrence and or resonance in the media, under sets, nets, groups, or collectives, and thus exhibiting different patterns under a Chaordic (chaos and order) ecology.  This requires further research and validation 🙂

 Picture: Google images

De-pedagogy means that as facilitators of learning, we have to give up our role as teachers and start working as colearners and peers within our own pointillist environments.  This sounds challenging to those facilitators who are accustomed to the instructivist paradigms – as sage on the stage, with lectures as the primary approach towards knowledge dissemination.

In reflection, I would like to dig deeper into our previous research here to see how the different learning pans out in CCK08, and subsequent MOOCs.

I would surely be excited if  Pekka Ihanainen and John W. Moravec include more empirical and grounded research findings and claims to their model.

It could be interesting to research into this learning typology with the Change11 MOOC.

I would surely like to respond to their challenge: “So in lieu of a conclusion, we leave educators—particularly online educators—with a challenge: Afforded the post-temponormative enabling of online environments, how can we best leverage these opportunities of pedagogical time to facilitate multidimensional learning and meaningful new knowledge production?”  How about you?


Mak, Sui, Fai, J., Williams, R. & Mackness, J. (2010). Blogs and Forums as Communication and Learning Tools in a MOOC. In Networked Learning Conference, Aarlborg (pp. 275-284). Retrieved from http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/organisations/netlc/past/nlc2010/abstracts/Mak.html

5 thoughts on “#Change11 How would a Shift of Framework help? A New Model for Understanding Time in Pedagogical Contexts

  1. Thanks for the nod, but I think it would be metaphorically wrong to use fractals to describe human systems. Fractals are infinitely complex sets that can be created with simple algorithms. Humans are much more complex, and feed into their own complexity. New language is needed that respects this inherent complexity. Cheers. jm

  2. Hi John,
    Thanks for your visit. I agree that humans are much more complex than fractals. What I have been thinking of is fractals (in form of language) throughout the conversation. As we are all using the standard words, with vocabulary, especially in spoken and written English, would this pattern of word and language usage be one form of fractals (at least metaphorically)? We have already been using automated voice recognition mechanism in response to standard phone calls, public enquiries etc. Besides, the meme (like retweets, links to blog posts) transmitted throughout the social media could be a form of fractals, which may be amplified and multiplied in unpredictable ways, under an ecology.

    I am still searching for the new language you mentioned, when it comes to interaction, and complex problem solving when agents interact in the networks. I still haven’t found much research of fractals in social science, though there are many articles that relate fractals in complexity science.

    Thanks again for your sharing of wonderful insights.


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