I have been pondering on the prescriptive and emergent learning for years.
Basic questions are:
What is the difference between prescriptive and emergent learning?
What are the assumptions behind prescriptive and emergent learning?
What sort of questions would be helpful in exploring emergent learning?
What would be the importance of prescriptive and emergent learning for future higher education?
How would educators and learners value prescriptive and emergent learning in future higher education?
The footprints are about the balance to be achieved between prescriptive and emergent learning. We are definitely not saying that in any given learning environment ‘emergent’ is right and ‘prescriptive’ is wrong, or vice versa. (Mackness, 2012)
Prescriptive learning is based on the premises that learners would be learning based on the prescribed learning curriculum, with definite learning and assessment outcomes, performance criteria. This would likely be best addressed by the competency based education and training. That would also be focused on specific knowledge domains or skills areas, which are most likely known. I would try to describe these sort of learning to be the simple and complicated learning scenarios. I suppose xMOOCs would likely be a platform to support prescriptive learning, though they could equally be useful to support emergent learning.
Emergent learning on the other hand is based on the premises that learners would be learning based on emergent learning curriculum, with emergent learning and assessment outcomes, performance criteria. This would likely be best addressed by an adaptive and flexible education and training system, which would be evolving around learners’ changing needs, and would likely be supported with eportfolios, PLE/N. I would like to relate to my previous post on the type of platforms and tools for use in MOOCs. I would try to describe these sort of learning to be based on a complex interaction among the agents, actors and artifacts, and could relate to complex and chaotic learning scenarios. I suppose cMOOCs would likely be a platform to support emergent learning, though they could equally be useful to support prescriptive learning.
Is emergent learning right and prescriptive learning wrong for a given learning environment? I would argue that it depends on the context and needs and expectations of the learners or participants. In the case of COPs, especially in an online environment, emergent learning would “emerge” as a result of complex interaction of the participants, and so prescriptive learning would be limited in such case. In the case of xMOOCs, where known knowledge is developed further, prescriptive learning is expected by the institutions, educators, both from a mastery learning point of view. Prescriptive learning would then evolve as a result of discussion in the forum, under certain constraints, and thus form the basis of prescriptive knowledge.
This is my understanding and pondering.
How do you apply emergent learning?