#Change11 #CCK12 Student Owned Learning Engagement Model

This Student Owned Learning Engagement Model sounds useful.

Simon Atkinson elaborates in his paper:

“Expectations of systematized pedagogical planners and embedded templates of learning within the institutional virtual learning environments (VLEs) have, so far, failed to deliver the institutional efficiencies anticipated. In response, a new model of learning design is proposed with a practical, accessible, and freely available “toolkit” that embodies and embeds pedagogical theories and practices. The student-owned learning-engagement (SOLE) model aims to support professional development within practice, constructive alignment, and holistic visualisations, as well as enable the sharing of learning design processes with the learners themselves.”

The SOLE model’s (Atkinson, 2010) original development goals were threefold:

  1. to embed pedagogical guidance regarding constructive alignment (Biggs & Tang, 2007) inside a learning design tool easily accessible to staff;
  2. to produce a practical model that captured the lessons to be learnt from Laurillard’s representations of conversational learning processes (Laurillard, 2002);
  3. to enable the development of a practical toolkit which would make patterns of learning design shareable and transparent to students and colleagues (Conole & Fill, 2005).

I have been thinking about how learning engagement could be supported and evaluated under MOOC.  As the current MOOC (based on connectivist model) has a focus on individual learning goals (and outcomes), rather than course learning outcomes, this learning engagement model would need to be adapted to provide a flexible framework for participants to work on.

How to use the toolkit for evaluating and assessing the learning in MOOC?  The breakdown of elements of “learning” might be useful if the individual learning and development plans, the personal learning process and connections are linked to the toolkit.

A Digital of What?

Social Media and Academia

In this post on social media’s slow slog into the ivory towers of academia:

“we assumed these kids already know, and we don’t teach them. And we expect them to know things and we grade them; we evaluate them; we hire them based on what we think, we assume, they know. And they don’t. How would you know this stuff if no one ever bothered to point it out to you that this is something you should be learning, because everyone assumes you already know?”

Assumptions, assumptions after assumptions, that is why I think we need to question those assumptions behind, especially when we have little ideas about the background knowledge, skills and experience of the kids.

Digital Natives and Digital Migrants

It seems unhelpful to mark and distinguish the students/learners basing upon the labelling of digital “natives” from digital “migrants”.

How about the users’ behaviour? This report  published by JISC on the digital information seekers provides a comprehensive account on users’ behavior.   Refer also to this Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies  on the use of library facilities, resources and technologies.

Visitors and Residents

Another way of looking into users’ behavior is based on Visitors and Residents, as shared by David White.  See this post on Visitors and Residents for further details.

Downside of Social Media

What are the downside of social media based on an information over-abundance?  This post may strike a chord for many people who found information abundance an issue. There are concerns on the impact of internet on our attention and cognition.

 Nicolas Carr’s influential article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” for the Atlantic suggested the Internet was sapping our attention and stunting our reasoning.

How about the use of digital resources by students and staff?

In this Disappearing of digital resources:

“It wasn’t surprising to find that students were Googling for anything they could get their hands on but the extent to which academics are doing this as well was unexpected. The difference between the groups was that staff have the expertise required to critically evaluate what they find while the students are nervous about waiting-time using resources which might prove to be off-topic.”

So a digital of what?  Residents and Visitors, and a blend of them.

Postscript: An excellent paper on Visitors and Residents.

An interesting post here relating to Digital Native

Creative Learning Theory

I will be working on a paper on Creative Learning Theory soon.

Why creative learning?

In this article on wikipedia on Creative thinking:

Some see the conventional system of schooling as “stifling” of creativity and attempt (particularly in the pre-school/kindergarten and early school years) to provide a creativity-friendly, rich, imagination-fostering environment for young children.[88][89][90] Researchers have seen this as important because technology is advancing our society at an unprecedented rate and creative problem solving will be needed to cope with these challenges as they arise.[90] In addition to helping with problem solving, creativity can also helps students identify problems where others have failed to do so.[88][89][91] See the Waldorf School as an example of an education program that promotes creative thought.

Promoting intrinsic motivation and problem solving are two areas where educators can foster creativity in students. Students are more creative when they see a task as intrinsically motivating, valued for its own sake.[89][90][92][93] To promote creative thinking educators need to identify what motivates their students and structure teaching around it. Providing students with a choice of activities to complete allows them to become more intrinsically motivated and therefore creative in completing the tasks.[88][94]

Teaching students to solve problems that do not have well defined answers is another way to foster their creativity. This is accomplished by allowing students to explore problems and redefine them, possibly drawing on knowledge that at first may seem unrelated to the problem in order to solve it.[88][89][90][92]

Several different researchers have proposed methods of increasing the creativity of an individual. Such ideas range from the psychological-cognitive, such as Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving ProcessSynectics, Science-based creative thinking, Purdue Creative Thinking Program, and Edward de Bono‘s lateral thinking; to the highly-structured, such as TRIZ(the Theory of Inventive Problem-Solving) and its variant Algorithm of Inventive Problem Solving (developed by the Russian scientist Genrich Altshuller), and Computer-Aided Morphological analysis.

The MOOC and many other network learning based on Web2.0 experiences reveal the importance of creativity as a pedagogical framework, where teaching and learning is based on the creation of networks and artifacts, and the subsequent remixing and re-purposing of artifacts, and the adoption of tools and technology to aid in communication and learning.

I have been thinking about the title:

A theory on Creative Learning at a digital learning era.

I would like to consider research into the creative learning that relates to past MOOCs, the present eduMOOC and Mother of MOOC that is forth coming.

I would likely start with a Google Document or wiki for documenting the research and writings.

This would be an open research project, and I hope any one interested in this would build on the theory.  Creativity is all about us, not just the creator of the theory. That is my proposition.

More to come at a later stage of my writing.

#PLENK2010 On Learning Theories and Learner Taxonomy

In this post, I would like to explore Learning theories and Learner Taxonomy.

Refer to my previous post and an interesting post here on Bloom’s Taxonomy, what further elements might be considered in the latest revised Bloom’s model?

How about

(a) connections/disconnections/re-connections of learner with networks;

(b) interactions/engagement/cooperation/collaboration/integration with nodes/networks; growth, development & sustainability/decay;

(c) unlearning/relearning in response to changing/dynamic networked/learning environments?

The article here provides a useful summary of some application of learning theories.  Peter concluded that:

To make online teaching and training materials more effective, an agency should first establish suitable learning goals and objectives. Since the priority of instruction is to “benefit” or “instruct” the learner, instructional designers should then strive to facilitate the learning process i.e., make learning easier. This can be accomplished by applying proven learning theories and pedagogical practices, as well as, practical web-design strategies and guidelines, to their instructional design.

I have been recently thinking about learning based on a number of perspectives/assumptions (refer to this  Match and Mismatch between Learner Stages and Teacher Styles also discussed in Rita’s post here):
(a) Learning from a teaching perspective,
(b) learning from a learning perspective,
(c) teaching from a teaching perspective, and
(d) teaching from a learning perspective.

This would then form a matrix with the 4 quadrants. Each quadrant would then be connected with others (juxtaposed) to delineate the emphasis based on a number of criteria.

Teaching perspective could include the following themes & dimensions: LMS, Formal course/instructional design & pedagogy, teaching space, power and control (where I would like to refer to Stephen’s post on power of networks), assessment and accreditation, teachers’ role and responsibilities, teaching and learning resources.

Learning perspective could include the following themes & dimensions: PLE/PLN, eportfolio, self and peer assessment and teacher’s assessment, learners’ role and responsibilities, OER (open education resources), learner’s autonomy, social media, networks and Web 2.0 (i.e. media affordance), and network connections, interactions and engagement.

With each perspective, then one could develop the mapping based on a model similar to revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, (though I think it could be further refined or developed based on a more learner-based PLE/N model), to reflect the dynamic and adaptive mode of learning, rather than the “static” and linear model of “taxonomy”.

How about a dynamic model that is based on Folksonomy and Wordle approach (with tags and key words of learning from a learners’ perspective)?

The emerged themes would form the basis of individual’s learning based on personal learning, “individual learning styles”, multiple intelligence one has and the conceptual connections within and across domains. This could then be overlaid with the teacher’s perspectives (like the constructive alignment).

Such approach would be based on emergent principles (i.e. both the chaos and complexity theory) as the learner may be self-directed and the network he/she engages may be self organising, which means that a higher order of learning would involve sensemaking and wayfinding – i.e. identifying ways and strategies, analysing, sensing (sense making), responding, interacting, cooperating and collaborating/open sharing via networks, personal risk “controlling”, integrating, creating (individually, connectively, and or collectively) and deciding.

Such teaching/learning needs to be based upon the complexity of learning situations (situational learning, learning trajectory that one would like to adopt, i.e. LPL (legitimate Peripheral Learning) or Self-directed Learning to Active Participative Learning and personal autonomy.

Finally a connective learning approach would consolidate and integrate the learning that form the basis of networked learning – with different learning theories embedded at different stages of learning as shared here.


#PLENK2010 Mastery Learning and Bloom’s Taxonomy

I read this blog and the videos on Blogging and Blooms with great interests.

Here is my response:

Thanks Angela for this interesting post. I think Bloom’s model could be useful for structured Mastery Learning, based on an identification of cognitive entry behaviour, affective entry characteristics and Quality of Instruction, that are highly relevant in classroom teaching and assessment.  The digital model developed by Andrew Churches sounds well, and have attempted to modify the Taxonomy to cater for the digital literacies.   May I respond with my previous post on mastery-learning-blooms-hypothesis-and-taxonomy-and-connectivism?

I have been thinking if the notion of create is interpreted differently by educators and learners.  At times, create could come first for a learner, especially when creating a blog (and a blog post), or a video on Youtube or vimeo, bliptv, or a piece of creative writing, and if this sounds like the highest “skills set” under the Bloom’s Taxonomy, then Evaluate, Analyse seem to be lower in the Taxonomy as compared to Create.  Would this be rightly interpreted?  Besides, a learner could be learning a task whilst tackling a problem (problem or project based learning) in a digital world, which could include participation in project, communication and collaboration in wiki, interacting with others through blogs and forum postings, and creation of artefacts (blog posts for reflection, collection, videos production, repurposing and remixing of multimedia – for digital story telling etc.), personal thinking and reflection using reflexive techniques.  These require a mix of skills and literacies and so trying to identify them into the strict taxonomy may sometimes lead to constraints on educators in setting the tasks (questions) and the learners in the creation of artefacts.

How would educators overcome these?  I think the structured taxonomy model (revised) one is more suitable for assessment, but needs to be re-conceptualised in the case of learning, especially when we try to identify a digital project in terms of the competencies which are embedded in it.  That’s where a connectivist model could be useful to connect the various skills and competencies, and delineate the relationship so both educators and learners could understand how they could achieve their learning through learning by action, with projects, problems, rather than the mere instruction. What do you think?

Renewed thanks for your stimulating post.


Connectivism Taxonomy – A re-visit

 I have just re-visited George Connectivism Blog:


 Here is the response that I left on 27 September 2008:

Sui Fai John Mak:

George, great to learn about this taxonomy.

Your taxonomy prompted me to reflect upon Bloom’s Hypothesis:
1. A normal person can learn anything that teachers can teach
2. Under favourable learning conditions the effects of individual differences will approach vanishing point, while under unfavourable learning conditions the effects of individual differences will be greatly exaggerated
3. Individual learning needs vary greatly
4. Uncorrected learning errors are responsible for most learning difficulties

Under Bloom’s model, instead of trying to bend the learner to suit the method of teaching, Bloom’s approach sees the task of educators being to tailor the teaching process to suit the learning needs of the individual.

Since I learnt the above model in 1985, I witnessed great changes in the learning approaches, and that most of the hypothesis set out by Bloom needed modification if we are to consider a similar behavioural approach in teaching in this digital age.

For instance, hypothesis 1 doesn’t fit the on-line learner, as any normal person can learn anything even without the teachers. In hypothesis 2, Bloom contends that the most important factors influencing learning in the individual child are the interactions that occur between the child and its parents on the one hand and between the child and the teaching process on the other. Again, such hypothesis is no longer true in an on-line environment where the emphasis is no other just on the teaching process, and that the learner is not merely relying on the teaching process, rather the learner will consider his/her learning style in his learning(David Kobb’s learning style seems to be more useful in an on-line or connectivism approach).

Also an experiential approach is often preferred amongst adults in an on-line environment.

In your connectivism taxonomy – you have proposed a staged view of how learners encounter and explore learning in a networked/ecological manner (the taxonomy begins with the basic and moves to the more complex).

My comments are: As connectivism is operating in an open system model, would such a simple taxonomy approach be good enough? I am doubtful if learning could be viewed in a linear manner in a connective environment, and am unsure if one could describe a staged view of how learners and explore learning in a networked/ecological manner that reflects the reality?

Once we define such staged views of learners, we may have assumed that a learner is learning in distinct stages, and that we can measure competency in a discrete manner – i.e. there are units of competency, elements and performance criteria clearly articulated.

But if I reflect on the chaos and fuzzy dynamic environment any learner is facing nowadays, the reality is that competency of an on-line learner can no learner be based on those defined units of competency. It must include a fuzzy set of continuum variables which are attributes transcending beyond the semantics, or linguistics – this includes emotional elements (i.e. EQ – emotional control, self awareness, self confidence, motivation, social skills and interpersonal skills, social elements (social awareness, ethics, intellectual property awareness etc.) which are very difficult to define in terms of competency. Even if can define all these emotional, social elements, there would be difficulties in drawing a map between all these dynamic factors or competencies, which could all change due to other factors such as culture, equity and learner’s access to technology.

In this respect, it would be imperative to develop hypothesis that are robust enough to take all those factors into consideration.

1. So what are the hypothesis behind this connectivism taxonomy?
2. Will such hypothesis be fluid or static? I would be interested to know if a further change in some of the technologies or learning environment would change the hypothesis.
3. Is a taxonomy good enough reflection of the staged views of learner.
4. Is such a taxonomy able to generalise under different learning circumstances?

In conclusion,

I am uncertain if a rigid taxonomy would be appropriate in building up a model on connectivism.

My suggestion:

I think a dynamic n-dimensional (or mxn matrix) model of taxonomy would be more appropriate and reflective of the reality. An adaptation of a Quality Function Deployment approach may be useful (ie. the voice of the learners on the left columnn and and the enablers and process of learning on the row of a matrix): i.e. With a matrix of What versus How in the the learning hierarchy/taxonomy. The “what” aspects would include What the learner’s needs are in a hierachical form and the How’s aspects would include the teaching/learning process, the enablers such as the technologies (Web 2.0 etc.)the networks,and other important enablers of learning such as support, mentoring, etc.
3. This might also take the form of a network, though such network may be in the form of a mind map superimposed by the what and how aspects of learning.

I would be interested in conducting research in this area to further explore about the theory of connectivism. Please contact me if you think such an approach might be useful to you.

I could be contacted via:

Looking forward to learn your views.