Forum Replies Created
6th July 2016 at 12:21 pm #374
Lou – could you unpack this a little – what kinds of situation do you mean?
In reply to: Tell us about what helps you as an online learner?6th July 2016 at 11:43 am #373
I’m a terrible online learner -at least when it comes to structured learning – as the stack of guiltily-unopened emails from Coursera and FutureLearn in my email inbox would tell you.
I am the living embodiment of the downside of what Tressie McMillan Cottom called the “roaming autodidact” – I digest swathes of information daily, drawing on multiple specialisms and discourses and translating freely between them. What I do badly is complete/finish – I want to understand enough economic theory to grasp a parallel I am struggling to see, I don’t necessarily want to understand economic theory per se.
My knowledge is wide and (mostly) shallow, I collect connections and concepts to inform my own mental models, but my enthusiasm is focused on building those models rather than on any external metric of mastery.
So what helps me in learning online is the ability to set my own projects and goals, to have access to a wide range of resources and a group of peers to support me. What doesn’t help me is a course structure or timed-delimited focus, or “faux” problem-based learning (I like to cause my own problems 🙂 )6th July 2016 at 10:32 am #372
There’s a lot to argue here, but for me the rise of online learning is neither a cause or a symptom of the increasing commodification of learning. Certainly it can be deployed in ideology-filled ways, but equally there are many counter-examples. (For me the neoliberal turn in universities is around the standardisation and monitoring processes, but that’s lurching dangerously off topic.)
Thinking about the more successful examples (by any metric) of online learning, individual agency on behalf of instructors and learners has been key – see for example the Phonar project and the Jisc funded report into the situtations and agency that brought it about (Grey, McGill 2015 – http://comc.loumcgill.co.uk )4th July 2016 at 10:40 am #340
Easily the best online learning experience I have had was #ds106, a digital storytelling course which was (at the time) run out of the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.
Briefly I liked it because:
– it was of the web, not just on the web. The focus on what essentially amounted to web cultural and technical literacies helped here, but it inserted itself into the way I used the web rather than tried to move me into a less “resident” mode of interaction.
– huge efforts were made to build and cohere a strong community – in terms of promoting comment, interaction and reaction.
– it was fun! Even though we dealt with a fascinatingly broad range of theoretical content (drawing from film and cultural studies, radical pedagogies, sociology and literary theory) alongside some fairly in-depth technical practice – the spirit of anarchy and playful intertextuality was compelling and refreshing.
– it was non-prescriptive and unbounded. There was no concept of “drop-out” (indeed, it was more of a “drop-in” course…) and it was possible to take what you needed from the course.