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Task Discussion

  • Jennifer Claro   May 21, 2012, 5:03 p.m.

    This article brought back to me the feeling many of us had a few years ago of “WOW, look at all we can do online now!” I think Brown and Adler would be quite pleased to see things like P2PU as well as MOOCs like Change 2011, and new open courses being offered by some top American univerities at Coursera (Princton, Stanford, etc.) and the upcoming edX by MIT and Harvard. Article here. It’s WOW all over again! :)

    I found some passages useful, the one discussing Light’s (p. 18) work on small study groups (isn't that what we are at Researcher’s Homestead?). He found that one of the strongest determinants in students’ success was their ability to form and participate in small study groups. This affected their learning even more than instructors’ teaching styles. I’m very into group learning and so this was a nice finding to… find. In the future, I hope to do research on small groups and their extended learning environments as well as personal learning environments and compare them. I’m also interested in online resources like Khan Academy and how students can learn well by watching videos (because they can do it again and again) and doing practice exercises online. My English teacher self wants the same thing for English learners! :)

    I also like the term, “a lightweight, bottom-up, emergent socio-technical structure”. Yes, that’s what it is, isn’t it! And OPLE, open participatory learning ecosystem. Wonderful wording. Organic, creative, linked learning for everyone. And our little Homestead, and we Homesteaders, are a part of all this. Cool eh? :)

  • Jessy Kate Schingler   May 21, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

    neat paper, pretty light reading and a little dated :).

    a few things stuck out for me which i think will be valuable concepts to work with. the main one was the notion of a reflective practicum. IIUC this is what brown and adler see as the key differentiating factor between a social network (or any interactive or social experience) and a learning experience. the notion of a reflective practice is definitely something we could build into p2pu workflows (culturally or technically). reflection actually already is a part of many challenges on p2pu, though i don't know how much those tasks are actually completed. reflective practice could also be part of the badging process. i do feel we could incorporate this more deeply into the culture of courses/study groups.

    how would we do this for OUR reading group? perhaps by having a reflective week every so often to look back on what we've learned? perhaps to encourage ourselves to explicitly identify things we'd like to try or generalize based on our readings, and then report back on what came of that?

    the authors also bring up the open source movement in this paper, and mention the benevolent dictatorship model and how simple tasks are made accessible to new contributors. i wonder if we could apply the model of simple initial tasks to p2pu, to provide clearer structures for people to engage in learning groups, and also something to strive for? sort of a progression on what it means to be a member of a group.

    thinking about the statement that reflective practicum comes from being immersed in a community of practice (p.9), one idea i had with respect to the work i'll be doing this summer is to provide an opportunity for learners to pair up with others, to create a community pf practice and support between each other.

    finally, there is a footnote in the references section that mentions the "thousands of online technical forums" emerging around nearly every product... i wonder if it would be possible to compare, through some kind of text analysis of these forums, how they compare and contrast with, say, the p2pu-community list, in terms of "reflective practicum". it would be an interesting experiment, to code and analyze what is meant by reflection and where it appears.

  • Rebecca Cober   May 21, 2012, 10:31 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Jessy Kate Schingler   May 21, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

    I enjoyed reading this article too, and I also had the feeling that it was a little dated. I would like to see a folllow up article that refects on the progress of the open participatory learning ecosystems that showed "great promise" when the aricle was written. Jessy's idea of comparing reflective practice across various platforms sounds interesting and daunting! Could be an interesting long term project for the researchers homestead group! The article also made me think about the nature of academic publishing and how it is appropriate to write articles that are accessible to wider audiences from time to time.

  • Jennifer Claro   May 21, 2012, 5:06 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Jessy Kate Schingler   May 21, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

    Hi Jessy,

    I'd love to hear more about your "idea i had with respect to the work i'll be doing this summer is to provide an opportunity for learners to pair up with others, to create a community pf practice and support between each other" sometime. Sounds great!

  • Jessy Kate Schingler   May 23, 2012, 5:48 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Rebecca Cober   May 21, 2012, 10:31 a.m.

    maybe an easy way to start would be to create a "task" or a link to a spreadsheet, where we track examples of learning envionments/projects/forums/discussion groups and make a note about tthe reflective practices we observed? not sure i'd have anything to add right now, but if i start coming across them, i'll add a new task :)

  • Jennifer Claro   May 16, 2012, 11:32 p.m.

    Here's the article Minds on Fire. I don't know how to do the crocodoc thing, but we don't need to this time anyway because this article is freely available online.