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Sara Thompson

The Learning Black Market - 0 views

  • In simple terms students personal use of the internet is generally very effective for their education but they are nervous that their practices are not valid and don’t reveal them to their tutors.
  • The learning black market exists largely in the Personal area of the map. Our data from the Transitional education-stage (Late stage secondary school + first year undergraduate) is indicating that learning activity in this area has two main elements
  • I suspect that Facebook IM is used extensively for homework as it’s convenient and immediate. It’s also private and a very low risk way of collaborating with a fellow student.
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  • The debate should be around how we evolve educational processes to take advantage of or to account for these new forms.  We cannot continue to teach the literacies that have been the mainstay of the educational system in their current form because the web smashes traditional paths to understanding.
  • A search on Google to help complete an assignment commonly returns a Wikipedia article. As we know Wikipedia articles are pitched at an ideal level and length to get a handle on a new subject which is something our Transitional students have to do a lot. The problem is that most of the students in the Transitional education stage we have spoken to in the US and the UK have been told not to use Wikipedia and so keep this practice a secret.
  • This is generating the learning black market in which is it all too easy to simulate understanding for coursework and formal assessments. Worse still, it is a market in which genuine learning can take place but is not being recognised because resources and practices are not seen as valid and therefore do not become visible to the formal education system.
  • I think what you are describing here is more accurately a grey (or parallel) market “the trade of a commodity through distribution channels which, while legal, are unofficial, unauthorized, or unintended by the original manufacturer”.
  • I chose the name ‘Learning Black Market’ because of the way in which I think current approaches are pushing students learning practices ‘underground’ (as Jo’s experience would indicate). It’s the clandestine aspect of the phrase that I’m interested in. The ‘goods and services’ are not in themselves illegal but they are being treated that way by students.
    "The messages or lack of messages from educational institutions on these practices is generating a learning black market which masks the sheer scale of these new modes of engagement."
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