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Keith Hamon

Reflections on open courses « Connectivism - 4 views

  • In education, content can easily be produced (it’s important but has limited economic value). Lectures also have limited value (easy to record and to duplicate). Teaching – as done in most universities – can be duplicated. Learning, on the other hand, can’t be duplicated. Learning is personal, it has to occur one learner at a time. The support needed for learners to learn is a critical value point.
    • Ed Webb
      Excellent insight!
    • Keith Hamon
      Here's the key: if what we are typically doing in our classrooms can be easily duplicated, then it has lost its value in both the wider economy and in the educational ecosystem. We university professors must redefine the way we add value to our students' personal learning networks.
  • Learning, however, requires a human, social element: both peer-based and through interaction with subject area experts
  • Content is readily duplicated, reducing its value economically. It is still critical for learning – all fields have core elements that learners must master before they can advance (research in expertise supports this notion).
    - Teaching can be duplicated (lectures can be recorded, Elluminate or similar webconferencing system can bring people from around the world into a class). Assisting learners in the learning process, correcting misconceptions (see Private Universe), and providing social support and brokering introductions to other people and ideas in the discipline is critical.
    - Accreditation is a value statement – it is required when people don’t know each other. Content was the first area of focus in open education. Teaching (i.e. MOOCs) are the second. Accreditation will be next, but, before progress can be made, profile, identity, and peer-rating systems will need to improve dramatically. The underlying trust mechanism on which accreditation is based cannot yet be duplicated in open spaces (at least, it can’t be duplicated to such a degree that people who do not know each other will trust the mediating agent of open accreditation)
  • ...6 more annotations...
  • The skills that are privileged and rewarded in a MOOC are similar to those that are needed to be effective in communicating with others and interacting with information online (specifically, social media and information sources like journals, databases, videos, lectures, etc.). Creative skills are the most critical. Facilitators and learners need something to “point to”. When a participant creates an insightful blog post, a video, a concept map, or other resource/artifact it generally gets attention.
  • Intentional diversity – not necessarily a digital skill, but the ability to self-evaluate ones network and ensure diversity of ideologies is critical when information is fragmented and is at risk of being sorted by single perspectives/ideologies.
  • The volume of information is very disorienting in a MOOC. For example, in CCK08, the initial flow of postings in Moodle, three weekly live sessions, Daily newsletter, and weekly readings and assignments proved to be overwhelming for many participants. Stephen and I somewhat intentionally structured the course for this disorienting experience. Deciding who to follow, which course concepts are important, and how to form sub-networks and sub-systems to assist in sensemaking are required to respond to information abundance. The process of coping and wayfinding (ontology) is as much a lesson in the learning process as mastering the content (epistemology). Learners often find it difficult to let go of the urge to master all content, read all the comments and blog posts.
  • e. Learning is a social trust-based process.
  • Patience, tolerance, suspension of judgment, and openness to other cultures and ideas are required to form social connections and negotiating misunderstandings.
  • An effective digital citizenry needs the skills to participate in important conversations. The growth of digital content and social networks raises the need citizens to have the technical and conceptual skills to express their ideas and engage with others in those spaces. MOOCs are a first generation testing grounds for knowledge growth in a distributed, global, digital world. Their role in developing a digital citizenry is still unclear, but democratic societies require a populace with the skills to participate in growing a society’s knowledge. As such, MOOCs, or similar open transparent learning experiences that foster the development of citizens confidence engage and create collaboratively, are important for the future of society.
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