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Paul Beaufait

Half an Hour: The Future of Online Learning: Ten Years On - 0 views

  • While we want to provide personalized attention, especially to submitted work, testing and grading, learning is still heavily dependent on the teacher. But because the teacher in turn is responsible for assembling, and often presenting, the materials to be learned, customization and personalization have not been practical. So we have adopted a model where small groups of people form a cohort, thus allowing the teacher to present the same material to more than one person at a time, while offering individualized interaction and assessment.
  • Though networks have always existed, modern communications technologies highlight their existence and given them a new robustness. Networks are distinct from groups in that they preserve individual autonomy and promote diversity of belief, purpose and methodology. In a network, however, people do not act as disassociated individuals, but rather, cooperate in a series of exchanges that can produce, not merely individual goods, but also social goods.
  • In the case of informal learning, however, the structure is much looser. People pursue their own objectives in their own way, while at the same time initiating and sustaining an ongoing dialogue with others pursuing similar objectives. Learning and discussion is not structured, but rather, is determined by the needs and interests of the participants.
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  • it is not clear that an outcomes driven system is what students require; many valuable skills and aptitudes – art appreciation, for example – are not identifiable as an outcome. This becomes evident when we consider how learning is to be measured. In traditional learning, success is achieved not merely by passing the test but in some way being recognized as having achieved expertise. A test-only system is a coarse system of measurement for a complex achievement.
  • The products of our conversations are as concrete as test scores and grades. (Ryan, 2007) But, as the result of a complex and interactive process, they are much more complex, allowing not only for the measurement of learning, but also for the recognition of learning. As it becomes easier to simply see what a student can accomplish, the idea of a coarse-grained proxy, such as grades, will fade to the background.
  • Most educators, and most educational institutions, have not yet embraced the idea of flow and syndication in learning. They will – reluctantly – because it provides the learner with the means to manage and control his or her learning. They can keep unwanted content to a minimum (and this includes unwanted content from an institution). And they can manage many more sources – or content streams – using feed reader technology.

    RSS and related specifications will be one of the primary ways Personal Learning Environments connect with remote systems. To use a PLE will be essentially to immerse oneself in the flow of communications that constitutes a community of practice in some discipline or domain on the internet.
  • In the end, what will be evaluated is a complex portfolio of a student’s online activities. (Syverson & Slatin, 2006)
  • place independence means that real learning will occur in real environments, with the contributions of the students not being some artifice designed strictly for practice, but an actual contribution to the business or enterprise in question.
  • As it becomes more and more possible to teach oneself online, and even to demonstrate one’s achievement through productive membership in a community of practice, there will be greater demand for a formalized system of recognition, a way for people to demonstrate their competence in an area without having to go through a formal program of study in the area.
  • the major shift in instructional technology will be from systems centered on the educational institution to systems centered on the individual learner.
  • rather than the employment of a single system to accomplish all educational tasks, both instructors and learners will use a variety of different tools in combination with each other.
  • Automation allows us to more easily create and present content, to more easily form groups and collaborate, to more easily give tests and take surveys. This frees instructors to perform tasks that have been traditionally more difficult and time consuming – to relate to students on a personal basis, to offer coaching and moral support, to learn about and analyze a student’s inclinations and understandings.
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    Thanks for all of your inspiration!
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    "an epic, must-read article" according to Brian Lamb (A social layer for DSpace? 2008.11.19
    http://weblogs.elearning.ubc.ca/brian/archives/049355.php)
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