Design Based Research Proposal

The focus of this Design Based Research (DBR) proposal is to identify opportunities for interventions to assist developing and improving digital literacies of staff in higher education. It uses Phases one and two of the ‘Predictive and design-based research approaches in educational technology research’ (Herrington, McKenny, Reeves, & Oliver, 2007) to develop a proposal.

Phase 1: Analysis of practical problems by researchers and practitioners in collaboration

 1.1 Context and problem

Background and context
Possessing ‘adequate’ digital literacies is an issue of importance for staff in higher education. A lack of digital literacy skills is frequently identified in the literature as a problem affecting the quality of eLearning experiences offered by higher education institutions (Jones & Clark, 2014). JiscinfoNet (2014, para 1) states that:

Digital literacy looks beyond functional IT skills to describe a richer set of digital behaviours, practices and identities. What it means to be digitally literate changes over time and across contexts, so digital literacies are essentially a set of academic and professional situated practices supported by diverse and changing technologies.

Digital literacy is a widely used term and can encompass many specific types of literacies. The model chosen to inform this proposal is the “Seven elements model” used in the Jisc project on Developing Digital Literacies. The seven elements of digital literacies and range of capabilities are defined as:

  1. Media literacy
  2. Communications and collaboration
  3. Career and identity management
  4. ICT Literacy
  5. Learning skills
  6. Digital scholarship
  7. Information Literacy
    (JISCinfoNet, 2014)

Networked learning and Connectivism have emerged as new learning paradigms (Kligyte, 2009) and digital literacy is considered as a prerequisite for engaging in an open and global educational environment (ACODE64, 2014). Connectivism argues that, “learning is the process of building networks of information, contacts and resources that are applied to real problems” (Siemens & Downes, 2007 as cited in Anderson & Dron, 2011, p.4). Thus learners need to develop the skills required for participation in a networked learning environment.

The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition has recently identified the ‘low digital fluency of faculty’ as a significant challenge impeding educational technology adoption in higher education. Digital literacy is identified as a key skill in every discipline and profession, and a lack of effective training exists in preparation of teaching staff. Importantly the Horizon Report (2014, p.22) states “digital literacy is less about the tools and more about the thinking”, thus having the skills to use the tools and platforms is just a starting point for changing staff attitudes and developing their digital literacy practices. Current thinking suggests that an institutional approach requiring all staff involved in higher education be digitally literate is desirable (JISC, 2013; ACODE, 2014, NMC Horizon Report, 2014).

As a staff member of Learning and Teaching Services within the Academic Services Division in a regional Australian university, my role is to provide support to teaching staff with the current focus on providing assistance to redesign courses and encouraging the adoption of teaching practices suited to online learning and teaching. In working with staff both academic and professional, and during my recent studies in online education, my awareness of the importance of possessing relevant digital literacies has grown. It has been observed that a lack of these can produce a gap between the rhetoric and the reality of educational outcomes (Jones & Clark, 2014). My current studies in Networked and Global Learning (NGL) have further reinforced the need for acquiring the digital literacies needed for learning, living and working in a networked environment.

 Statement of problem

This need to improve digital literacies of staff working in higher education has been identified by educational organisations both nationally and internationally. In addition to the 2014 Horizon Report’s identification of the problem, the Australasian Council on Open, Distance and e-Learning (ACODE), has recently hosted the ACODE64 Workshop titled “Developing Staff Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and practices for Staff” in 2014. ACODE (2014) states that:

For universities to operate effectively and critically in this constantly evolving environment and to provide enhanced and engaged learning, teaching and research experiences, staff need to be agile and confident in their engagement with technology, while universities need strategies and operational plans that embed literacy within core systems and processes.

 The importance of developing digital literacies is also evident from JISC’s recent funding of a £1.5 million Developing Digital Literacies program from 2011 to 2013. The aim of the program was “to promote the development of coherent, inclusive and holistic institutional strategies and organisational approaches for developing digital literacies for all staff and students in UK further and higher education” (JISC, 2013).

Furthermore the USQ Educational Experience Plan identified in the final stage of consultation that “a number of core and fundamental capacities that need to be further developed if USQ is going to succeed in its educational experience commitments” (EEP, 2014, p. 4). One of these capacity gaps is the need to develop improved digital and information fluency as it relates to all aspects of the educational experience (EEP, 2014). This indicates the importance of identifying opportunities to encourage staff working at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) to develop and improve their digital literacies, so they can more effectively participate and contribute to their education endeavours in a networked learning environment.

1.2 Peer review: Consultation with researchers and practitioners

1.3 Literature Review

Obstacles to adoption of digital literacies

It is important to identify some of the challenges encountered in higher education when encouraging staff to adopt new technologies. McIntyre (2014) explains that rapidly evolving digital devices and networks challenge the cultural practices within educational institutions and many educators have been slow to recognize the significance of these changes. A change and rethinking of teaching methodologies takes time, even when the need for change is clear. Academics need to understand digital literacies in relation to the practices of workplaces they are preparing students for, otherwise they risk becoming increasingly ineffective within the educational process (McIntyre, 2014).

Jisc (infoNet, 2014) identified in the Developing Digital Project that while many staff are advocates of using technologies in their teaching, there are also pockets of resistance and identify lack of confidence, lack of time to engage with new tools, a distrust of the academic benefits, and cultural attitudes as obstacles to the adoption of digital technologies. Kligyte (2009) suggests that many teachers will be resistant to adopting new technologies, as it requires changes to their practice and professional identity. To help overcome this resistance, it is considered important to display empathy and respect, and focus on long-term change that will allow teachers to work through the liminal space and approach threshold concepts of networked learning in stages (Kligyte, 2009).

Jeffrey, Hegarty, Kelly, Penman, Coburn, & McDonald (2011) conducted a study to identify obstacles and support factors that influenced the development of digital information literacy in staff and students in the tertiary education sector. They identified obstacles of low self-efficacy, low confidence and negative attitudes to technology, and found these were reduced by providing conditions that nurtured and empowered the participants through their workshop participation (Jeffrey et al., 2011). Brennan (2013) suggests it is important to create tasks and environments that allow achievements to happen and so enhance students’ opportunities for success. The importance of self-efficacy is emphasized by Brennan (2013) and described as, “our belief that a task is achievable by us, and that the environment in which we are working will allow us to achieve that task” (para 6). He believes this is what motivates students, therefore providing experiences which enhance student’s self-efficacy will be an important strategy in developing digital literacies.

Potential solutions – Examples of case studies and projects

Shattuck and Anderson (2013) used a design-based research study to identify principles for training instructors to teach online. The purpose of the study was “to evaluate whether the content, structure and instructional approaches of the COAT course effectively helped prepare higher education instructors to teach online” (Shattuck & Anderson, 2013, p. 190). An immersion approach was used to test the effectiveness of this method for assisting participants to adopt practices suited to teaching online. As also experienced personally in NGL studies this semester, the students in this intervention found that “being immersed in a new environment and faced with a different culture can at first cause frustration, confusion, self-doubt, and fear that can then lead to rethinking what is taken for granted as normal or commonplace behaviours” (Shattuck & Anderson, 2013, p. 199). They support the notion that “experiencing what it feels like to learn something in an unfamiliar and difficult learning environment is the best way to help instructors approach their subsequent online teaching from more student-centered perspectives” (Shattuck & Anderson, 2013, p. 199-200). This intervention demonstrated that the experience of being situated as students in an authentic online course, focused on online learning and teaching positively influenced their later online, on-campus and nonteaching practice (Shattuck & Anderson, 2013, p. 205).

The most recent course offering of the Certificate for Online Adjunct Teaching (COAT) project for educators is “Stay current with tools of the web: Create a Personal learning network. The promotion indicates that staff will learn to use some of the tools required for networked learning through a similar immersion approach – being situated as students/learners to provide an authentic learning experience, which can usefully inform their practice (MarylandOnline, 2014). The success of situated learning demonstrated in the COAT project could be applied at USQ to the Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning (PGTT) program re-accreditation. The inclusion of content to immerse students in a networked learning environment would provide the opportunity to develop teachers’ digital literacies in a similar manner.

Couros (2008) developed the Networked Teacher Model based on feedback from teachers participating in networked learning for professional development and provides a model for teachers to build professional connections to support teaching practice (Drexler, 2010). As the model indicates the skills and connections required for teaching and learning in a networked and global environment, it would help to inform the types of digital literacies required by teaching staff.

Figure 1: The networked teacher (Couros, 2008).

2922421696_c747a05f3b_b

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by courosa

The model is used by Drexler (2010) in a design based learning intervention to develop a Networked Student Model and address the problem of determining the level of structure required to facilitate networked learning and the development of a Personal Learning Environment (PLE). Drexler (2010) refers to the students as “networked learners in training” and concludes that students’ success depended on their motivation and also on the strategic guidance of the teacher. Teacher beliefs about the value of technology as a teaching tool can also influence outcomes, and a supportive organizational culture is needed to underpin ongoing mentoring and support for teachers (Drexler, 2010, p.8). It is proposed that using this model to develop a similar experience for academic and professional staff working in higher education would be relevant when placing staff in the ‘student’ role. It suggests that similar principles would apply to training teachers to become networked learners and equipped with some of the digital literacies required for engaging in an open and global educational environment (ACODE64, 2014).

A further example to support this approach is provided by Jeffrey, Hegarty, Kelly, Penman, Coburn, & McDonald (2011) when studying the development of digital information literacy in higher education, they used a case study design where four higher education institutions conducted ten two-hour workshops where participants were given autonomy over their learning and goals and encouraged to collaborate and engage in explorative trial-and-error learning. Their study used Dewey’s (1933) three educational principles deemed to have relevance in a digital learning environment: learning through experience, engagement in activities of personal relevance and learning collaboratively (Jeffrey et al, 2011). Practical workshops were used for developing digital information literacy, and included using Web 2.0 tools such as RSS feeds, wikis, blogs, social bookmarking, image sharing along with the action research cycle approach used by participants to solve their problems in a scaffolded and semi-structured environment (Jeffrey et al., 2011).

The ACODE64 Workshop “Developing Staff Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and practices for Staff” provided an opportunity for participating universities to articulate a conceptual understanding of digital literacies and fluency, identify institutional plans and structures which could incorporate references to digital literacy, consider the implementation and impact of new technologies on digital literacy and assess resources required to support digital literacy development of staff (ACODE, 2014). The activity based workshop included The University of Waikato’s case study of their approach to developing a Digital Literacy Framework. They defined digital literacy as “a way of thinking: in addition to technical prowess, it is about fluency, that includes critical thinking skills, mastery and an unconscious engagement with what is essential to living in the multimedia world” (Acode64 Resources, 2014). The Acode64 Resources site provides resources to assist educational institutions to develop a Digital Literacy Framework, which is of potential use for a proposed intervention at USQ.

The Developing Digital Literacies (2014) program promoted the development of coherent, inclusive approaches to digital capability across institutions of further and higher education. The resources developed are open and licensed as Creative Commons, which provides an opportunity to copy, share and adapt (remix) which aligns with networked learning principles of sharing and repurposing for another use. The Developing Digital Literacies infoKit (2014) provides useful sections on developing digital literacies, strategic perspectives on digital literacies and developing digital literacies in practice, and of particular relevance to this proposal is information on supporting staff. Developing staff digital literacies can often be overlooked and it is important that academic and support staff develop their own competence so they can more effectively provide support. Professional development programs are suggested for raising awareness of using digital tools and for helping staff to reflect on their own competencies (Jisc, infoNet, 2014).These case studies and approaches provide a useful starting point for the development of a proposed framework to address developing staff digital literacies at USQ.

Frameworks and Models

Models are considered useful when developing a framework to implement proposed interventions. Use of the Networked Teacher Model (Couros, 2008) to identify the skills and connections required for teaching staff, provides an opportunity to adopt networked learning approaches to developing digital literacies. The Seven Elements Model (JISCinfoNet, 2014) provides a useful starting point to identify the elements and competencies that would be required in various contexts at USQ.

Beetham and Sharpe’s (2010) pyramid model describes the developmental process for digital literacy, from access and functional skills to higher-level capabilities and identity (JISCInfoNet, 2014). The process of developing digital literacies is likened to language development in that “we acquire language and become increasingly proficient over time and eventually reach a level of fluency” (Jisc, infoNet, 2014).

Figure 2: Beetham and Sharpe ‘pyramid model’ of digital literacy development model (2010)

b&s modelpng

(Source: Jisc, infoNet, 2014).

The use of these models provides guidance for identifying and defining digital literacies, understanding the developmental process, and a stimulus for discussion and development of a collaborative approach to the development of a framework for developing digital literacies of staff at USQ.

Research questions

  • How to develop an enabling infrastructure to provide for the continuing development of digital literacies of staff working in higher education?
  • What are the characteristics of a framework for the development of digital literacies in a regional Australian university?
  • What approaches are required to develop the digital literacies needed for specific educational contexts and for the requirements of different roles and practices within a university?
  • Is there a need to redefine the approach to providing continuing professional development in order to progressively build the digital literacy capabilities of staff working in higher education?
  • In what ways and to what extent can opportunities for developing digital literacies through situated learning, be implemented in existing course and professional development offerings at USQ?

Phase 2: Development of solutions informed by existing design principles and technological innovations

2.1 Draft principles

The literature review has informed the following draft principles considered important to the proposed intervention, which will principally take place through professional development activities at USQ.

Digital literacy should be viewed as a developmental process
This approach to intervention fits the notion that staff are on a journey when developing and gaining fluency in their use of digital literacies (JiscinfoNet 2014).

Digital literacy is not a one size fits all skill set
Digital literacy is not a loose collection of separate skills, but rather skills, which need to be integrated into specific educational contexts (Jisc, DesignStudio, 2014).

The use of educational principles based on collaboration and sharing, bricolage – experiential learning and play, and personal relevance.
Dewey’s (1933) three educational principles are deemed to have relevance in a digital learning environment as demonstrated in Jeffrey et al.’s (2011) case study.

Immersive approaches to providing authentic learning experiences
The experience of situated learning is demonstrated by Shattuck & Anderson (2013), Jeffrey et al. (2011), and Drexler (2010) as a successful approach that could be applied to developing the digital literacies required for participation in a networked learning environment.

2.2 Proposed intervention

The intervention consists of three proposals as outlined in the following table.

Table 1: Alignment of proposed interventions, draft principles and research questions

DBR_table_png

 

Proposal one

The development of a framework at USQ for developing staff digital literacies, as outlined in the examples from ACODE64 Workshop and the Jisc program. The literature review has revealed that a coordinated institutional approach is preferable and that it be supported at all levels, both academic and professional. In the USQ context this would require adoption by management and provision of adequate resourcing to develop and implement a framework.

The suggested approach is the development of a self-evaluation digital literacy framework. This framework enabled a co-operative, partnership approach to be taken to pedagogic innovation in the DigiLit Leicester Project (DigiLit Leicester, 2014). It provided an opportunity to define and develop a new model, which provided a shared and open framework for implementing digital literacy, which was aimed at transforming the provision of education (Hall, Atkins, & Fraser, 2014). A shared development approach has potential for adaption and development of a negotiated and flexible framework for developing digital literacies of staff at USQ. This approach would allow flexibility to modify the framework for situated contexts and for the provision of relevant responses, which aligns with the draft principle that digital literacy is not a one size fits all.

The self-evaluation approach is proposed as a starting point for the intervention, which could then proceed to staff undertaking the professional development relevant for their context. This approach has potential to inform individual professional development needs, the yearly review process, and academic promotion. However, Hall, Atkins & Fraser (2014) indicated that their preferred project approach was to avoid performance management techniques and instead create a framework based on self-evaluation and co-operative continuing professional development.

Proposal two

Due to the nature of this suggested intervention it is proposed that a scoping project would be required to consult with stakeholders and develop draft principles to inform a framework for potential use at USQ. The development of conceptual frameworks was found helpful by most projects in the Jisc Developing Digital Literacies program, both for communicating with stakeholders and for designing and evaluating interventions. Pilot studies would be developed to trial the use of a self-evaluation approach for staff to identify their professional development needs in relation to digital literacies. The results of pilot studies would inform phases 3 and 4 of the DBR cycle (Herrington, McKenny, Reeves, & Oliver, 2007) and provide data to inform future development and implementation of the framework and the professional development options required for the project.

Proposal three

The Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning (PGTT) program re-accreditation process provides an opportunity to include NGL content, which would assist teachers to develop the digital skills and literacies required for participating in and facilitating networked learning. Stakeholder feedback on the PGTT and proposed Graduate Certificate of Tertiary Teaching (GCTT) has indicated that:

  • Current students value teachers experiencing online learning as students
  • Proposed new features need to be responsive to practical needs of tertiary teachers
  • Proposed new features need to be flexible e.g. summer intensives; online f2f options
  • Proposed topics – most favored was ‘Digital, distance and online’
  • Proposed foundation module topics included ‘Online learning and teaching’
  • Proposed assessment would apply principles to own practice/course design (situated learning approach with practical outcomes).

Therefore, it is proposed that the EDU8117: Networked and global learning course could provide a core or elective course within the new GCTT. The style of assessment tasks required of current students would provide the opportunity for teachers to apply NGL principles to USQ courses. It is proposed that this experience should be provided outside the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS). Shattuck and Anderson’s (2013) participants recommended that future training be undertaken in non-LMS learning environments to utilize the new and emerging learning technologies and provide a more authentic learning environment.

For professional development purposes, a micro-course could be developed as a modification of EDU8117, with NGL content. The recently developed Repurposing Open Educational Resources: An introduction (OEP1000) provides an example of courses needed for developing practices required for networked learning. It is suggested that an extension of the USQ23Things pilot, which explores a range of digital tools to support professional practice would be desirable. These initiatives would provide opportunities for staff to develop their digital literacies through online study, and could be supplemented by workshop intensives and offered each semester or as summer intensives. The professional development offerings for digital literacies development need to remain flexible due to the rapidly changing digital environment, which indicates the need for a flexible curriculum, offerings and options.

In conclusion, it is hoped that the adoption of the Educational Experience Plan at USQ will provide opportunities and incentives for all staff  to improve their digital literacies and fluencies, and so enhance their capacity to contribute to educational activities which are increasingly taking place in a networked and global environment.

List of References

ACODE64, (2014). Digital Literacy – what is it and how is it achieved? Retrieved from:http://www.acode.edu.au/pluginfile.php/572/mod_resource/content/1/ACODE%2064%20digital%20literacies%20workshop%20summary.pdf.

ACODE64, (2014). Developing Staff Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and practices for Staff. Retrieved from: http://www.acode.edu.au/course/view.php?id=3.

Anderson, T. & Dron, J. (2011). Three generations of distance education pedagogy. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12 (3). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/890/1663.

Brennan, K. (2013). In Connectivism, no one can hear you scream: A guide to understanding the MOOC novice. Hybrid Pedagogy, July 23. Retrieved from http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/Journal/in-connectivism-no-one-can-hear-you-scream-a-guide-to-understanding-the-mooc-novice/ .

Couros, A. (2008). The networked teacher. Flickr. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/courosa/2922421696/

Downes, S. (2011). “Connectivism” and Connective Knowledge. Retrieved April 09, 2011, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html.

Drexler, W. (2010). The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomy. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(3), 369-38.

Hall, R., Atkins, L., & Fraser, J. (2014). Defining a self-evaluation digital literacy framework for secondary educators: the DigiLit Leicester project. Research in Learning Technology, 22. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v22.21440 .

Herrington, J., McKenney, S., Reeves, T. & Oliver, R. (2007). Design-based research and doctoral students: Guidelines for preparing a dissertation proposal. In C. Montgomerie & J. Seale (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2007 (pp. 4089-4097). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved from: http://ro.ecu.edu.au/ecuworks/1612/ (Edith Cowan University Research Online)

Jeffrey, L., Hegarty, B., Kelly, O., Penman, M., Coburn, D., & McDonald, J. (2011). Developing digital information literacy in higher education: Obstacles and supports. Journal of Information Technology Education,10, 383-413. Retrieved from: www.jite.org/documents/Vol10/JITEv10p383-413Jeffrey1019.pdf .

JISC, (2014). Developing digital literacies. The Design Studio. Retrieved from:http://jiscdesignstudio.pbworks.com/w/page/46421608/Developing%20digital%20literacies.

JISC, (2014). Digital literacy framework. The Design Studio. Retrieved from: http://jiscdesignstudio.pbworks.com/w/page/46740204/Digital%20literacy%20framework.

JISC, (2014). Developing digital literacies. Retrieved from: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/developingdigitalliteracies.aspx.

JISC InfoNet, (2014). Developing Digital Literacies. InfoKits. Retrieved from: http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/digital-literacies/.

JISCinfoNet, (2014). Supporting staff. Infokits. Retrieved from: http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/digital-literacies/practice/supporting-staff/.

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/publications/2014-horizon-report-higher-ed

Jones, D., & Clark, D. (2014). Breaking BAD to bridge the reality/rhetoric chasm. To appear in the Proceedings of ASCILITE’2014. Dunedin, NZ.

Kligyte, G. (2009). Threshold concept: A lens for examining networked learning. In Proceedings of the Ascilite 2009 Conference (pp. 540-542). Auckland, NZ.

MarylandOnline, (2014). Personal learning network course. COAT. Retrieved from: http://marylandonline.org/coat/Personal-Learning-Network-Course .

McIntyre, S. (2014). Reducing the digital literacy divide through disruptive innovation. HERDSA Review of Higher Education, 1. Retrieved from www.herdsa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/HERDSARHE2014v01p83.pdf

Shattuck, J. & Anderson, J. (2013). Using a design-based research study to identify principles for training instructors to teach online. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14 (5), 187-210. Retrieved from: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1626/2710 .

University of Southern Queensland, (2014). Educational Experience Plan. Collaboratorium. Retrieved from: http://collaboratorium.net.au/wordpress/the-collaboratorium/eep/

University of Waikato, (2014). Acode64Resources. Retrieved from: https://sites.google.com/a/waikato.ac.nz/acode64-resources/home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peer review process

My initial post identified the problem of a lack of digital literacies for both students and staff in higher education. After consultation with the course examiner via email and consideration of the options, I decided to pursue the problem of the lack of digital literacies of staff working in higher education.

During this formative time I was able to identify potential external reviewers. Trisha is an educational technologist and has recently been employed by USQ’s Learning and Teaching Services and is based on the Toowoomba Campus. She is undertaking doctoral research using the Design Based Research (DBR) approach and during October I was able to have face-to-face discussions with her about my proposed intervention, and if it would fit the requirements for a DBR proposal. I made an informal request for her to provide peer review feedback and she accepted. My other reviewer Katie, was referred to me as a result of my original request to a colleague working in education at USQ. Katie works at Fraser Coast Campus and is also undertaking doctoral studies using DBR, and after email communication she also agreed to provide peer review feedback. This was followed up by a formal email request to both reviewers, which contained the following information about the requirements for the peer review process:

  • My background and context
  • Peer Review Guidelines
    • Comments or thoughts arising from the “problem” activity.
    • Comments or suggestions on research questions.
    • Feedback about how the proposal or planned intervention might work.
    • Feedback from a networked and global learning perspective – principles and literature used or consulted in the proposal.
  • A summary of information of the requirements for assignment 2
  • Links to assessment details on the course site and for the marking rubric.

Both reviewers were happy to use Google docs and a date was planned for Draft 1 to be available, and reviewers were emailed a link on 3 November. As this was only partly written up and sections still in note form, this document was a work in progress, until the remaining sections were written in full and the majority of Draft 1 comments had been addressed.Draft 2 was made available on 10 November to both reviewers, as well as via a link on my blog post, where I explained the process I had been working through and also provided a link to the Draft 1 version to make this process visible. Unfortunately, problems were experienced with sharing and visibility of comments in Google docs, which resulted in each reviewer providing comments on separate docs. To overcome this I responded to their comments on each document, and shared back to both reviewers.

Link to Katie’s draft 2 feedback

Link to Trisha’s draft 2 feedback

The feedback relating to the DBR process was especially useful to a novice DBR student, as there was a deal of uncertainty about the task I was undertaking. However I did need to point out to my reviewers that we were only required to utilize certain aspects of the DBR cycle for the requirements of this assessment piece.  Their comments did help me to understand the bigger picture of the requirements for a full research cycle, as Katie provided a summary table developed as an example of illustrating linkages of the various aspects, which needed to be considered in a full DBR cycle. The feedback and comments provided valuable suggestions for location of content, and where further definition and analysis was required in the proposal. As a student new to DBR, it was encouraging to receive positive feedback on aspects they felt had been effectively addressed.

Feedback was also provided by Phillip Wong, and the suggested resources provided will be followed up, as I was unable to integrate the information to my existing DBR version. Paul Size also provided comments on the shared Google doc, which enabled me to further analyze some of my statements and revise for the final version. The peer review process provided the opportunity to integrate new perspectives to the proposal, although the issues experienced with technology prevented the desired transparency for the process.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Digital literacies: Draft proposal available for comment

After some deliberation I decided to focus on the lack of digital literacies of staff working in higher education. Thanks for the feedback provided to my initial question posed to you as students in my post seeking feedback on digital literacies, it is always good to receive positive comments about your experiences at USQ.

For my peer review process, I  worked on a rather incomplete Draft 1 with my two external peer reviewers, who are both undertaking research work using the design based research approach. I have now finished writing up the proposal, incorporated their feedback and removed Draft 1 comments which have been addressed.
Draft 2  is now available for further comments and feedback in Google docs.
Please let me know if you experience any problems with the links, as Goodle docs seems to have been a little problematic in some situations.
Thanks
Deb

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Seeking feedback on digital literacies

What is the problem?

Possessing ‘adequate’ digital literacies in higher education is an issue for both students and teaching staff and is frequently identified in the literature as a problem affecting the quality of eLearning experiences offered by higher education institutions and the learning outcomes experienced by their students.

Digital literacy is a widely used term and encompasses many literacies under the umbrella term e.g. digital information literacies, ICT literacies, multiliteracies etc… Defining the characteristics, competencies and skills will be an important aspect of my research. Digital literacies continue to be a recurring theme of relevance to me throughout my post-graduate studies in education. The NGL module 1 activities and assignment tasks have caused me to reflect on this personally and consider where contributions and changes could be made. The next logical step is to try and identify what type of intervention could be implemented? My literature search is currently focused on finding case studies and examples of interventions that are context relevant.

At this stage I’d like to focus on finding a way to contribute towards improving/developing digital literacies of both students and teaching staff in higher education, specifically a regional university with a diverse student population, a high proportion of non-traditional students with the majority undertaking study online/off-campus. It’s a broad issue – maybe too big for this task? I expect there may be no easy or immediate fix, so I’d like to start by posing this question to my fellow students:

As post graduate students, what approaches or interventions would you like to see at USQ to diagnose and support the development of your digital literacies when commencing/continuing with your studies in higher education?”

Any responses, suggestions and feedback will be welcome.

Posted in design based research, digital literacies | 11 Comments

How NGL can inform my role as a teacher

When considering how NGL can inform my role as a teacher, I found the model of the networked teacher developed by Couros (2008) useful, as it represents an educator’s Personal Learning Environment (PLE) and identifies the connections and activities contributing to networked teaching and learning. As a result of my networked learning studies, I have  identified and developed valuable digital skills and network connections. This experience will  inform my  teaching support role when working with teachers who may wish to incorporate NGL teaching strategies in their course or curriculum. Drexler (2010, p.1) believes that “a teacher is better equipped to facilitate networked learning if they have experienced the construction of such a model first hand”.  Teachers need to be able to model the style of learning and need to be practicing this in their professional life. An example of this has been provided by David Jones in this course ‘An experiment in networked and global learning’.

Networked Teacher Diagram - Update by courosa, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by courosa

The change in the role of the teacher that accompanies networked learning is an important consideration for my work, as they become a facilitator or coach in a student-centered approach to learning (Wang, 2006 in Drexler, 2010). They are no longer ‘the sage on the stage’ but rather the ‘guide on the side’, one who facilitates, supports, coordinates, moderates and consults. Drexler (2010) found in her ‘Networked student model’ for construction of personal learning environments, that “the teacher is necessary to help the students navigate the breadth of content, apply the tools properly, and offer support in the form of digital literacy skills and subject matter expertise” (p.3). Teachers are challenged to scaffold this networked learning approach, yet provide an environment where students take more control of their learning (Drexler, 2010). Although this case was tested with secondary students, it is likely to apply in the higher education context at USQ, which has a diverse student cohort with many students unlikely to have previous experience with this approach to learning (Burton, Lawrence, Summers, Gibbings & Noble, 2013). My work in providing support for teachers and students can contribute to the scaffolding required in the learning environments at USQ, and  networked learning literature frequently refers to the importance of providing adequate support to scaffold learning (Goodyear, Carvalho & Dohn, 2014; Siemens, 2008; Veletsianos, 2014; Bigum & Rowan, 2013 ).

Before elaborating on the areas identified for possible NGL contributions to my teaching support role, it is important to consider some of the challenges encountered in higher education when encouraging staff to adopt new technologies. The 2014 Horizon Report identifies the ‘low digital fluency of faculty’ as a significant challenge impeding ed tech adoption in higher education. Digital media literacy is identified as a key skill in every discipline and profession, and a lack of training exists in preparation of teaching staff. Importantly the  Horizon Report (2014, p.22) states “…digital literacy is less about the tools and more about the thinking”, thus having the skills to use the tools and platforms is a only a starting point for networked learning. As noted in my reflection on this NGL course, the incorporation of Connectivist pedagogy to utilize the networked environment available provides new approaches to learning (Anderson & Dron, 2011).
McIntyre (2014) explains that rapidly evolving digital devices and networks challenge the cultural practices within educational institutions and many educators have been slow to recognize the significance of these changes. A change and rethinking of teaching methodologies takes time, even when the need for change is clear. Academics need to understand digital literacies in relation to the practices of workplaces they are preparing students for, otherwise they risk becoming increasingly ineffective within the educational process (McIntyre, 2014). Kligyte (2009) suggests that many teachers will be resistant to adopting new technologies, as it requires changes to their practice and identity. In providing support, I will need to display empathy and respect when working with teachers and focus on long-term change that will allow them to work through the liminal space and approach threshold concepts of networked learning in stages (Kligyte, 2009).

My teaching support role within Academic Services Division and Learning and Teaching Services contributes into several areas. Currently, I am seconded to work as an educational designer in the Online Student Support Tools Project, with a focus on developing online support for students. My substantive position in eLearning Development involves providing support to teaching staff by contributing to course redesign and development teams. My post about Finding CLEM as a teacher and student helped me identify the communities I interact with at university. I have expanded on these communities and created a Coggle diagram ‘Role as a support teacher’ which maps avenues for contributing my NGL knowledge and experience.

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Access full screen Role as support teacher at Coggle.it.

Contributions to projects
It is important for networked learning designers to consider the connections between learning activities and the physical environment (Goodyear, Carvalho & Dohn, 2014). In my current work involving the development of online support tools for students, I consider the following design advice to be very relevant:

Design entails thinking about the kinds of learning places, tools and other resources that students are likely to find helpful, for any particular task, while recognising that students may not follow the recommendations inscribed in designs. They will often make their own choices about tools to use, where to work, what to read, etc.
(Goodyear, Carvalho & Dohn, 2014, p.139)

 A potential project for inclusion of NGL content and tools is a proposal to update and implement the Diagnostic and Reflective Tool (DART), which was designed to improve students’ digital skills when entering higher education (Burton, Lawrence, Summers, Gibbings & Noble, 2013). It was designed by USQ Faculty Deans of Learning and Teaching (2012) and built in Moodle as an online educational tool, but has not been implemented into USQ systems. As I am currently involved in reviewing this tool, I view this as an opportune time to suggest updates and modifications to the tool and present a strong argument for its availability to all USQ students as originally intended.

Contributing to elearning Development (eLD)
Several avenues exist for sharing NGL knowledge with this community. For example using professional development sessions to demonstrate and  promote the use of tools such as Diigo and Feedly.  NGL knowledge can then be shared forward by support staff working with teaching staff in eLearning development review and redesign projects.
I consider SAMR a useful model to assist with course redesigns for online learning, as it promotes augmentation and modification of learning activities in conjunction with new technologies. The ‘Padagogy Wheel V3.0: Learning design starts with graduate attributes, capabilities and motivation’, also brings together visually the many important elements for teachers to utilize in their design decisions.

Contributing to Learning and Teaching Services
In this community I plan to be engaging with opportunities to encourage inclusion of NGL content in any re-accreditation processes within courses, programs or smaller micro units, within any review or redesign processes occurring. This avenue provides an opportunity to contribute to redefining and broadening the focus of learning and teaching, and promoting the advantages of implementing networked learning activities for the benefit of both students and teaching staff.

Contributing to Academic Services Division
In this broader context, as a result of my NGL experience and knowledge, I would now more willingly consider contributing to online discussions, pilot projects and forums. I believe the issues facing learning and teaching within higher education require discussion, innovation and change in order to provide education that is relevant for the 21st century.

From a state of mindfulness, or listening with an intent to hear, insights may become more visible. These insights can then be shared through practices such as working out loud, openly questioning assumptions, and trying things out together. All of these take practice  (Jarche, 2014).

 

List of References

Anderson, T. & Dron, J. (2011). Three generations of distance education pedagogy. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12 (3). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/890/1663.

Bigum, C., & Rowan, L. (2013). Ladders, learning and lessons from Charlie: Exploring the potential of public click pedagogy (No. 2). EdExEd Working Paper Series.

Burton, L. J., Lawrence, J., Summers, J., Gibbings, P. & Noble, K. (2013). Developing DART: A digital learning tool to facilitate equity and access in the contemporary higher education context. In: Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia Distance Education Summit (ODLAA 2013): Education Across Space and Time: Meeting the Diverse Needs of the Distance Learner, 4-6 Feb 2013, Sydney, Australia.

Carrington, A. (2014). The Padagogy Wheel V3.0: Learning design starts with graduate attributes, capabilities and motivation (Web log post). Designing Outcomes. Retrieved from http://www.unity.net.au/allansportfolio/edublog/?p=874.

Couros, A. (2008). The networked teacher. Flickr. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/courosa/2922421696/ .

Drexler, W. (2010). The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomy. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(3), 369-38. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet26/drexler.html .

Goodyear, P., Carvalho, L., & Dohn, N. B. (2014). Design for networked learning: Framing relations between participants’ activities and the physical setting. In S. Bayne, M. de Laat, T. Ryberg, & C. Sinclair (Eds.), Ninth International Conference on Networked Learning 2014 (pp. 137–144). Edinburgh, Scotland.

Jarche, H. (2014, September 29). Everything Connects. Retrieved from http://www.jarche.com/2014/09/everything-connects/ .

Kligyte, G. (2009). Threshold concept: A lens for examining networked learning. In Proceedings of the Ascilite 2009 Conference (pp. 540-542). Auckland, NZ.

McIntyre, S. (2014). Reducing the digital literacy divide through disruptive innovation. HERDSA Review of Higher Education, 1. Retrieved from www.herdsa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/HERDSARHE2014v01p83.pdf.

New Media Consortium, 2014. NMC Horizon Report> 2014 Higher Education Edition. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/publications/2014-horizon-report-higher-ed

SAMR Model. (n.d.). Technology is Learning. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/a/msad60.org/technology-is-learning/samr-model

Siemens, G. (2008). New structures and spaces of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning. Presentation to Universidade do Minho, Portugal.

Veletsianos, G. (2014). Success, personal learning plans, and multiple pathways in open courses. Retrieved from http://www.veletsianos.com/2014/08/17/multiple-pathways-personal-leanring-plans-moocs/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As a student, participation in NGL was useful for me

As a student in this networked and global learning course, my approach to studying has been challenged because those used in my previous education courses in this program were principally aligned with a constructivist online approach to learning. Although some of these skills were still useful, I discovered early in this course that I needed to develop new skills to equip me for the NGL style tasks being asked of me as a student. This experience has created further awareness of the digital skills and literacies students required for learning in the 21st century and will be the main focus of my reflections.

In a broad sense it has provided me with experience in using Web 2.0 technologies outside the Learning Management System (LMS), which is traditionally used in higher education to deliver courses online for students. This exposure to other learning environments such as WordPress, has provided first hand experience as to how they can be used to provide students with opportunities to experiment and practice learning and collaborating across networks (Groom & Lamb, 2014). As students, we are ‘networked learners in training’ (Drexler, 2010) whose learning networks are spanning multiple free platforms and using new tools which have removed us from the confines of specialist technology such as the Moodle LMS for online learning (Goodyear, 2014).

An awareness of the 21st century skills required for todays’ learners is of great importance in my role as a student, as well as a major consideration in my teaching support role. I need to be able to identify and develop skills needed for my study, and based on relevant literature and my experience share information with teaching staff. My previous studies in this program revealed that not all teachers and students were prepared for online learning and teaching and it became evident that improved support for using technology for learning was desirable for both. For me, this NGL experience has further reinforced the need for students and teachers to possess these basic skills, attributes and literacies required for participating in education and work in a networked environment.

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Jackie Gerstein: Skills & attributes of today’s learners (Creative Commons)

In my post about Skills for 21st century learners I found Gerstein’s (2014) summary of the ‘Skills and attributes of today’s learner’ a useful resource to inform me as student. She built on Wagner’s (2014) Seven Survival Skills, as defined by business leaders and also added additional skills which she believed would benefit learners of all ages in this era of learning (Gerstein, 2014). Of these I particularly related to the need for grit, resilience and vision, as I have been required to develop these skills in my NGL studies.

Brennan (2013) emphasizes the importance of self-efficacy which is “..our belief that a task is achievable by us, and that the environment in which we are working will allow us to achieve that”. He believes this is at the heart of what motivates students and that high self-efficacy students try harder, for longer and overcome obstacles, cope with failure and continue to strive. While low self-efficacy students try less hard, for less time, and are easily discouraged by failure, are less ambitious and achieve less. He believes educators need to create tasks and environments that allow achievements to happen and so enhance students’ opportunities for success (Brennan, 2013). This along with other critical observations made in my post ‘Flipside of NGL: some critical reflections’ have provided useful insights to me as a student, as a result of my participation in this course.

Student motivation is one of the key determinants influencing success and willingness to pursue networked study (Downes, 2014; Bates, 2014). In my situation, it was the realization that I needed to practice Connectivist style learning and increase my knowledge about it, so I could become better informed about the major changes occurring to learning in 21st century. A desire to remain relevant in my workplace and to be able to provide support informed by experience was my motivation.

The requirement to learn about and practice blogging is another skill  being developed through my participation in NGL. In a networked learning environment Drexler (2010, p. 3) views blogging as “a key component of the personal learning environment” which enables students to share and respond to the opinions of others. Downes (2011) in referring to the four major activities in connectivist teaching and learning, notes that after aggregating, remixing and repurposing, feeding forward and sharing your work provides the opportunity for other people to learn from you.

However sharing in public is not easy, as people can see your mistakes and it can be embarrassing (Downes, 2011). This was certainly something I struggled with at the start of the course, in my minute paper I wondered how long it would take me to feel comfortable in engaging in Bigum and Rowan’s (2013) public click pedagogy. This pedagogy is built on “a public sharing of the steps made as one attempts to climb a ladder: mistakes, mess and mishaps as well as ‘aha’ or ‘click’ moments” (Bigum & Rowan, 2013, p.1). I found this a difficult but necessary requirement for the course, and although I spent too much time seeking and sensing before sharing publicly on my blog site, it was somewhat reassuring to find other students sharing similar experiences. I can now appreciate the benefits of blogging as a reflective record of my learning and continue to feel more comfortable with sharing in public (Martin, 2014).

My recent reflection ‘Blogging about blogging’ explores what I have learned from my blogging interactions, and suggest there is a need for more time to interact with other students’ blog posts and for providing greater support to improve our blogging skills earlier in the course. Jarche (2008, p. 24) states that “blog posts can help make sense of your learning process” and from my experience, I agree with his assertion. Additionally, we need an attitude of accepting we will never know everything, but need to know who to connect with in the network to locate the knowledge required (Jarche, 2008). Through collaboration and sharing, we as students can become nodes in participatory pedagogies (Siemens, 2008) and in turn contribute to various communities of practice. The experience gained during this course has  encouraged me to contribute to those communities relevant to my professional work. The experience of using Web 2.0 tools and “walking the talk” (Jarche, 2008 p.24), as an NGL student is fulfilling an essential requirement for my support role in learning and teaching at USQ.

 List of References

Bates, T. (2014). Online learning and distance education resources. Retrieved from http://www.tonybates.ca/.

Bigum, C., & Rowan, L. (2013). Ladders, learning and lessons from Charlie: Exploring the potential of public click pedagogy (No. 2). EdExEd Working Paper Series.

Brennan, K. (2013). In Connectivism, no one can hear you scream: A guide to understanding the MOOC novice. Hybrid Pedagogy, July 23. Retrieved from http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/Journal/in-connectivism-no-one-can-hear-you-scream-a-guide-to-understanding-the-mooc-novice/ .

Downes, S. (2011). “Connectivism” and Connective Knowledge. Retrieved April 09, 2011, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html.

Downes, S. (2014). The challenges (and future) of networked learning. Stephen Downes, September 05. Retrieved from http://www.downes.ca/presentation/346 .

Drexler, W. (2010). The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomy. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(3), 369-38. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet26/drexler.html .

Gerstein, J. (2013). The other 21st century skills (Web log post). User Generated Education. Retrieved from https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/the-other-21st-century-skills/.

Gerstein, J. (2014). How to Foster Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: An Educator’s Guide. Retrieved from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/02/how-to-foster-grit-tenacity-and-perseverance-an-educators-guide/

Goodyear, P. (2014). Productive Learning Networks: The Evolution of Research and Practice. In L. Carvalho & P. Goodyear (Eds.), The Architecture of Productive Learning Networks (pp. 23–47). London: Routledge.

Groom, J., & Lamb, B. (2014). Reclaiming innovation. Educause Review Online. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/visuals/shared/er/extras/2014/ReclaimingInnovation/default.html .

Jarche, H. (2008). Skills 2.0. T + D, April. Retrieved from http://www.jarche.com/2008/04/skills-20/.

Martin, N. (2014). Let’s get blogging. USQ 23Things. Retrieved from http://usq23things.net.au/wordpress/.

Siemens, G. (2008). New structures and spaces of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning. Presentation to Universidade do Minho, Portugal.

Wagner, T. (2014). Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills. Retrieved from http://www.tonywagner.com/7-survival-skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As a learner, participation in NGL was useful for me

In reflecting on my experience as an NGL learner, I decided to revisit Kilgyte’s threshold concepts and review my response to them at this stage of my networked learning journey. In my minute paper posted early in the course, I commented that it would be interesting to observe my degree of transformation. I now feel that I have stepped through the networked learning “portal” and in my endeavors to embrace and understand NGL, I am on a path which is transforming the way (my) learning is understood, teaching support practiced and how my life is lived (Kligyte, 2009). In my reflections I will be identifying the main ways that I believe NGL has been useful to me as a learner.

Troublesome
Although I found stepping into the networked learning space troublesome in the beginning, I feel that I have survived this initial experience and am now on my way to understanding how connectivist learning works. Even though I was familiar with the concepts of Connectivism as a pedagogy (Anderson & Dron, 2011), being an active NGL learner provided me with first hand experience which I believe is vital to inform my support role in learning and teaching at USQ.

As Downes (2011) states “…the process of taking the course is itself much more important than the content participants may happen to learn in the course”. Although he was referring to a MOOC on ‘Connectivism and Connectivist Knowledge’ being run by himself and George Siemens, I find this applies to EDU8117: Networked and Global Learning as a connectivist style course.

The immersion process as a learner, while troublesome in the beginning, has placed me in a community of practitioners and introduced my fellow learners and myself to ways of doing things that educational practitioners do in the networked space (Downes, 2011). Using blog posts for reflective writing, sharing of ideas, discussion, refining and creation of new understandings about NGL and related educational issues has been highly beneficial as an introduction to this practice. Some of my traditional concepts of how knowledge is generated have been challenged and I am progressively realizing the importance of developing the “capacity to generate knowledge and maintain relationships in a network” (Siemens (2005) in Kligyte, 2009, p. 541). While listening to Stephen Downes’ presentation on ‘The challenges (and future) of networked learning‘, I was able to reflect upon my progress and appreciate how much more I understood about networked learning since commencing this course.

Liminality
In the early stages, as a novice I dwelt in a messy space and spent too much time focusing on the specifics of the technologies required and wondering if I would step over the threshold. My crunch time came with the ‘drop date’ for the course, and my decision to continue participation in the course served as a commitment to pursue my NGL learning. My conviction that it is valuable to have first hand experience in networked learning as a learner, student and support teacher motivated me to continue my studies.

Discursive and Irreversible
In this sense, the transformation underway is deepening my understanding of the concept of networked learning and as such will be irreversible and something that cannot be unlearned. I am developing new practices and establishing new network relationships for gathering information and reshaping my understanding through sharing and reconstruction of knowledge using blogging (Kligyte, 2009).
In a discursive sense, crossing the threshold into networked learning is continually developing my network and information literacy. Learning about using the tools required such as Diigo, Mendelay, WordPress and Feedly has been highly beneficial, as I have extended my experience in using Web 2.0 technologies for learning (Anderson & Dron, 2011). Even though it was challenging to set up these new technologies quickly at the start of the course, it was a valuable experience as a learner. I went through the frustration of feeling overwhelmed about how I was going to learn about and apply them to the tasks required, to feeling reasonably comfortable with how they work, and encouraged by the skills and experience acquired which can utilised further in the future.

Diigo is a very useful tool because it provides the facility to bookmark online resources, make notes, search and share with others. Even though Mendelay has not been used extensively in this course, it is a good tool for storing references, files of readings and articles of interest. The fact that it can be synced and accessible from multiple locations, as can Diigo, Feedly, and WordPress facilitates and enhances my mobile learning, as my study is spread across locations and devices – work, home and using PCs, laptop (MacAir), iPad and iPhone.

Using Feedly as an RSS tool has developed my understanding of the importance of having a web aggregator, as it has performs an essential function in my Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) (Jarche, 2008). Drexler (2010, p.3) states that using “RSS allows learners to subscribe to changing content and makes tracking changes easier”. Downes (2011) lists ‘aggregation’ as the first of four major activities in Connectivist teaching and learning, followed by remixing, repurposing and feeding forward. Using Feedly and WordPress is helping to provide me with “multiple perspectives and voices” rather than having “singular views of content and interaction” (Siemens, 2008, p.14). As a learner I am benefiting in my ‘new’ networked role by being “…able to form relationships with peers and experts from around the world and using academic resources from different institutions and educators” (Siemens, 2008, p.13).

The development of a Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) (Jarche, 2008) has been important to manage my learning. It helped me visually conceptualize the processes I was going through, while being flooded with new information and provided a way to process the knowledge being aggregated. As a learner, in the sensing and filtering part of my PKM, I continually need to decide what to include in the context of my studies and decide what nodes in a network are of most importance (Drexler, 2010). I still feel that I spend too much time in the seeking and sensing phases before sharing, however I now believe it is important to share sooner in order not to miss opportunities to interact and exchange ideas with fellow students. Drexler (2010, p.3) notes “Construction of a personal learning environment (or PKM) does not necessarily facilitate comprehension or deep understanding” and that “the learning potential depends on what the student does with the content, how it is synthesized and what is created”. I am hoping my longer processing time equates to increasing my learning potential.

Integrative
The requirement to learn something new using NGL was a useful learning activity, as it introduced me to the concept of learning online for personal interests rather than for work and education. In writing about the ‘expansive conceptions of learning networks’, Goodyear, Carvalho and Dohn (2014, p. 139) state they have a “broad understanding of “learning”, which does not restrict the definition to formal education courses, but also embraces informal, self-directed, vocational and/or interest-based learning, as well as learning that occurs as a by-product of engaging in activity which has some other purpose”. This to me encompasses the broad scope of learning which can be both linked and integrative, as it can “reveal connections among different aspects that previously did not seem to be related” (Kligyte, 2009, p.541).

My learning about NGL and Zentangles has confirmed similarities and connections exist in both learning activities, as I first noted in my post ‘Me as a learner’, and is characterized by the following features:

  • anything is possible one (key) stroke at a time
  • deliberate focus is required
  • unknown outcomes are possible and likely
  • there are no predetermined solutions
  • it can be abstract
  • portable/mobile and possible anywhere
  • learning is inspirational.

zentangle learning   002

Zentangle learning artifacts: Deb Liriges

List of References

Anderson, T. & Dron, J. (2011). Three generations of distance education pedagogy. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12 (3). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/890/1663.

Downes, S. (2011). “Connectivism” and Connective Knowledge. Retrieved April 09, 2011, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html.

Downes, S. (2014). The challenges (and future) of networked learning. Stephen Downes, September 05. Retrieved from http://www.downes.ca/presentation/346 .

Drexler, W. (2010). The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomy. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(3), 369-38. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet26/drexler.html .

Goodyear, P., Carvalho, L., & Dohn, N. B. (2014). Design for networked learning: Framing relations between participants’ activities and the physical setting. In S. Bayne, M. de Laat, T. Ryberg, & C. Sinclair (Eds.), Ninth International Conference on Networked Learning 2014 (pp. 137–144). Edinburgh, Scotland.

Jarche, H. (2008). Skills 2.0. T + D, April. Retrieved from http://www.jarche.com/2008/04/skills-20/.

Kligyte, G. (2009). Threshold concept: A lens for examining networked learning. In Proceedings of the Ascilite 2009 Conference (pp. 540-542). Auckland, NZ.

Siemens, G. (2008). New structures and spaces of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning. Presentation to Universidade do Minho, Portugal.

Zentangle, (2014). Zentangle Theory. Retrieved from http://www.zentangle.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10&Itemid=120

 

 

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