Some thoughts on ‘Being critical of NGL’

It is a perplexed issue as Tracey comments in ‘Being critical of NGL’, as with any critical examination we are endeavoring to assess the benefits and weaknesses and suggest a reasonable stance for our situation. As a new pedagogy, Connectivism is very appealing and offers many benefits, as it provides a new approach to learning which attempts to address the changed knowledge environment and expanded capacity to communicate. The messy stuff is happening between the screens and us – in the privacy of our study spaces with our NGL learning struggles made public if we dare to bare all.

As this is a specialist course in NGL, I suggest that our experience is possibly more intense than students would experience if studying a different discipline with elements of networked learning included in their course. However as an ‘apprentice’ NGL learner, I feel that I don’t yet have enough knowledge or experience about some aspects of NGL to be making informed comments.
David titled the course blog ‘An experiment in networked and global learning’, with “the exact shape of that support and the course to emerge over the coming months”. I’d find it helpful to see his reflections about this experiment at the end of semester – his decisions as facilitator, accommodating the range of students’ digital literacies, course expectations and outcomes etc and how this will inform the next offer of the course. It would be useful feedback to have in my teaching support role and I expect for the various perspectives of other students in this course.

At this stage even though I’ve been challenged to become familiar enough with the technologies required to participate and interact in this space, it’s all skills, knowledge and experiences, which I previously did not possess, so I have progressed in this space! I’ve found myself having similar thoughts to Musette about the assumed knowledge of tools that support NGL, so it’s reassuring to know there are others on this part of the spectrum. Learning journeys start from many different places and those of us in this space can still be encouraged by the skills and experience acquired which we can utilize in the future.

I agree with Musette’s suggested approach where she is exploring the possibilities of some incremental implementation in her teaching environment, because I also see this as a way to introduce more NGL style learning into USQ courses. Even though the majority of their courses are offered online, the institution continues to encourage teaching staff to modify and improve their learning and teaching activities to better suit online learning. As David comments in Andrew’s post about ‘Being critical of NGL’, “much of what you see in online learning in universities is old wine in new bottles” and I totally agree. However the task of achieving a paradigm shift in a large institution is a huge one, so incremental change to produce the gradual transformation is the only practical approach I can envision at this stage of my NGL journey.

More to follow……

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6 Responses to Some thoughts on ‘Being critical of NGL’

  1. Good point, Deb. David did call the course “An experiment in NGL”. It’s helpful to be reminded of that and not expect the unit to flow with the same smoothness of a multiply run unit. It may be useful for us to reflect on how would we do it differently if we want a smoother experience for future participants?

    It certainly has made me more empathetic with those learners who struggle. I hadn’t understood as intensely before what it felt like to be the struggling learner. I also didn’t realised how embedded I was in a traditional learning system.

    In Wendy Drexler’s article she mentions “The networked student constructs a personal learning environment one node at a time. Once these connections are formed, they must be revisited and built upon to facilitate further learning.”
    I guess it all takes time.

    Cheers Tracey


    • debliriges says:

      Hi Tracey
      Yes it’s been in the forefront of my mind as I work in Learning and Teaching Support, so any new experiments in this NGL space provide valuable experience to inform future work with teaching
      staff. Perhaps if the nature of the experiment had been more fully explained it would have assisted students to understand the challenging nature of the tasks? I’ll be happy if this cohort of students has contributed towards the collective knowledge about how to best offer a course of this nature.
      Totally agree about the empathy factor for struggling students, even though I’ve experienced some steep challenges in the previous courses in my GCLD, they have been related to constructivist learning tasks and concepts. This course has provided plenty of opportunities to reflect on the enormity of the challenge in changing the traditional learning systems. I certainly knew I needed to go through this NGL experience and expect my practice will be changed from this point on.


  2. Pingback: Week 7: Being critical | GG's Blog

  3. Pingback: Week 8 | GG's Blog

  4. Pingback: As a learner, participation in NGL was useful for me | insights

  5. Pingback: How NGL can inform my role as a teacher | insights

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