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Collaborative Learning Spaces

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"Collaborative Learning Spaces: Methods, Ethics, Tools, Design." Great Plains Alliance for Computers and Writing Conference. North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. October 2010.

"Collaborative Learning Spaces: Methods, Ethics, Tools, Design." Great Plains Alliance for Computers and Writing Conference. North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. October 2010.


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  • More specifically, I am interested in the role of distributed learning and open source production processes in contemporary pedagogical and professional communication contexts. Whether through crowd-sourcing, open source organizational strategies, or real-time data mining, emerging information economies and technologies increasingly produce value by leveraging large scale aggregations of relatively disparate and fragmented individual actors and actions. My research argues that these large scale social and information processes are salient and instructive for the micro-physics of team work, localized projects, and even the composition classroom. Whether at the level of the individual or a community of learners, knowledge is produced through reshaping of our common spaces and re-articulating of our common interfaces for composing ourselves, each other, and the world.
  • My research argues that these large scale social and information processes are salient and instructive for the micro-physics of team work, localized projects, and even the composition classroom. Whether at the level of the individual or a community of learners, knowledge is produced through reshaping of our common spaces and re-articulating of our common interfaces for composing ourselves, each other, and the world.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Collaborative Learning Spaces
      Methods, Ethics, Tools, Design
    • 2. Abram Anders
      University of Minnesota Duluth
      adanders@d.umn.edu
      GPACW Fall 2010
    • 3. Emergent Spaces
      Demand Side
      Professional Environments: collaborative, networked, just-in-time
      Information Workers: new media skill sets and flexible adaptation to new tools and contexts for cooperative action
    • 4. Emergent Spaces
      Supply Side
      Institutional Values: online learning, non-traditional network communities
      Pedagogical Innovation: technology and cooperative learning, Open Education, Connectivism, COINs, etc.
    • 5. Emergent Spaces
      Personal Motivation; Situated Innovation
      Research Interests: new media, open source, rhetoric, and professional communication technologies
      Service Learning: University online learning initiative, College-level team and group-work initiative
    • 6. Emergent Spaces
      Social media, crowd-sourcing, collective intelligence
      Composing common spaces and shared interfaces
      Ethical and practical challenge for the immediate future
    • 7. methods
      Best practices for collaboration and technology-use
    • 8. Criticisms of Group-work
      Student Feedback
      Waste of time, too unfocused
      Too complicated and/or inefficient;
      Mismatched goals and/or abilities
      Social loafers vs Dutiful achievers
    • 9. Group-work goes wrong
      Pooled work; group structure is non-essential
      Homogeneous membership: dynamics for invention are weak
      Heterogeneous motives and/or weak management: goals and processes are unclear or underdeveloped
    • 10. Best Practices for Groups
      Shared Purpose, Goals, Interests
      Interdependence and Mutual Accountability
      Make work relevant, competitive, evenly distributed
      Structured Processes: Group Contracts, Peer Evaluations, Group and Individual Assessments
    • 11. Achieving Purpose
      Daniel Pink, “Drive”: simple incentives are counter-productive
      Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose
      Make profit motive and purpose motive congruent
    • 12. Purposeful Group Learning
      Tragedy of commons = higher order purpose; making the best of a bad situation
      Need to get “self-interest” out of the way; better higher order purpose
      Must make project/process purpose congruent with grade incentives
    • 13. Similarly, Technology
      Avoid redundant, irrelevant, over-complicated, needless proprietary
      Usability (and accessibility): Effective, Efficient, Engaging, Error Tolerant, Easy-to-Learn
      Specific tools are too often solutions in search of a problem
    • 14. Ethics
      Values for Technological Commons
    • 15. Values for Learners
      Students who are engaged, interested, challenged, motivated
      Autonomy: choice, immediate action, 3rd person play
      Mastery: activity-specific goals for skill development (intrinsic)
      Purpose: long-term objectives; continuing value; community investment
    • 16. Collaborative Commons
      Facilitate connections and create common ground between:
      Pedagogical Goals and Opportunities
      Technological Tools and Applications
      Collaborative Processes
      Engage the unique challenges of situated learning communities
    • 17. Composing Ethical Commons
      Common Purpose
      Develop sustainable processes of innovation
      Develop sustainable communities of learners
    • 18. Composing Ethical Commons
      Immediate Value
      Overcome pedagogical challenges
      Achieve emergent goals/objectives
    • 19. Tools
      Examples and Applications
    • 20. Building a Better Bullet Point
      Resume Draft-work
      Open Source process
      Typewith.me
      Unique challenges: self-representation; rhetorical sensitivity; writing process
    • 21.
    • 22.
    • 23. Crowd-sourced Editing
      Editing business correspondence
      Assembly line: identify, rewrite
      Microsoft Word
      Unique challenges: first author inertia; “pretty-good”-isms; achieve action bias in revision
    • 24. Design
      Putting it TOGETHER; Iterative development
    • 25. Collaborative Service Learning
      Inspiration
      Implementation
      Iterative Development
    • 26. Inspiration
      Overcome traditional zero-sum “coverage v group” work problem
      Students teach each-other
      Build connections between successive generations of students
      Practical knowledge developed by students for students
    • 27.
    • 28.
    • 29. Implement
      Best Practices
      autonomous results: products and assessment
      interdependently structured processes for invention, distribution, and performance
      Utopian impulse must be matched by pragmatic application
    • 30.
    • 31.
    • 32.
    • 33.
    • 34.
    • 35.
    • 36. Iterative Development
      1 ed. Basic Assignment; Teamwork Instruction; Screencast Capture
      2 ed. Group Selection; Work Roles
      3 ed. Commissioned Assignments; external (local) clients
      Future: Web-based deliverable for public portal site, videos with abstracts and supporting references
    • 37. Creating Collaborative Environments
      Purposeful, Interdependent, Group Processes
      Highly Structured Interfaces and Infrastructures for Learner Practices
      Scaffolding and Iterative Development for Learners and Curriculum
    • 38. Summary Outline
      1) formulate an Ethics: identify stakeholder goals, values, and formulate outcomes;
    • 39. Summary Outline
      2) choose appropriate Tools: consider institutional/contextual affordances, consider issues of usability and integration;
    • 40. Summary Outline
      3) outline a Design: strategically integrate writing, technology, and collaboration knowledge and skill sets, employ scaffolding, regular reinforcement, and achievable expectations;
    • 41. Summary Outline
      4) review, revise, Redesign: always try something new, expect to improve, iteration is the key.