Informal learning in the blended mix
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Informal learning in the blended mix



presentation given at the faculty conference in June 2007

presentation given at the faculty conference in June 2007



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  • start with blended learning. what is it? what’s involved? from the list and the definitions realise that it concentrates on the formal aspects of learning. So it is driven from the top down. It gives priority to instructor + courseware But how much is learnt in the formal arena? – stats So what is informal learning and how should it inform the blend?

Informal learning in the blended mix Informal learning in the blended mix Presentation Transcript

  • In formal learning in the blended mix
    • anything new?
    • or
    • a corporate bandwagon for trainers and e-vendors?
    • a cost effective cut-back on estate ?
    • an exciting new landscape of pods and virtual spaces?
    • a turn to liberating pedagogies?
    Image: supernova Blended, crushed and pulverised . . .?
    • WebCT Vista, the industry's premier Academic Enterprise System (AES), is specifically built to address the mission-critical challenges of enterprise-scale deployment. WebCT Vista provides a state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment that streamlines course management for faculty, offers capabilities to help improve student outcomes , and creates powerful efficiencies institution-wide … At the institutional level, WebCT Vista offers an enterprise-wide solution for institutions to fully leverage their content and learning assets, reliably scale their e-learning environment and support the growing needs of diverse constituencies.
    • webct
    • MMU is committed to e-learning, with an MLE that will provide a sound e-learning structure...
    • e-learning at MMU ... is now ubiquitous and mainstream.
    • MMU has agreed the use of a single VLE ... to support a high quality location-independent experience for staff and students that encourages and stimulates independent, autonomous learners.
    • E-benchmarking Report
  • Source:
  • And the learners?
    • In the WebCT model the students 'belong' to us, log-in to us, navigate according to our decisions, publish at our discretion on our server ... 
    • We have control and they get … a rather lonely learning experience
    • And very different to their other digital learning experiences
    • By the time he or she has reached 21 years of age, the average NetGener will have spent:
    • 10,000 hours playing video games, 200,000 e-mails, 20,000 hours watching TV, 10,000 hours on cell phones, and under 5,000 hours reading
    • (Bonamici et al. 2005).
    Digital natives Fully half of all teens and 57% of teens who use the internet could be considered content creators, according to a survey by Pew Internet and American Life Project. Source:
  • The gamer’s learning style
    • Ignores any hint of formal instruction. They are self-directed learners.
    • Includes trial and error and approaching a problem from different angles.
    • Relies heavily on learning from peers with a distrust of information from authorities.
    • Focuses on small, focused bits of information
    • Demands just-in-time information . They don’t want to learn about what they might need.
    • Is not focused on books and reading .
    • Karl Kapp
  • informal learning
    • the degree of informality of learning is the degree to which you have been told what to do
    • i.e. informal learning by definition can only be influenced by creating an environment and not by direct instruction.
    • juliette white
  • Informal learning is social
    • communication
    • conversation
    • connection
    • community
  • Does webct take all this on board?
    • Social software is something that can support communication, conversation, connection, and community
    • blogs
  • Adding the blog to webct
  • Content blog
  • Keeping track - rss
  • Getting it into webct
  • But what a faff!
    • Warwick university has hosted its own blogging service since 2005
    • 4593 blogs
    • 91990 entries
    • 14798 tags
    • 111162 images
  • Brighton & Elgg
  • Easier to use a Wiki
  • Where are we now …? Bewildered, confused …?
    • Why do we always want to integrate and standardise?
    • Might separate tools be better?
    • The whole thing then becomes a learning experience – changing technologies picking and choosing the most appropriate for you and the task.
    Image: JakeBrewer
    • Isn’t this the students’ elearning system?
    • Is it yours?
    • And content?
    A question of content
  • A question of content
    • If content is becoming an almost free commodity - should we be basing our elearning work on it?
    • Should we be teaching students different skills using a different pedagogy?
  • Blended, crushed and pulverised . . .?
    • management learning systems
    • digitalising
    • classrooms
    • formal learning
    personal learning environments connecting and extending ideas through the power of networks informal learning exploiting a variety of technologies
  • Webct vista?
    • Formal learning spaces
    • Learning for the masses
    • Competitive
    • Restricted and constructed
    • All about instruction
    • lecturers content
    • Management learning systems
    • Digitising the classroom
    • Informal learning spaces
    • Personal learning
    • Collaborative
    • Creative and extended
    • Personal authorship
    • Knowledge and understanding
    • Personal learning spaces using powerful networks