The new blended learning

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Blended learning, itself, is a threshold concept: liminal, uncomfortable, uncertain and transforming
Each person and context is a hybrid: utterly unique
No cultural origin is privileged
Learning occurs in the gaps: the spaces between
Learning growth is non linear
People only partly inhabit any space and do so on their own terms
All learning spaces are co-created
Social, learning, and transactional space are blending physically and digitally
The spirit of the third space is “the teacher”
Any enclosure of space requires force, power or violence

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  • Doctor Strange 2.4, 1974 from http://pencilink.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/doctor-strange-v2-4-frank-brunner-non.html
  • Radio DS106, my attribution fail) any help?
  • Photos taken from http://www.bristol-storage.co.uk/blog/storage-in-an-amazon-warehouse/ where they are used without attribution.
  • Carole Cadwalladr, My week as an Amazon insider, The Guardian, 1/12/2013
  • (Francis and Raftery 2005).
  • Image source http://www.hearsaylw.com/2012_11_01_archive.html
  • (Bhabha 2004, p.56 emphasis in the original)
  • Photo from http://twomilliongods.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/entertaining-madam-president.html
  • (Vygotsky 1934, 1962, Mezirow 1990, 1997, Engeström 2001)
  • http://pages.ripco.net/~jwn/im.html
  • The new blended learning

    1. 1. The new blended learning? Dr George Roberts Solstice conference Edge Hill University 5 June 2014
    2. 2. Acknowledgements • Richard Francis – Francis, R & Roberts, G. 2014. “Where Is the New Blended Learning? Whispering Corners of the Forum.” Brookes Electronic Journal of Learning and Teaching (BeJLT) 6 (1) – http://bejlt.brookes.ac.uk/paper/where-is-the- new-blended-learning-whispering-corners-of-the- forum/ • Mary Dean • Greg Benfield
    3. 3. Outline • Introduction: the future is now • What blended learning was • The changing context • The beginning of the new era • Transforming teaching • Conclusion: into unfamiliar territory • Discussion: implications for teaching
    4. 4. Enhancement?
    5. 5. THE FUTURE IS NOW
    6. 6. More, Faster, Cheaper? Quantitative measures cluster around the idea of “efficiency” • Marks, numbers enrolled and completed, league table position, fee income, cost of provision
    7. 7. “... an industrialised process, on a truly massive scale, made possible by new technology.”
    8. 8. I for one think they are pretty darn impressive and deserve to be appreciated (Ives) or If Santa paid his elves the minimum wage while pushing them to the limits, and sacking them if they take three sick breaks in any three-month period… and avoiding tax everywhere. (Cadwalladr)
    9. 9. the role and place of universities in the vast virtualised spaces that we have created
    10. 10. where is the new blended learning?
    11. 11. WHAT BLENDED LEARNING WAS
    12. 12. flexible, active, collaborative and professionally authentic pedagogies
    13. 13. 1. the provision of supplementary resources for courses that are conducted predominantly along traditional lines ... 2. transformative course level practices underpinned by radical course designs 3. students taking a holistic view of the interaction of technology and their learning, including the use of their own technologies, (Sharpe et al 2006, 2-3).
    14. 14. distinctions become blurred • between face-to-face and online working, • between ‘conventional’ and e- learning
    15. 15. Social learning is aided by regular intakes of drinks and snacks and mobile phone conversations
    16. 16. It is difficult to argue that the physical and virtual dimensions of the learning experience are still distinct, or in any way opposed.
    17. 17. THE CHANGING CONTEXT
    18. 18. Collaboration • Estates Management • Computer Services • Library • Student Support Services • Staff developers • Learning technologists • Academics • Students
    19. 19. Context • Change of government • Fundamental restructuring of the higher education funding regime • The place of private (principally corporate) enterprise in the provision of higher education. • The role of employment
    20. 20. the landscape of the virtual world has altered beyond recognition
    21. 21. A fundamental concept in computing, that hardware, operating systems, applications and data should be rigorously demarcated has collapsed under the iOS operating system, Google’s Android and the virtualisation of computing infrastructures
    22. 22. the University encourages employees to make reasonable and appropriate use of social media as part of their work
    23. 23. In practice, the pedagogical models have hardly changed at all
    24. 24. Where change has been most evident • Blending the once largely distinct domains of “learning” and “socialising” • Foregrounding the transactional component of the social learning space as a “one stop shop” for student services
    25. 25. Have we failed? Pedagogically
    26. 26. THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW ERA
    27. 27. A space between • the ideal and the real • now and then in both directions • physical and digital • paper and screen • personal and social • the curriculum and life-wide learning • our selves and all others • institution and teacher • identity and communities
    28. 28. The physical and virtual spaces of today mark the end of one era and the beginning of another.
    29. 29. Underpinning Heterotopia –(Foucault 1984) Third Space –(Bhabha 2004)
    30. 30. We are in the epoch of simultaneity: we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed. (Foucault 1984)
    31. 31. The third space the uniqueness of each person, actor or context is a blend, or hybrid, resisting normalisation or cultural inscription, generating a position against all identity politics by denying privilege to any originary culture
    32. 32. It is the ‘inter’ … the inbetween space – that carries the burden of the meaning of culture... And by exploring this Third Space, we may elude the politics of polarity and emerge as the others of our selves. (Bhabha 2004)
    33. 33. • As soon as a space becomes formalised as a plan, a VLE or a building, a third space will be opened by, to and for the people who inhabit the space, the very people whom the space seeks to direct, to channel, to normalise. • People will only ever partially inhabit any space and they will always occupy it to some extent on their own terms.
    34. 34. Viceroy’s Palace Tavern of revolution
    35. 35. the space of both community and identity
    36. 36. TRANSFORMING TEACHING
    37. 37. a place between the virtual and the real, whose genius loci is the teacher
    38. 38. In this sense of liminality, discomfort and uncertainty, blended learning might be seen as a threshold concept
    39. 39. Transformation • Social model of identity development and activity-based learning • People experience a disorienting dilemma which leads to a deep structural shift in their world-view • A person’s susceptibility to transformation depends on where they are prepared to take themselves
    40. 40. The blended learning debate has been locked in an antagonism
    41. 41. How is authentic experience to permeate the controlled institutional environments?
    42. 42. Where once the Internet seemed a vast third space, a vast “whispering corner”, it now appears hegemonised by corporate interests.
    43. 43. CONCLUSION: INTO UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY
    44. 44. the main functions of teaching is to inspire learners to venture into unfamiliar territory
    45. 45. a contingent hegemony of global corporate interests, where international competition is normalised and consumer debt a virtue
    46. 46. Digital literacy as an attribute of individual competence - is giving way to digital responsibility
    47. 47. Learners create their own learning environment outside, inside and in-despite of the intentions of the institution
    48. 48. Moves to more open forms of education have opened the sluice gates Physical spaces as a central element of learning appear ever more fluid
    49. 49. Reclaiming space for teaching through blended learning includes reclaiming technologies as intermediate tools
    50. 50. DISCUSSION: IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHING
    51. 51. Summarise • Blended learning, itself, is a threshold concept: liminal, uncomfortable, uncertain and transforming • Each person and context is a hybrid: utterly unique • No cultural origin is privileged • Learning occurs in the gaps: the spaces between • Learning growth is non linear • People only partly inhabit any space and do so on their own terms • All learning spaces are co-created • Social, learning, and transactional space are blending physically and digitally • The spirit of the third space is “the teacher” • Any enclosure of space requires force, power or violence
    52. 52. Therefore • If all learning IS blended learning • AND neither the physical NOR the digital has primacy • AND each person and place is unique • How do we respond?
    53. 53. What are the implications for the new blended learning • Adding value to large group teaching using technology • Creative use of technologies in the classroom • The role and use of online classrooms • MOOCS and developments in online course structures • Approaches to enhancement of learning, teaching and assessment
    54. 54. Each, choose one (or more?) off that list and make a quick note on paper, or Twitter, or … What are the implications for your particular context?
    55. 55. For me, these follow • Acknowledge the tension in all teaching • Avoid totalising syntheses of either content or process – even this! • Practice “bounded openness”: provide multiple ways in and out • Respect the uniqueness of each and every person
    56. 56. Blended learning design • Activity-based – we do or make things • Experiential – self-evaluative, practitioner-centred, pragmatic • Dialogic • Reflective – Bringing experience into scholarly evidence • Participatory – The teacher is also a learner • Community-located • Outcomes-led
    57. 57. Thank you Dr George Roberts OCSLD, Oxford Brookes University June 2014 groberts@brookes.ac.uk
    58. 58. Copyright and Takedown Notice If you are a rights holder and are concerned that you have found material on our website or legitimately under our name elsewhere, for which you have not given permission, or is not covered by a limitation or exception in laws of the UK or other countries (as relevant), please contact us in writing stating the following: • Your contact details • The full bibliographic details of the materials • The exact and full URL or other location where you found the material • Proof that you are the rights holder and a statement that, under penalty of perjury, you are the rights holder or are an authorised representative Upon receipt of notification the Oxford Brookes University 'Notice and Take down' procedure [LINK] is then invoked. © 2014 Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK Tel: +44 (0)1865 74 1111

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