NLC Edinburgh 2014
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NLC Edinburgh 2014



Assembling university learning technologies for an open world: connecting institutional and social networks ...

Assembling university learning technologies for an open world: connecting institutional and social networks
Hannon, J., Riddle, M. & Ryberg, T. (link below)
This paper considers the emergence of social media in university teaching and learning and the capacity or universities – as complex organisations with disparate interacting parts – to respond to the shift of pedagogies and practices to open networks. Institutional learning technology environments reflect a legacy of prescriptive, hierarchical arrangements associated with enterprise systems, and are a poor fit with the heterarchical and self-organised potential for learning associated with social media and open education practices. We draw on empirical data on student practices that challenge institutional arrangements for learning, and offer insights into the assembly of extended connections for networked learning, in particular the pedagogies of collaboration, knowledge co-construction, and informal social learning. We draw attention to the interplay of competing metaphors and practices in the organisation as it encounters the potential of more open pedagogies over social and digital networks. Drawing on spatial descriptions of networked learning, we apply Callon’s (1998) notions of framing and overflows to this interplay in order to ask how learning environments were assembled and ordered: what pre-existing configurations were brought to frame and set boundaries for these networks of formal learning; and what activities overflow those boundaries and destabilise these framings. We argue that the adoption of social media by students requires a challenge to the institutional metaphors of containment that implement a default bounded environment. We propose a less integrated, “assembly” approach to institutional learning that attends to the open, fluid connections of networked learning. A spatial articulation of networked learning that bridges both institutional and social networks can equip the university to meet the critical challenges of emerging hybrid learning environments and the potential of more open learning environments.



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NLC Edinburgh 2014 NLC Edinburgh 2014 Presentation Transcript

  • 1 John Hannon Matthew Riddle Thomas Ryberg Networked Learning Conference Edinburgh 7-9 April 2014 Assembling university learning technologies for an open world: connecting institutional and social networks
  • 2 Questions
  • Landmark, 2004 Charles Robb Social networking /institutional learning
  • Social networking /institutional learning misalignments/disruptions/tensions
  • misalignments/disruptions/tensions Social networking /institutional learning “deep misalignments and paradoxes in the context of traditional education” (Ravenscroft 2012, p. 177) What is especially important is that these strong boundaries between academic and social tools appear to be as a result of students‟ preferences and choice (Czerniewicz & Brown 2010: 147).
  • Framing “puts the outside world in brackets” Overflows are “the inevitable corollary of the requisite links with the surrounding environment” (p. 248) What happens to learning when social networking overflows the framing of institutional learning? Framing and overflows (Callon 1998) The „greyness‟ of networks A weakness in ANT: discerning values/trajectories in a network “the price of the proliferation and the deployment of networks are uniformly grey” (Latour, Harman & Erdelyi 2009, p. 47)
  • 7 Questions 1. Framing & overflows: What happens when social media practices overflow the institutional framing of learning? 2. Consequence: To what effect – are overflows productive or disruptive; trivial or non-trivial Latour refers to “the values to which informants cling so doggedly” (2013: 64). 3. Values: What values are brought to frame and set boundaries for a network of learning?
  • 9 Focus Group: Melbourne campus
  • 10 Focus Group: Melbourne campus Interviewer A: My first question; how did you use the iPad mini? Student 1 Female: Facebook Interviewer A: Facebook? What did you use Facebook for? For fun, or for work? Student 1 Female: Um both, because we had for like um uni groups and stuff so it was good to communicate with um but yeah and fun. Interviewer A: And what, so how did you set up those groups, for your group work, on Facebook? Student 1 Female: I think they were set up before we got the iPad, so then it was more just communicating in groups. Interviewer A: Did you just send messages? Or did you send files? Or share information? Arranged meetings? Student 1 Female: Yeah messages and arranged meetings and stuff. Interviewer A: Did anyone else use it for their group work for their classes? Student 2 Male and Student 4 Male: Yeah. Interviewer A: Was it the same, was it Facebook as well or other ways? Student 2 Male: Yeah Facebook and emails. Student 3 Female: And I use QQ, it's a similar way we communicate in China. Yeah but we also can use it on iPad so many Chinese people use that one. Interviewer A: Did you use for your group work? Did the other members of your group use that too? Student 3 Female: Yeah yeah yeah we did.
  • 11 Focus Group: Albury/Wodonga
  • 12 Focus Group: Albury/Wodonga Field notes: …It was not apparent from this group that there was much social networking going on on the devices -- in fact there was little discussion of social networking at all. Instead the students were more focused on face to face interactions, and it was quite evident from the way they interacted that they were quite a well knit group.
  • 13 “Hi all - Here are links for our Facebook group and Dropbox – find Moodle postings in our Facebook group” “Dear lecturers – please upload your slides to moodle or send them to me and I’ll put them in our dropbox” “Read the postings from course forum here in Moodle or in our Facebook group” • Not surprising students use Facebook, but seems Moodle content is replicated to Facebook by “Gardeners” – parallel living • Doing underground work which is largely under the radar of the institution and teachers Examples based in messages sent to Moodle forums – the institutional LMS for all AAU Thomas
  • • Disconnects or gaps between students’ digital ecologies and institutional systems • Occasional “overflows” where the “underground work” becomes visible • Example: Underground negotiations and activities erupt as concerted actions in Forums • “Although the widespread use of social media reflects how Web 2.0 technologies have become embedded in our lives, there are still significant challenges in harnessing these and their related practices for learning and education.” (Ravenscroft et al., 2012, p. 181) • Students engaged in scholarly use of social media, but little seems to overlap with institutional / educational / course related use of technology (and social media)
  • 15 Thank you John Hannon Matt Riddle Thomas Ryberg