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Ecological learning design approach
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  • 1. There  are  no  rules  of  architecture  for  a  castle  in  the  clouds.   Gilbert  K.  Chesterton  
  • 2. Agenda   •  I  will  elaborate  the  structure,  func+oning   principles  and  produc+ve  learning  poten+al   of  learning  ecosystem,  using  some  examples   of  my  earlier  studies.   •  Secondly,  I  will  claim  that  the  modeling  of  a   func@oning  learning  ecosystem,  presumes   considering  ecosystem  principles  in  design   and  the  learning  design  process  to  take  the   meta-­‐design  approach.  
  • 3. Learning  design  concept   •  Learning  design  concept  relates  with  the  learning   design  product,  the  learning  design  process  and  the   considera@on  of  certain  learning  theories  that  define   what  triggers  learning,  how  does  learning  take  place,   and  what  is  the  result  of  learning.   •  All  these  learning  design  aspects  of  learning  design  can   be  approached  ecologically,  and  if  doing  so  we  can   ini+ate,  manage  and  appropriate  learning   ecosystems,  -­‐situa+ons  and  -­‐behaviors  that  are   actual  in  the  modern  society.      
  • 4. Learning  ecosystem  components   •  Various  actors  (teachers,  experts,  learners)  and   the  socio-­‐technical  system     •  use  available  resources  (people,  ar@facts,  tools)   to  provide  a  variety  of  learning  services,  that   •  afford  certain  teaching  and  learning  purposes   and   •  actualize  teaching  and  learning  purpose  niches  as   affordance  spaces   •  that  give  fitness  constraints  to  the  learning   services.  
  • 5. Actors,  learning  services  and  –niches   in  the  professional  community  training       Teacher’s  socializa@on  ac@vi@es  in  forum    –  ST   Domain  expert’s  socializa@on  in  forum  -­‐  SO   Teacher’s  blog  entries  E(Entry)T       Teacher’s  comments  in  blogs  E(Comment)T     Domain  expert’s  comments  in  blogs     E(Comment)O   Services  of  the   support  niche   Services  of   the   monitoring   niche   Teacher’s  and  domain  experts  “views”     to  blog  posts,  comments  and  forum     were  categorized  as  ViewT  and  ViewO.     Services  of  the   resource-­‐ provision  niche   Teacher’s  combina@on  ac@vity  in  forum-­‐    CT   Domain  expert’s  combina@on  ac@vity  in   forum  -­‐  CO.     Tammets,  K;  Pata,  K;  Laanpere,  M.  (2013).  Promo@ng  Teachers’  Learning  and  Knowledge-­‐building  in  the  Socio-­‐technical   System.  The  Interna@onal  Review  of  Research  in  Open  and  Distance  Learning,  14(3),  251  -­‐  272.  
  • 6. Communi@es  in  learning  ecosystems   •  are  temporary  coali+ons  deno@ng  the  services  and   actors  at  present  in  the  learning  design     •  that  can  successively   change  during  the    life@me  of  a  design    product  usage  
  • 7. Succession  of  niches  at  different  phases  of   the  elearning  course   Pata,  K.  (2009).  Revising  the  framework  of  knowledge  ecologies:  how  ac@vity  pa_erns  define  learning  spaces?  .  Niki   Lambropoulos  &  Margarida  Romero  (Toim.).  Educa@onal  Social  Socware  for  Context-­‐Aware  Learning:  Collabora@ve   Methods  &  Human  Interac@on.  (241  -­‐  266).Idea  Group  Reference  
  • 8. Learning  flows   •  The  main  form  of  ecosystem  existence  is   through  trophic  chains  of  species  that   transform  energy  and  ma_er  composing  and   decomposing  energy  rich  products,  thus   enabling  the  one-­‐direc@onal  trophic  flow   through  the  ecosystem.     •  In  learning  ecosystems  the  relevant  concept  to   trophic  flow  is  a  learning  flow.    
  • 9. Networks  and  learning  flows    We  may  assume  that  in  any   learning  design  the  purpose  of   the  learning  services  is  to   compose  such  networks  of   trophic  chains  that  enable  users   par@cipa@ng  in  the  learning   flows  that  transform  the   informa@on   informa@on  to  knowledge.     knowledge  
  • 10. The  learning  flow   •  The  learning  flow  is  powered  by  the  proac@ve   crea@on  of  learning  services  and  the  a_en@on,   considera@on,  communica@on  and  usage  of   available  learning  services  that  teachers,  learners   and  the  socio-­‐technical  system  as  the  agents   provide.     •  There  are  always  relevant  goals,  resources  and   required  support  that  may  replace  in  the  learning   ecosystem  purpose  niches  some  of  the  missing   services  and  allow  the  con@nuous  learning  flows.    
  • 11. Pruning  homogenous  communi@es     •  Maintaining  homogenous  communi@es  such  as  ideal   teacher-­‐planned  sets  of  learning  services  needs   constant  care     •  few  learning  services  prescribe  limited  learning   paths  in  order  to  maximize  the  produc@ve  learning   flows  for  medium  learners  that  don’t  exist.    
  • 12. Succession  of  wild  communi@es     The  natural  learner-­‐created  communi@es,  are  based  on   the  richness  of  constantly  changing  learning  services     that  can  replace  themselves  in  the  trophic  networks,  that   guarantees  be_er  self-­‐regula@on  but  also  the   succession  of  the  service-­‐community  in  @me.    
  • 13. Maintaining  semi-­‐natural  communi@es    In  the  learning  ecosystems  that  inhabit  semi-­‐natural   communi+es  where  both  the  teacher-­‐  and  learner-­‐created   learning  services  could  co-­‐exist,  the  former  could  be  used   to  maintain  the  richness  of  wild  services  and  keep   it  in  a  state  where  succession  is  under  control .  
  • 14. Learning  ecosystem  concept  I    The  community  of  learning  services  of  the   learning  design  ac9vated  by  different  actors,   the  users  of  this  learning  design,  and  the   informa9on  and  knowledge  circulated  within   the  learning  design  altogether  form  the   learning  ecosystem.    
  • 15. The  network  structure   •  The  permeability  of  a  learning  ecosystem  to   learning  flows  will  depend  on  the  connec@ons   between  services  that  pass  learning  flows  and  the   emerging  side-­‐paths  and  hubs  in  this  network  that   can  redirect  the  flows.  
  • 16. Mutualisms   •  The  mutualisms  such  as  symbiosis  (mutual   benefit  of  using  resources  and  living  spaces)   are  one  way  how  in  natural  ecosystems   species  get  the  compe@@ve  premise.   •  Mutualisms  between  different  types  of   learning  services  are  very  important  also  in   learning  designs.    
  • 17. The  learning  flow  in  the  professional   community  training   The  domain  experts   had  more  direct   influence  on  the   reflec@ve  discussions  in   the  forum,  and  they   could  indirectly   influence  teachers  to   comment  their  peers’   reflec@ons  that  in  turn   prompted  individual   reflec@ons  in  the   weblog.     Tammets,  K;  Pata,  K;  Laanpere,  M.  (2013).  Promo@ng  Teachers’  Learning  and  Knowledge-­‐building  in  the  Socio-­‐technical   System.  The  Interna@onal  Review  of  Research  in  Open  and  Distance  Learning,  14(3),  251  -­‐  272.  
  • 18. Communica@on   •  In  natural  ecosystems  there  is  communica@on  between   the  individual  species  as  well  as  the  cross-­‐species   communica@on  that  has  influence  on  trophic   circula@ons  (for  example  certain  signals  from  species   may  be  read  by  other  members  of  the  species  or  across   species  to  get  advantage  in  finding  food  or  escaping  for   predators).     •  The  learning  services  in  learning  ecosystem  must  be   aware  of  each  other  and  able  to  communicate  in   order  to  orchestrate  their  ac@on.   •  Communica@on  direct  and  indirect  (through  signals   and  traces  lec  in  the  environment)  can  be  used  for   swarming  for  learning  in  learning  ecosystems  
  • 19. The  learning  process  in  the  learning   ecosystem   •  Learning  as  an  orienta+on  and  adapta+on  to  the   learning  flows  of  the  crowd  to  be  led  to  the  flow   experiences  (ecosystem  stabiliza@on  factor).   •  Learning  with  the  forward-­‐looking  a?tude  for  seeking   chances  and  opportuni+es  in  the  unan@cipated   ecosystem  (ecosystem  evolvement  factor).   •  Both  are  related  with  ecological  encultura+on  the   process  by  which  a  person  becomes  acquainted  with  a   given  community  of  prac@ce,  and  part  of  the   environment  becomes  encultured,  becoming   poten@ally  meaningful  for  certain  purposes  rather  than   others.    
  • 20. The  result  of  learning  in  the  learning   ecosystem   •  Ecological  encultura+on  of   our  surroundings  (people,   resources,  tools,  concepts   etc.)  is  one  of  the  results  of   learning  in  the  learning   ecosystem.     •  Gejng  flow  experience  is   another  result  of  learning   in  the  learning  ecosystem,   since  culture  (the  flows  of   thecrowd)  reduce  anxiety   and  minimise  the   dimens@ons  to  be  focused   at  
  • 21. What  triggers  learning  in  the  learning   ecosystem   •  Learning  ecosystem  is  responsive   •  Increased  possibility  of  gejng  the  flow   experience  because  of  the  availability  of  the   flows  of  the  crowd   •  Learning  ecosystems  possess  high   environmental  unan@cipatedness  in  respect  to   what  learning  opportuni@es  they  afford.  
  • 22. Learning  ecosystem  concept  II    Learning  ecosystem  is  an  emergent  and   dynamically  evolving  system  that  is  formed  as  a  result   of  mul9ple  self-­‐directed  actors’  ecological  encultura9on   of  some  environment  for  increasing  its  produc9vity  for   learning.    Produc+vity  of  the  learning  ecosystem  is  its  ability  to   accumulate  informa@on  to  knowledge  in  @me  –   meaning  how  much  users  can  be  engaged  in  certain   @me  period  by  the  learning  services  into  the   produc@ve  learning  flow.      
  • 23. Transla@ng  ecosystem  principles  to   learning  ecosystems   •  The  learning  flow  through  open  learning  ecosystem  –  the   created  learning  services,  and  actors’  a_en@on  to  services   create  the  trophic  networks  that  enable  transforming   informa@on  to  knowledge  and  cause  the  learning  flows   •  The  feedback  loop  to  and  from  the  learning  ecosystem  -­‐   the  teaching  and  learning  services  must  be  adap@ve  to  the   ecosystem  purpose  niches,  and  these  niches  as  affordance   spaces  would  be  changing  as  a  result  of  those  services  in   @me.     •  The  communica+ve  interac+ons  in  the  ecosystem  –  the   mutual  awareness  and  direct  and  indirect  (as  traces  or   signals  lec  in  the  environment)  communica@on  between   learning  services  and  actors  enable  new  learning  behaviors   (such  as  swarming  –  following  the  crowd)  which  intensify   the  learning  flows  within  the  ecosystem.  
  • 24. Ecosystem  principles  that  guide  the   ecological  learning  design  process     •  I.  Involve  teachers/experts  and  learners  to  create   learning  services  (experts  should  champion  this   ac@vity)   •  II.  Map  the  learning  ecosystem  services  created  by   different  users  to  the  teaching  and  learning  purpose   niches.  This  should  be  mapped  in  different  @me   periods  of  the  learning  design  usage.   •  III.  Map  the  learning  flows  that  use  these  learning   services     •  IV.  Incorporate  learning  analy@cs  tools  for  dynamic   learning  flow  visualiza@on  (e.g.  visualizing  flows  in   distributed  resource  networks)    
  • 25. Ecosystem  principles  that  guide  the   ecological  learning  design  process     •  V.  Increase  the  permeability  of  the  learning  ecosystem   to  the  learning  flows  by:     –  allowing  the  variety  of  services  to  emerge  in  each  purpose   niche   –  sustaining  learning  flows  by  having  replacement  services  in   each  purpose  niche  that  enable  switching  from  one  hub  to   another  and  keep  the  learning  flow  going   –  increasing  aggrega@on  and  clustering  of  services  to  promote   switching,  communica@ng  between  them   –  suppor@ng  coali@ons  between  learning  services  for  synergy   –  promo@ng  awareness,  connec@vity  and  communica@on   between  learning  services  -­‐  add  elements  that  improve  the   awareness  
  • 26. Ecosystem  principles  that  guide  the   ecological  learning  design  process     •  VI.  Involve  experts/facilitators  crea@ng  service  hubs  for   channeling  the  learning  flows  and  crea@ng  a_rac@ve   “crowded”  points  for  redirec@ng  the  learning  flows  and   enabling  chance  seeking   •  VII.  Use  learning  analy@cs  as  emergent  scaffolds  that   guide  learners  to  the  learning  flows  of  the  crowd     •  VIII.  Increase  aggrega@on  and  clustering  of  learning   contents  and  -­‐services  for  promo@ng  communica@on,   emergence  and  evolvement  of  crowd  flows.  
  • 27. Ecosystem  principles  that  guide  the   ecological  learning  design  process     •  IX.  Involve  experts/facilitators  in  seeding  learning   ac@vi@es  into  the  learning  ecosystem  that  are  based  on   self-­‐organiza@on,  chance-­‐seeking,  swarming   •  X.  Use  learning  analy@cs  that  base  on  ecosystem   principles  to  evaluate  the  learning  design  as  a  whole   and  provide  feedback  to  the  cultures  of  par@cipa@on   for  informed  design  decisions.  
  • 28. The  ecological  learning  design   •  The  ecological  learning  design  is  the  meta-­‐ design  process  where  par9cipatory  cultures   use  ecosystem  principles  for  enculturing  for   themselves  responsive  learning  ecosystems   that  maximize  for  each  of  them  possibili9es  for   flow  experiences  promoted  by  the  learning   flows  of  the  crowd  or  provide  them   opportuni9es  for  discovering  chances.    
  • 29. Future  work   •  Mapping  different  learning  ecosystems  through  the  learning   service  approach  and  inves@ga@ng  what  the  success  factors  in   learning  ecosystem  design  and  usage  are.     •  Inves@ga@ng  empirically,  how  to  do  the  transi@on  towards   the  produc@ve  learning  ecosystems.   In  digital  learning  ecosystems  research,  more  a_en@on  must  be   put  on:     –  Exploring,  how  to  ini@ate  and  maintain  the  meta-­‐design  of   learning  ecosystems,  and  how  analy@cs  could  be  used  for  fuelling   the  learning  ecosystem  design  through  cultures  of  par@cipa@on   –  Methodologically,  deciding  which  learning  analy@cs  can  be   collected,  and  how  such  empirical  data  can  be  used  for  valida@ng,   which  ecological  design  principles  can  promote  produc@ve   learning  ecosystems.  
  • 30. References  and  acknowledgements   •  I  am  building  my  ideas  on  the  papers  about  the  digital  learning   ecosystems  (see  McCalla,  2004,  Fischeman  &  de  Deus-­‐Lopez,  2008;   Gütl  &  Chang,  2008;  Uden,  Wangsa  &  Damiani,  2007;  Lukin,  2008;   Pata,  2009a,b;  Whelan,  2010;  Reyna,  2011;  Briscoe,  Sadedin  &   DeWilde,  2011;  Laanpere,  Pata,  Normak,  Põldoja,  2012),  ecological   cogni@on  (Bardone  &  Pata,  in  progress)  and  ecological  learning   design  (Young,  2004;  Kirschner,  Strijbos,  Kreijns,  Beers,  2004;   Fischer,  Giaccardi,  Ye,  Sutcliffe  &  Mehandjiev,  2004;  Bishop,  2007;   Hagen  &  Robertson,  2009;  Fisher,  2012;  Normak,  Pata,  Kaipainen,   2012).     •  Many  interes@ng  discussions  with  my  colleagues  Mart  Laanpere   and  Emanuele  Bardone  have  contributed  to  this  ecological  learning   design  approach.                    Images  from  Flickr  Crea@ve  Commons  resources,  the  aithors  are  acknowledged