Richard Hall MMU Presentation

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Richard Hall's seminar presentation on ways in which the read/write web can support and develop student autonomy in Higher Education

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Richard Hall MMU Presentation

  1. 1. Can higher education enable its learners’ digital autonomy? Richard Hall, rhall1@dmu.ac.uk, @hallymk1
  2. 3. Autonomy and decision-making <ul><li>Who sets the agenda for the use of a particular space? </li></ul><ul><li>Who controls access to that space? </li></ul><ul><li>What of participation and marginalisation? </li></ul><ul><li>What of the fusion of internal and external networks? </li></ul><ul><li>The marriage of read/write strategies and tools can begin to open up spaces for people to engage with deliberation and association </li></ul><ul><li>Read/write web tools and approaches promote dialogue and a sense that the power relationships within any space have a chance to be democratically-framed </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for prioritising agency and active citizenship </li></ul>How do external literacies impact academic literacies? What are the academic implications of our students’ external networks?
  3. 4. Technological models <ul><li>Some tutor/techno-centred [pre-Web 2.0] </li></ul><ul><li>E-moderating [Salmon] </li></ul><ul><li>Conversational framework [Laurillard] </li></ul><ul><li>Some learner-centred [progressive pedagogies] </li></ul><ul><li>Learner Integration Project </li></ul><ul><li>TESEP </li></ul>
  4. 6. e-learning rarely seen as separate or special mix of personal and institutional technologies advanced networking choice, access and control Complexity and blurred boundaries: an “underworld of communication and information sharing” Trying to understand the formal landscape
  5. 7. Spaces for non-academic literacies and actions
  6. 8. A caveat for the positivists <ul><li>Report of an independent Committee of Inquiry into the impact on higher education of students’ widespread use of Web 2.0 technologies </li></ul><ul><li>“ The next generation is unlikely to be so accommodating and some rapprochement will be necessary if higher education is to continue to provide a learning experience that is recognised as stimulating, challenging and relevant.” [ http://bit.ly/J1JMf ] </li></ul><ul><li>Helen Milner, Next step for the digital inclusion manifesto </li></ul><ul><li>“ Entitlement to basic digital skills for all and simple, universal access recognised in policy, and supported by a new local authority national indicator. ” [ http://bit.ly/4vX1tr ] </li></ul>
  7. 9. The read/write web: non-academic opportunities <ul><li>applications that can be utilised by individuals in order to identify aspects of the lives and work of others and to present themselves to those others </li></ul><ul><li>the relationships between people and content point to the availability of enabling environments where decision-making can be based upon access to other points of view and searchable information </li></ul><ul><li>the externalised development of the user’s identity and actions within a collective, shared context </li></ul>Illich: the questions individuals are empowered to ask coupled to the socio-technical tools available to them, supports personal emancipation
  8. 10. Opportunities 1: deliberative democracy <ul><li>Rorty, Phillips, Hirst, Halpin, Giddens: validity, active trust and action </li></ul><ul><li>“ what beliefs are taken as valid determines the whole tenor of the social order” </li></ul><ul><li>differences resolved through discussions and shared values: trust /respect </li></ul><ul><li>defused centres of power and progressive decision-making [c.f. Anstein] </li></ul><ul><li>[political] action: move from membership to participation is emphasised by the ability to deploy democratic tools in a trustful manner, where agency is afforded through inclusion, flexibility and association </li></ul>Dewey and democratic societies: “education which gives individuals a personal interest in social relationships, and the habits of mind which secure social changes without introducing disorder”
  9. 11. Opportunities 2: association <ul><li>Linked to multifaceted identity: solidarity around specific issues or interests </li></ul><ul><li>Recognising and accepting differences </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership around specific goals </li></ul><ul><li>The temporary necessity of closed positions </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntarily associate with others who recognise the validity of their story </li></ul><ul><li>Deconstruct positions of power, whilst encouraging a proliferation of voices </li></ul>
  10. 12. Opportunities 3: decision-making and agency <ul><li>Barnett, Dewey, Driscoll, Illich, Sachs, Vygotsky: mastery and meaning </li></ul><ul><li>democratic validation of an identity; an ability to judge, decide and act </li></ul><ul><li>authentic activity; social negotiation; access to multiple modes of representation of knowledge and meaning; nurtured reflexivity; and personalised instruction </li></ul>Sachs: “A strong civil society protects liberty because it diffuses the centres of power. It creates fraternity because it encourages people to work together. It promotes equality because it tempers self-help with help to others, and encourage[s] participation and eventually independence”
  11. 14. Case 1: Confetti Institute <ul><li>The Confetti Institute on YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>< http://www.youtube.com/user/TheConfettiInstitute > </li></ul><ul><li>Ignorant or Immigrant: asking good-enough questions < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owvGXo2TPYw > </li></ul><ul><li>The Confetti Institute’s music portal </li></ul><ul><li>< http://electricmayhem.co.uk/label/ > </li></ul>
  12. 15. Case 2: Placement Student on social media
  13. 16. Case 2: Placement Student on academic support
  14. 17. Evaluation <ul><li>Interpretive phenomenological analysis [Mayes, 2006] </li></ul><ul><li>What students say about the impact of the read/write web on their learning experiences, to provide a pragmatic description of their expectations for the use of those tools and approaches in the curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Reason: “open communicative space” </li></ul><ul><li>Elliott: “descriptions of the human environment” </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth interviews and on-line focus groups with 130students at all levels, including postgraduate, in all five University faculties between 2005-09; </li></ul><ul><li>Staff evaluations: in-depth interviews with 11 staff before, during and after they introduced read/write technologies into their curricula, 2007-09. </li></ul>Are these tools opening up political opportunities in the classroom? Is academia closed to informal learning?
  15. 18. Deliberation: environmental control <ul><li>“ It was good to have the criteria for the comments [on a wiki] discussed democratically and agreed” </li></ul><ul><li>“ if the tutor involves us and finds out what we need or want then that is okay. I’d like to see us more involved in setting [tasks and tools] up as it’s the easiest way to communicate” </li></ul><ul><li>“ web tools are easy and open software so we can create a structure that we manage” </li></ul><ul><li>“ the students have discovered and use web-based [tools] – they are migrating themselves into industry toolsets. We need to adapt” </li></ul>
  16. 19. Deliberation: access and participation <ul><li>“ [the lecturer] is innovative in using new media and pushes the boundaries in this area… we have an opportunity to progress and apply the tools” </li></ul><ul><li>“ there is some fear of the plagiarism of our ideas, but we just need to agree rules of engagement” </li></ul><ul><li>“ we built the community between us and now I am less apprehensive about getting feedback. It removed the fear of isolation” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Web2.0 software is ‘owned’ and editable by them, and they can see what each other have done [sic.] and all are free to comment... what staff say has to be encouraging and of value, emotionally, technically, educationally, within a set of guidelines that promote active interest.” </li></ul>
  17. 20. identity and external associations <ul><li>“ If I posted my work on a bulletin board here no-one would have an idea but my friends on MySpace are different. I have accepted them as friends because their profile is interesting and I’m interested in why they want to talk to me. I trust their opinion and value their appreciation.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I use Web 2.0 technologies because it is an interest thing. I am able to say ‘I found this and what do you think?’ It is a process of self-validation, to have opinions outside [the University]. I want an external view, a wider opinion on my work. I like [our use of read/write tools] as it is an extension of my way of working.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ exposure to the use of technologies in a variety of creative and discursive ways... “ </li></ul>
  18. 21. Developing critical literacy: some decisions taken? <ul><li>“ We have to get used to tagging and linking and thinking like this” </li></ul><ul><li>“ There is a much more relaxed feel about writing a blog, it’s much more natural and still has the potential to raise one’s writing ability.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ You have to read and discover and discuss these in the tutorials and so the blog complements and summarises points.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I like the idea of our constantly updating the wiki, so you have to think and develop it over time.” </li></ul><ul><li>Caveat: social tools used in a professional setting. “This normally explicit division could easily become blurred with use of Web 2.0, and therefore we must understand where boundaries should be placed to ring-fence both the personal and academic experience these tools offer.” </li></ul>
  19. 22. Case study 3: affective learning in History <ul><li>Questioning; social learning; evaluation of sources and evidence; analytical speaking and writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Positive emotional engagement and personal development. </li></ul><ul><li>“ [I] was really dreading getting [my work] back and had completely convinced myself it was my worst piece of work ever and it made me feel sick as I sat outside Dr X’s office waiting to get it back. I actually got 67% which i was very surprised and shocked at”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ University work is getting a lot less scary now and I think I am starting to understand the standard that is expected” </li></ul>
  20. 23. Case study 3: affective learning in History <ul><li>Social emotional engagement and personal development. </li></ul><ul><li>“ As tutors we really want you to gain personal confidence by participating, proposing ideas, discussing etc.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ hopefully your collective self-confidence is growing - from the learning blog entries the group as a whole seems to value each point-of-view”. </li></ul><ul><li>The nurturing role of tutors as mentors using technology </li></ul><ul><li>“ [web tools] made the transition to HE a lot less scary!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ helped bridge the gap between university and living at home.” </li></ul>
  21. 24. A nice AAD example: Game Art Design <ul><li>Use of Blackboard to structure programme and all modules </li></ul><ul><li>Development of student blogs across all 3 years; sharing of student resources and mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>[ first year blog second year blog group project blogs ] </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Facebook to enable students to own and share work </li></ul><ul><li>The overall environment is focused upon spaces for student interaction, reflection, autonomy and sharing </li></ul>
  22. 25. A nice TECH example: student ownership of projects <ul><li>Student-focused wikis and blogs developed </li></ul><ul><li>External blogging software is used to allow students to have spaces for interaction, allowing them to build, demonstrate and share knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Links are made between weekly weblog tasks and external links for workshops. [3, 7 of spades ‘projects, 10 of spades mixtape] </li></ul><ul><li>Use of web-based collaboration tools for synchronous work and as published lectures [ week 9 ] </li></ul>
  23. 27. matters arising: space, place and use <ul><li>Who sets the agenda for the use of a particular space? </li></ul><ul><li>Who controls access to that space? </li></ul><ul><li>What of participation and marginalisation? Downes </li></ul><ul><li>What of the fusion of internal and external networks and tools? </li></ul>
  24. 28. Lessons for promoting autonomy <ul><li>Programme-level developments </li></ul><ul><li>Student/problem/enquiry-based learning </li></ul><ul><li>Students are an underused resource </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies for association, deliberation and personalisation </li></ul>

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