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NIng as a Learning Environment for Self-Directed Learners
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NIng as a Learning Environment for Self-Directed Learners

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This presentation, given at CALICO 2010, shows how ning is used for course management and e-portfolio creation in a self-directed language acquisition program. One goal of ning use is to foster both ...

This presentation, given at CALICO 2010, shows how ning is used for course management and e-portfolio creation in a self-directed language acquisition program. One goal of ning use is to foster both learner autonomy and collaboration.

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  • Provide resourcesInstructional‘Authentic’ materialsFoster habits of autonomous learningSet goalsDevelop learning activitiesReflect on learningFoster collaborationSharing and collaborative learning in the absence of class meetings

NIng as a Learning Environment for Self-Directed Learners NIng as a Learning Environment for Self-Directed Learners Presentation Transcript

  • Ning as aLearning Environment for Self-Directed Learners
    Sharon ScinicarielloUniversity of RichmondCALICO 2010
  • The SDLAP
    LCTLs
    Language requirement already completed
    Experienced language learners
    Some assessment issues avoided
    Self-Directed not Self-Instructional
    Skills for lifelong learning
    ‘Real world’ goals
    ½ unit of skill-building; 1 – 4 units of language
    Emphasis on reflection and self-evaluation
  • Goals of the SDLAP
    Proficiency in language and culture (limited)
    Learner autonomy
    Collaboration
    Lifelong learning
    Competence in using technology to accomplish these goals
  • Autonomy as a Goal
    David Little: learner autonomy is 'essentially a matter of the learner's psychological relation to the process and content of learning--a capacity for detachment, critical reflection, decision-making, and independent action’
    Dam and Holec: an autonomous learner independently chooses aims and purposes and sets goals; chooses materials, methods and tasks; exercises choice and purpose in organizing and carrying out the chosen tasks; and chooses criteria for evaluation.
  • Collaboration as a Goal
    Communication is collaboration
    Sharing resources is important
    Sift through the wealth of material available
    Look critically at resources
    Reflect upon the value of the resources
    Sharing strategies is important
    Mutual motivation and support
  • Goals of Technology Use
    Find, evaluate, and use technology-based resources
    Foster collaboration
    Build a PLE / PLN
    Foster habits of autonomous learning
    Space for critical reflection on goals and activities
    Document learning
  • Which technology?
    Easy to use
    Support non-Roman character sets
    Support multimedia
    Support integration of other tools
    Social bookmarking
    Wikis
    ‘Real world’ platform
  • Which technology?
    Continuing access after course and after graduation
    Blackboard
    Moodle
    Maintain learner privacy
    Limit access to student work to members of group
    Foster broader collaboration
    Outside participants can be admitted
  • The SDLAP Ning
    Personal space and public space
    Personal space = electronic portfolio
    Public space for collaboration
    Platform for other tools
    RSS feeds from other resources
    Tabs for course and language center wiki
    ‘Real world’ tool
    Ads as spurs for discussion
    Easy to use and support
  • The Learning Journal
  • The Electronic Portfolio
  • Foster Collaboration
  • Student Reaction
    Like having everything in one place
    First year: combination of Blackboard and Ning
    Second year: Ning + linked wikis
    Confusion between blogs, discussion boards, and Diigo comments
    Cultural differences among students affect use and perception
    Spring 2009 student testimonial
    I’ve continued to use what I learned as I work on Turkish and Greek
  • Issues
    Technical support
    Introduction to nings, social bookmarking
    Support for uploading and embedding files
    Privacy
    Copyright
    Pedagogical support
    Other instructor, language partners, evaluators
    Foster effective use
    Model reflective learning
  • Assessment of Technology Use
    Students have few negative reactions
    Students are beginning to collaborate without face-to-face meetings
    Important as students proceed through program
    Use as electronic portfolio works well for assessment at a distance
    So far no collaboration after course
  • More Ning-Based Activities
    Personalize home pages in target language
    Comment on each other’s pages
    Separate ‘cultural posts’ from learning journals using discussion boards
    More insight if students read and comment on each other’s posts
    New functions
    Video chat as students graduate
  • Life after Ning?
    In July, Nings will no longer be free
    Pay for the SDLAP ning for at least one more year
    Cost written into program budget
    Funding not assured
    Explore other possibilities
    WordpressMU + Buddypress
    Elgg
    Mahara