The chicken or the Elgg? Developing a socially constructed self-paced learning environment

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Rhode, J. F. (2008, May 8). The chicken or the Elgg? Developing a socially constructed self-paced learning environment. Presented at the 2008 Sloan-C Internation Symposium on Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning, Carefree, AZ.

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  • The chicken or the Elgg? Developing a socially constructed self-paced learning environment

    1. 1. Developing a Socially Constructed Self-Paced Learning Environment Jason Rhode, PhD www.niu.edu/~jrhode or
    2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Discuss rationale for developing a socially constructed self-paced online learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate implementation of the eLGG open source social networking system </li></ul><ul><li>Share results of a recent research study exploring learner’s preferences for interaction in a socially constructed self-paced environment. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Introductory Ideas interaction self-paced learning emerging communication approaches social networking
    4. 4. What comes first? <ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor-driven </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Closed </li></ul><ul><li>LMS </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Student-driven </li></ul><ul><li>Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Open </li></ul><ul><li>PLE </li></ul>
    5. 5. Assumptions <ul><li>Substance and function of online interactions varies </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction is essential for a quality learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>Sole use of traditional learning management systems often results in restrictive, instructivist learning environments </li></ul>
    6. 6. Dron’s Theory of Transactional Control Dron, J. (2006). Social software and the emergence of control, The 6th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies. Kerkrade , The Netherlands. Retrieved March 23, 2007, from http://www. cmis . brighton .ac.uk/staff/jd29/papers/icalt2006.doc
    7. 7. Types of Interactions
    8. 8. Warburton’s 3D Matrix http://warburton.typepad.com/liquidlearning/2007/11/what-is-the-bes.html
    9. 9. Warburton’s 3D Matrix http://warburton.typepad.com/liquidlearning/2007/11/what-is-the-bes.html
    10. 10. Groups vs. Networks http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen_downes/252157734/
    11. 11. Weblogs as a Learning Space http://eduspaces.net/csessums/files/-1/9894/weblogbrainstorming.jpg
    12. 12. Using Blogs in Education
    13. 13. Anatomy of a Socially Constructed Self-Paced Learning Environment
    14. 14. Operational Definitions <ul><li>Socially Constructed Learning Environment Individuals actively participating in learning encounters through organic social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Paced Learners retain control over pace in which they engage in learning interactions and activities </li></ul>
    15. 15. VFCC Online Certificate Program Characteristics <ul><li>Adult learners enrolled in fully-online professional development certificate program for children’s ministry professionals and laity </li></ul><ul><li>New cohort of learners begins a course each month </li></ul><ul><li>Learners proceed through course activities at an individualized pace with only stipulation being end-of-course deadline </li></ul><ul><li>Program entitled, “Children’s Ministries University Online” </li></ul><ul><li>More details at www.cmuo.com </li></ul>
    16. 16. eLGG <ul><li>Open source </li></ul><ul><li>Fully customizable </li></ul><ul><li>Active development for extending the platform </li></ul><ul><li>Can be configured to use LDAP authentication </li></ul><ul><li>Public or private networks </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging, tagging, user controls, RSS, & user profiles </li></ul><ul><li>Users create own networks </li></ul><ul><li>Hosted solution - elggspaces.com </li></ul>http://classic.elgg.org/features.php
    17. 17. Sample eLGG Communities <ul><li>http://community.brighton.ac.uk </li></ul><ul><li>http://me2u.athabascau.ca </li></ul><ul><li>http://cmuonet.org </li></ul><ul><li>http://commun-it.org </li></ul><ul><li>http://ubuntero.org </li></ul><ul><li>http://vlpc04.tugraz.at </li></ul>
    18. 18. Community - cmuonet.org
    19. 19. Logged-In Access
    20. 20. Posting a New Entry
    21. 21. Friends
    22. 22. Communities
    23. 23. Tag Cloud
    24. 24. Course Blog Integration with Blackboard Course
    25. 25. Research Design <ul><li>Mixed methods approach </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted near the conclusion of the course </li></ul>
    26. 26. Measures <ul><li>Semi-structured, in-depth interviews conducted over the phone, each approx. 1 hr. in length </li></ul><ul><li>Questions addressed 3 main types of interaction and formal vs. informal nature of such interactions </li></ul>
    27. 27. Empirical Study <ul><li>Engagement (Activity) </li></ul><ul><li>Value </li></ul><ul><li>Equivalency </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived Impact </li></ul>
    28. 28. Engagement in Interaction <ul><li>Overwhelmingly positive responses to course community, CMUOnet </li></ul>
    29. 29. Reported Involvement <ul><li>Most reported using course blog and social bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Instructors blog was very helpful for most </li></ul><ul><li>Participants didn’t attempt to contact outside experts </li></ul><ul><li>In-course discussion was limited </li></ul>
    30. 30. Findings <ul><li>Blogging valued equally, and in some instances higher, than asynchronous discussion via the LMS </li></ul><ul><li>Email was the preferred mode of interaction with instructor, blogging preferred for interaction with others </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback from instructor was reported as very important </li></ul><ul><li>Participants identified a correlation between quality of interaction and quality of learning experience </li></ul>
    31. 31. Conclusions <ul><li>Depending on the specific circumstance, not all forms of interaction may be either equally valued by learners or effective </li></ul><ul><li>Informal interactions were as important as formal interactions in determining the quality of the online learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging was shown to be equivalent to or even superior to instructor-directed asynchronous discussion via the discussion board in a LMS </li></ul>
    32. 32. Further Study <ul><li>Explore perspectives of learners in varying disciplines/institutions/social-cultural backgrounds/online learning environments </li></ul><ul><li>Differing learner populations </li></ul><ul><li>Unique aspects of emergent asynchronous communications such as blogging, collaborative authorship, social bookmarking, and social networking </li></ul><ul><li>To what extent can a social network system meet the needs of designers, instructors, and learners and therefore be capable of replacing an LMS? </li></ul><ul><li>What impact does course size have on the self-paced online learning experience? </li></ul>
    33. 33. Q&A Thank you for coming! This session is archived online at www.niu.edu/~jrhode Also, my email address is [email_address]

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