Toronto Wiki Tuesdays - Course Co-creation vs. Course Management


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Presentation at Toronto Wiki Tuesdays, Feb 2, 2010 re: using wikis as a learning management system alternative (Boooooo Blackboard.) Happy to talk further about this with those interested.

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Toronto Wiki Tuesdays - Course Co-creation vs. Course Management

  1. 1. Course Co-creation vs. Course Management: Wikis as an Alternative to Learning Management Systems Toronto Wiki Tuesdays February 2, 2010 Michael L.W. Jones [email_address]
  2. 2. A bit about me... <ul><li>Professor/Program Coordinator, Communication, Culture and Information Technology, Sheridan/UTM joint program </li></ul><ul><li>PhD student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto </li></ul><ul><li>First research assistantship – Virtual-U online learning system, Vancouver BC (while MA student at SFU </li></ul>
  3. 3. A bit of an experiment... <ul><li>Four years ago, decided to engage students in 160-student course in digital innovation and cultural transformation </li></ul><ul><li>Used wikis to build a co-created learning space for two months </li></ul><ul><li>Realized that there was potential for this model beyond a simple assignment – so continued the experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Now, all courses run on wikis fully – and others as well </li></ul>
  4. 4. Points of resistance <ul><li>learning Management systems </li></ul><ul><li>Public vs. Private </li></ul><ul><li>“ Constructivist” Learning and its Implementations </li></ul><ul><li>Rubrics and Objective Learning </li></ul>
  5. 5. learning Management systems <ul><li>M deliberately capitalized – such systems are more about management than learning, and at times are barely systems </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard, WebCT, Angel – all about the centralized management and control over student experience (and now all owned by Blackboard!) </li></ul><ul><li>Expensive, centralized IT control and support – a major institutional investment </li></ul><ul><li>Even open-source alternatives like Moodle don't fare well – still an architecture of control (Lockton, 2008) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Public vs. Private <ul><li>One control factor of lMs – behind school firewall </li></ul><ul><li>While possible at cost with my implementation, no one wants to pay for it </li></ul><ul><li>So, protected public spaces it is </li></ul><ul><li>IP, privacy and image consequences </li></ul><ul><li>But also notable benefits </li></ul>
  7. 7. “ Constructivist” Learning <ul><li>Notion of constructivist learning at the core of much LMS research or implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Student focus, focus on construction of shared learning experiences from the foundation of individual experience, with teachers as facilitators </li></ul><ul><li>Sounds great - but... </li></ul>
  8. 8. Scaffolding vs. Critical Making <ul><li>CSILE/Knowledge Forum as example – scaffolded learning through explicit support of knowledge connection </li></ul><ul><li>The “I” is for intentional – forced representation of connection in a set structure </li></ul><ul><li>Consider an opposite approach – critical making (Ratto, 2009) – where process is the goal, not the end result, engages play in a far more open space, and if you want scaffolding, you have to design and build it yourself on your own terms and theories </li></ul><ul><li>Which is more reflective of reality? And more constructivist and critical? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Rubrics and Objective Learning <ul><li>A move to objective evaluation by rubrics, especially in the K-12 system (but moving on up) </li></ul><ul><li>I didn't even know what this was, and was horrified to see the results </li></ul><ul><li>“ teaching to the test” leads to programmatic learning, rote memorization </li></ul><ul><li>“ No Child Left Behind” in US has left every child behind – and we started this far earlier </li></ul><ul><li>A student body accustomed to specific instruction – and worse, high reward for obedience </li></ul>
  10. 10. Negotiating potential conflicts <ul><li>Lucky to have a relatively supportive environment – initial wariness has expanded out to support (but not institutional support) </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging a more playful, open space has been largely adopted and enjoyed by students – allows for far more personal expression and creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Simple learning curve has quelled some objective education oriented students – but others just have to learn that's not reality, sorry. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why Wikispaces? <ul><li>Wikispaces (http:/ picked as platform in 2006 – still used </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of use – 10 minute learning curve (helped by CommonCraft wiki video) </li></ul><ul><li>Orientation to education – esp. K-12 (and peer pressure factor comes into play...) </li></ul><ul><li>Early and continued support from owners </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent development of space parameters </li></ul>
  12. 12. Examples <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>