Pursuing the elusive metaphor of community in e-learning environments

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An invited address to ED-MEDIA 2009 in Honolulu, June 25, 2009 This presentation draws on lessons we have learned about building personal learning environments and virtual communities from our research and experience in formal and non-formal learning environments. It addresses key questions of how can we construct, maintain and usher out communities, who joins communities, and what characteristics of communities seem to be shared across learning environments.

Published in: Education, Technology

Pursuing the elusive metaphor of community in e-learning environments

  1. 1. Pursuing the Elusive Metaphor of Community in e-Learning Environments Richard Schwier Invited Address ED-MEDIA 2009 Honolulu, Hawaii, June 24, 2009
  2. 2. Ben Daniel, Dirk Morrison, me, Kirk Kezema, Jaymie Koroluk (not pictured: Xing Xu, Heather Ross)
  3. 3. Photocredit: ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu, Joi Ito from Flickr
  4. 4. Trajectory of Learning Environments • ‘Relation-Making’ systems • Personal "representation” systems • Meaning is in the connections • The locus of control is in the user • PLN - McGuffin, ARRFF & Mesh - Stephen Downes ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  5. 5. Our students Search for what they want (Google) Associate with whom they please (Twitter) Ignore what they don’t want (TiVo) Consume what they choose (iTunes) Become their own media (YouTube) -David Porter, BC Campus ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  6. 6. ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  7. 7. ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  8. 8. ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  9. 9. Formal VLC model ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  10. 10. Sense of Modeling Community Constituents Comparison ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  11. 11. Characteristics of • Transcript analysis • Interviews • Focus groups ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  12. 12. Characteristics • Awareness • Participation • Social protocols • Trust • Historicity • Trajectory • Identity • Technology • Mutuality • Learning • Plurality • Reflection • Autonomy ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  13. 13. Comparison of Thurstone analysis ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  14. 14. Thurstone Scale Formal ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  15. 15. Modeling Bayesian Belief Network ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  16. 16. BBN - Query the network ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  17. 17. Non-formal learning • prescribed but unfettered learning environment • emphasizes intentional learning--not casual or serendipitous. • Some structure for learning defined externally • learner control; personal intentions outweigh externally defined intentions • Organizational expectations around participation, investment, persistence and completion • Internal, self-defined outcomes guide the learning path ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  18. 18. ? Non-formal environments ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  19. 19. Sense of Community Rovai & Jordan’s “Classroom Community Scale” (Chronbach’s alpha = .93) 90.0 67.5 45.0 Formal 22.5 Non-Formal 0 ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  20. 20. Intensity Fahy, Crawford & Ally (TAT) 2.0 1.5 1.0 Formal 0.5 0 Non-Formal ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  21. 21. Density Fahy, Crawford & Ally (TAT) 0.8 0.6 0.4 Formal 0.2 Non-Formal 0 ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  22. 22. Reciprocity ratio the parity of communication among participants ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  23. 23. Reciprocity ratio Instructors 15.0 11.3 7.5 3.8 Non-Formal 0 Formal ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  24. 24. Reciprocity ratio Participants 1.0 0.8 0.5 Mean Mean 0.3 sd 0 sd Formal Non-Formal ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  25. 25. Order of importance - Element elements Non-formal Formal Trust 1 7 Learning 2 3 Participation 3 6 Mutuality 4 10 Intensity 5 7 Protocols 6 10 Reflection 7 2 Autonomy 8 10 Awareness 9 1 Identity 10 4 Trajectory 11 13 Technology 12 4 Historicity 13 13 Plurality 14 7 ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  26. 26. Informal learning environments ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  27. 27. personal aggregation of community, meaning and narrative ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  28. 28. Informal Learning | Non-formal Learning | Formal Learning ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  29. 29. Engagement Patterns Formal Non-formal Informal
  30. 30. Engagement Patterns Formal Non-formal Informal 100 75 50 25 0 Initiation Maturation Declination
  31. 31. Engagement Patterns Formal Non-formal Informal 100 75 50 25 0 Initiation Maturation Declination
  32. 32. Engagement Patterns Formal Non-formal Informal 100 75 50 25 0 Initiation Maturation Declination
  33. 33. Engagement Patterns Formal Non-formal Informal 100 75 50 25 0 Initiation Maturation Declination
  34. 34. Engagement Patterns Formal Non-formal Informal 100 75 50 25 0 Initiation Maturation Declination
  35. 35. death of community ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu, Photocredit: Keichwa
  36. 36. Collective intelligence Changlc
  37. 37. Reputation systems and leaders ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  38. 38. Reputation systems ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  39. 39. engagement matters more than interaction Photocredit: ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu, lynne_b from Flickr
  40. 40. The Bystander Effect Photocredit: ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu, Bryon Realey
  41. 41. Social Loafing and Free-Riding
  42. 42. Trust Photocredit: ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu, David Burrows
  43. 43. Trust - worthy? Photocredit: ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu, Eve Hermann
  44. 44. Empathy/Forgiveness ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  45. 45. aggregation around purpose ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  46. 46. ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  47. 47. ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  48. 48. hospitality
  49. 49. intimacy ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  50. 50. Transactional Distance • psychological distance is more important than actual/social distance • students don't always want to be close to their instructors • students don't always want to be close to other students ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  51. 51. Dunbar’s Number 147. ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  52. 52. Rick’s Number 12 ∏r 2 ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  53. 53. Rick’s Twitter Numbers 119-442 4109 ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  54. 54. ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  55. 55. intensity ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu, Photocredit: Raphael Goetter
  56. 56. ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  57. 57. ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  58. 58. content = part 2 "object centred sociality" ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  59. 59. We as educators need to reconsider our roles in students’ lives, to think of ourselves as connectors first and content experts second. http://www.edutopia.org/collaboration-age-technolo will-richardson -Will Richardson Darwin ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu, Peacock
  60. 60. CIDER ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  61. 61. virtual environments are real virtual is real
  62. 62. the Ken Burns filter ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  63. 63. Final thoughts • Community is a tired but useful metaphor • Non-formal and informal learning are powerful features in formal learning environments • Research should concentrate on informal learning • Community approaches require a fundamental shift in how we look at learning and learners, content and control ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu,
  64. 64. Twitter, Skype, Faceboo http://vlcresearch.ca schwier Good virtual learning environments and good f2f learning environments are more similar than different Research by the Virtual Learning Communities Research Lab is supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Photocredit: ED-MEDIA 09 Honolulu, Maureen Flynn-Burhoe

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