"There is considerable irony in this for multimedia. We have struggled technically to be able to deliver the full screen narrative form that TV so clearly represents - one hour of full screen full motion video has been a multimedia holy grail for so long! - and yet just as we appear to be able to deliver it, we find that what learners seek is something else anyway. They need a browsing, grazing environment where learner autonomy is fundamental, where the model of information represented is crucial to that browsing function, where metaphor and interface design are of primary importance and where sound bites, video snatches, auditory icons and text labels offer a complex and participatory environment that challenges the learner and recognises their increasing sophistication as information handlers and creators. Our normal information lives have changed without us noticing and the implications for multimedia and learning are complex and significant. The many publishers seeking to provide electronic books and narrative CDs are seeking to generate product that is a generation too late, as the age profile of buyers clearly indicates."
(Stephen Heppell, BBC 1995)
[Heppell accurately foretold the shift towards more open-ended organisational forms but in doing so failed to recognise the risk for learners of having too much choice. While the agency learners is increased through their autonomy to browse and graze etc. this is only the case when they possess recognition rules (Bernstein 2000, p.105-106) which allow them to construct meaningful discovery narratives.]
"About 50 Augsburg College students are deep into a semester-long experiment for which they'll receive credit for five courses, but no grades. ...
There are few non-graded terms in U.S. colleges and universities. The popularity of such programs has ebbed and flowed through the years, but the idea is new to Augsburg, where this fall's term is the first of a three-year pilot.
Evaluating students with 'narrative' feedback, instead of an A-F scale, is essential to a complex course with a diverse group of students, the Augsburg professors said. ...
'Grades get in the way,' said Lars Christiansen, a sociology professor who is researching grades and five colleges that decided to do without them. 'They become this extrinsic goal that ... can be in conflict with trying to cultivate students' intrinsic interest in what they're learning.' ...
At Augsburg, students helped create the criteria by which they'd be evaluated. Participation, improvement, transformation and impact all made the list. They also had a hand in how the semester would proceed."
(Jenna Ross, 30 November 2009, Star Tribune)
[Note that 'professor' in this context is equivalent to a lecturer.]
"Institutions, teachers, and learners are increasingly turning to the open architecture and customizability of the web. In doing so, they are leveraging the tools and resources of the larger PLE to create their own personal learning networks (PLNs) to manage information, create content, and connect with others. Whether termed PLEs or PLNs, these approaches 'represent a shift away from the model in which students consume information through independent channels such as the library, a textbook, or an LMS, moving instead to a model where students draw connections from a growing matrix of resources that they select and organize.' Scott Leslie's impressive collection of PLE diagrams reminds us that PLNs are infinitely configurable to meet individual needs and preferences. They are, after all, 'personal.'
The vision of individually constructed PLNs and their potential to transform learning extends beyond merely aggregating and using a smorgasbord of web-based tools and content. Gardner Campbell advocated the cultivation of 'personal cyberinfrastructures' that teachers and learners can leverage to become the 'system administrators of their own digital lives.' Instead of implementing tools that simply help instructors 'manage learning,' Campbell argued that we should embrace technologies that enable co-learners to frame, curate, share, and direct learning 'engagement streams.' John Seely Brown and Richard Adler argued that learning with Web 2.0 tools is so different that we ought to call it 'learning 2.0.' They asserted that, unlike old passive forms of learning, the new learner-centric paradigm (facilitated and reinforced by new tools) emphasizes participation over presentation, encourages focused conversation over traditional publication, and 'facilitates innovative explorations, experimentations, and purposeful tinkerings that often form the basis of a situated understanding emerging from action, not passivity.' The net result is an 'open participatory learning ecosystem.'"
(Jonathan Mott, 2010)
Mott, J. (2010). 'Envisioning the Post-LMS Era: The Open Learning Network.' Educause Quarterly 33(1).
Fig.1 Vahid Masrour 'synthetic view of what a PLN/E is, and what it enables'.
Fig.2 Scott Leslie 'collection of PLE diagrams'.
"The changing environment facilitates new kinds of learning. Teachers have traditionally focussed on content; indeed, many consider the identification and delivery of learning material to be their prime role. It is through this role that they seek to direct learning. But it has been argued that this traditional teaching skill is redundant in today’s information-rich learning environment."
(Bobby Elliott, CAA Conference 2008)
Elliott, B. (2008). 'E-Pedagogy & E-Assessment'. 12th CAA Conference: Research into E-Assessment. Loughborough, UK, Loughborough University.
"CTM is a new research center dedicated to the invention, critique, and understanding of transformative media practices, including gaming, social networking, creative mobility, data mining, and participatory learning.
Our work combines expertise in the design of social media, games, learning environments and communities with a deep understanding of the way dynamic media networks are used - and increasingly transformed - by audiences in their quest to learn, work, play, and participate. Projects draw from expertise in both design and the social sciences with a particular focus on ecologies of change. An emphasis on networked publics as spaces of learning forms a core perspective of The Center for Transformative Media.
Faced with an increasingly complex, participatory, and information-rich network culture individuals must learn how to engage in meaningful ways, with others, in order to gain access to information, services and entertainment. The space of the network, which spans local and global, real and virtual space, has become a primary site for engaging with the world, people, events, and ideas.
The power of the collective has become a primary strategy for managing information, solving complex problems, and building expertise. Recasting media spaces as networked learning environments will be the key to innovation within the next decade."
(Center for Transformative Media)