Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Self-directed learning or networked-learning?

George Siemens in Moving beyond self-directred learning: Network-directed learning (http://www.connectivism.ca/?p=307) considers participants in MOOCs. Participants need to be self-directed - i.e. self-reliant. However acting along results in some partipants getting overwhelmed by a sea of postings and a wealth of information. Siemens suggests that networked-learning might be a better concept though I'm not sure he explains how that might be accomplished in a massive online course. Siemens mentions Wendy Drexler's Networked Student video which describes a student working on his own - who might get some comments from others, but it doesn't look like he's getting much help from anyone - though the teacher is finally mentioned at the end of the video. The teacher helps the student search for information, evaluate the information he finds, teaches the student how to approach experts, etc. Is that "networked learning"? (Speaking of course set-up: I'm enjoying MobiMOOC because there's enough traffic on the Google Group that I can track of the conversation of some very active participants. Going from blog to blog AND checking out discussion forums AND Facebook AND Twitter AND...and, and, and... doesn't feel much like a conversation. I'm sorry but blogs just don't feel like a discussion to me. In any case it gets to be a lot of work to track down all the places that participants are contributing. It's user choice, but makes it difficult to find out who's doing what. I'm doing my usual mostly-a-lurker routine in MobiMOOC, but I'm getting a lot out of it because there's a lot of discussion going on in one space - the Google Group.)

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