Response to David Wiley’s Challenge

I have responded to David Wiley’s request in ChangeMOOC 20011 – that we post a video or concept map or both about the change that we would like to see in some aspect of education. I have never taken on this type of challenge before and hope I don’t get ‘egg on my face’ – but here is my contribution for what its worth :-). If you see flaws in it then you can rest assured that I see many more and needless to say I can already see what more/less I should have said/explained/justified! And ‘Yes’ I know that it is too long!

17-10-2011 Postscript – Thanks to Cris Crissman for posting this link – – in the Change11 Group

14 thoughts on “Response to David Wiley’s Challenge

  1. Scott Johnson October 13, 2011 / 4:32 am

    Hi Jenny,

    Great video. Who owns the right to comment on and analyze topics of public concern? If universities reduce knowledge to a commodity, collect public moneys to collect and supposedly husband it then claim a monopoly and sell it back to us what do they expect people to do. Everywhere there is an imbalance in the distribution of a common good, eventually cracks appear and leakage will occur.

    Education is a public project and I think we are seeing an impatience with being walled out and needing permission to participate without first being approved (blessed?). Hasn’t this happened before when enough people learned to read and claimed the right to know the bible without intervention by the priesthood?

    It’s not that we don’t need experts. Or that people who dedicate themselves to collecting, carrying and distributing knowledge at a cost to themselves shouldn’t be rewarded. Only that knowledge has gone from interesting or useful to a necessary medium of survival and we need to build a different relationship with it. Maybe a more participatory relationship where we all have a role to play? We can’t do this when knowledge is held as a private good.

    I was told once that my skills and knowledge as a tradesman were not “mine” but rather a temporary benefit I was obliged to pass on to my apprentices. Their “tuition” was their energy and willingness for which they deserved adequate payment. There were times when, from my perspective, this felt like a very poor setup but over a period of time it all evened out.

    Thanks also for the link to ispot.


  2. Liz Renshaw October 13, 2011 / 6:15 am

    Thanks for this thoughtful video presentation, which has certainly inspired me to create something for this week. I strongly concur with your sentiments about research. i work in the vocational education and training sector (VET) in Australia and in the past have been approached to write research papers about different teaching- learning innovations for presentation at research based conferences. This has been an ardous task and I found little support amongst the traditional research power holders. The excitement and energy generated through our ground breaking work with emerging technologies and adult literacy students was soon reduced to despondency as our research paper ‘failed’ repeatedly to make grade. Whilst many teachers do change their practices at the local level embedding innovation in the wider organisation faces many obstacles and having to write a formal research paper for your idea/s to gain acceptance, endorsement and further funding is bizarre.

    I agree with your call for research that adopts an open, freer, fairer and more collaborative approach. Also your ideas about the use of different media, such as videos etc which could really assist to represent ideas in a more creative and accessible way. Only by making the shifts you suggest can we hope to build a more open, vibrant, inclusive and creative research community in which everyone feels empowered to contribute in their own way. Hopefully we can build a better future when those exceptional ideas/practices of our classroom teachers can be captured and shared in an open research community.

    From another turtle with its neck stuck right out.!!

  3. Cris Crissman (@Cris2B) October 13, 2011 / 6:35 am

    I really admire the iSpot project, Jenny. I think it’s a lovely example of a networked learning model that could work for many areas of interest. Maybe even help towards solving a few wicked problems 😉

    To create a space where “recognized experts could monitor” and mentor beginning researchers sounds like a sea change. And it seems like digital scholarship is the wave that could take us there.

    I had never heard of the The Nature Magazine experiment in open peer review until I read of it in Bonnie Stewart’s post and found it intriguing (her post and the experiment)

    The experiment failed miserably and you’ll see some of the challenges that could make the iSpot-like model difficult — Not impossible. Not wicked.

  4. Cris Crissman (@Cris2B) October 13, 2011 / 6:38 am

    btw kudos on your audio slide show! You’ve integrated images beautifully and meaningfully in your talk. A vast improvement over millions of slides full of text that seems to be the norm.

  5. jennymackness October 13, 2011 / 12:48 pm

    Thanks Scott, Liz and Cris for your comments – and particularly for the reference to the Nature Magazine Experiment, Cris. I do dimly remember being aware of this at the time – but it didn’t really register as I wasn’t doing research at the time – or thinking about the meaning of ‘openness’ as I am now.

    I’m wondering whether now that things have moved on so much in terms of open education initiatives another attempt at something like the Nature Magazine Experiment would have more success.

    I think key to the iSpot community success is that the ‘scoring’ and ‘feedback’ systems allow concrete gains for anyone who gets involved at any level. Any open peer reviewed research system would have to offer similar return on investment to encourage people to be involved. I don’t think we are yet at the levels of open generosity, talked about by David Wiley, required for something like this to work without ‘concrete’ and ‘measurable’ returns. Just thinking aloud here 🙂

  6. Carmen Tschofen October 13, 2011 / 4:19 pm

    Hi Jenny,
    Clearly an issue to be wrangled with:-) Ultimately, there is nothing that prevents anyone from publishing openly on the web in whatever form they want… and saying whatever they want. The issue seems to be more about the desire for whatever gets said to be validated in some way– by peers or experts, etc. And the current “price” of that form of validation seems to be a requirement for reticence and time-consuming review. The larger question for me is more related to how individuals may or may not have or understand their own processes of validation– both in understanding information (facts) and ideas (speculations). How much do we need to have validators in one spot or community, which you highlight here, and to what degree must we somehow embrace a simultaneously much more distributed and yet highly personal sense of validity and validation? This two-pronged approach seems to be the way I tend to approach (evaluate, if you will) those much broader forms of publication (multi-media, etc.) that you reference. Is this kind of burden too great for some learners, or is it now the nature of learning itself?

  7. Irene Gould October 13, 2011 / 5:23 pm

    I am impressed by your video. I like your pictures you have used: not too many so it doesn’t take my focus away from your voice. I like the way you speak. It’s hard for me sometimes to understand a person from Britain, but you speak slowly: easy to understand.
    I am not a researcher (nor close to it in my experiences so far), but I do understand the problems with publications. I think your idea of open submissions and peer review is great. It may be daunting for a lot of researchers though, they might want to protect their “own” field…..You have inspired me to read on about open access of content. Thank you.

  8. jennymackness October 14, 2011 / 7:25 am

    Carmen – thanks for your interesting comments and questions about validation. I think self validation (have I understood that that is what you are suggesting?) will be too big a burden for many if not most learners – at least within today’s education system. The mindset shift would need to be quite significant. Worth thinking about it though – and possibly looking for some examples.

  9. jennymackness October 14, 2011 / 7:26 am

    Thanks Irene for your comment. Good to know that the slow talking (which actually equates to slow thinking :-)) made it easier for you to follow! David Wiley’s talk seems to have sparked off lots of discussion.

  10. Irene Gould October 14, 2011 / 11:37 pm

    Jenny, what program did you use to make the video? And the pictures? Cheers, irene

  11. jennymackness October 15, 2011 / 8:29 am

    Hi Irene – I used Camtasia – (my laptop is a MacBook Pro) which I already have on my computer and I paid for – because I use it to video people that I interview as part of my work (independent education consultant). I find it very straightforward and easy to use.

    For a free video making tool you might try Jing – – or have a look at some of the tools in Jane Hart’s top tools list –

    For photos I usually search Google Images or Flickr – and always put the link of the source of photos I use – don’t want to be accused of plagiarism :-). There are also sites which have free images – – or where you can buy images.

    Hope this helps.


  12. Irene Gould October 16, 2011 / 6:13 pm

    Thank Jenny, much appreciated! I will have to try Jing……

  13. Heli Nurmi October 31, 2011 / 8:28 pm

    Thanks again, Jenny, I love your video. You should be proud of it!
    I don’t know the ISpot but I will check it, sounds interesting. There is international collaboration between schools,too.

    How to become a researcher and develop publishing? Not a simple task (as u know well). University was my first work experience and I have looked that culture inside.
    I have to say that I see many problems in open courses or open publishing. Who has time to peer review – and capability, skills. How to recognise expertise – anyone can pretend to be a guru. Who is able to see the difference? Open arguing is the oldest way in universities, so what should be changed. It is possible to publish anything in web but how to get high quality feedback?

    Very very important questions. It takes some time to answer..

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