This year’s fourth Hot Seat discussion in the area of networked learning (in preparation for the 2012 conference) runs from January 9-13. Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Vivien Hodgson, and David McConnell are facilitating a week-long asynchronous discussion, Exploring the Theory, Pedagogy and Practice of Networked Learning.
The Hot Seat discussion has 3 parts:
- History of Networked Learning in the UK and underpinning values (this thread has, so far, attracted the most discussion)
- The history of networked learning in a Danish context and its relationship to problem based learning (pbl), the role of technology and web 2.0, and the net generation and digital literacy
- Ontology, epistemology and pedagogy of networked learning, and relevance to mainstream higher education in the 21st century.
I arrived late for the discussion and it has been difficult to catch up with such a wealth of posting – but so far I have taken away two key ideas.
First, the definition of networked learning used for these Hot Seat discussions is quite narrow and only relates to networked learning in higher education courses. As such David McConnell introduces Part 1 of the Hot Seat by saying that
Networked Learning is based on:
Collaboration and cooperation in the learning process
Interaction with online materials
With such a heavy emphasis on interaction, collaboration and group work, this raises the ever difficult question of whether or not participation should be assessed and if so how. In the Hot Seat David McConnell shares his model for assessment which is based on peer and self review. He writes:
The model is discussed, with examples of the process, in CHAPTER FOUR, “Assessing Learning in E-Groups and Communities”in the book: MCCONNELL, D. (2006) E-Learning Groups and Communities. Maidenhead, SRHE/OU Press (pp 209)
With respect to learner autonomy, the premise is the same as that expressed by Erik Duval in his presentation to ChangeMooc (Week 10) – i.e. that if a learner chooses to take a particular course, then s/he must expect to abide by the conditions (such as collaboration, interaction, online participation) stipulated by that course and be assessed in line with these. This was discussed in a previous blog post – https://jennymackness.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/the-tyranny-of-sharing/
However, it is clear from the Hot Seat that a lot of thought has gone into and continues to go into, how assessment can be best designed to fit with principles such as learner autonomy, peer-to-peer learning and negotiation.