The concepts of resilience, as applied and interpreted by Weller & Anderson (2013), are interesting to me, as it places the emphasis on my adaptability to technology in my teaching, ability to integrate it, rather than the reaction in isolation.
I’ve often perceived the technology as being the solution. Adopting it has been automatic, a default position, lending credence to Prensky’s concept of the digital native/immigrant. As such, I should be more open with my materials and bringing ‘outsiders’ into the classroom, thereby exposing my learners to a better, richer experience, as well as giving them more freedom & control over their continued journey through open support.
OER’s allow this, by increasing the reach & scope of materials available. According to Strauss & Howe (2001), current learners are ‘Millenials’ – a definition based along similar lines to Prensky. Rather than explicitly focusing on attitudes towards and use of technology, the definition refers to a Millenial as being “better educated”, focussed on “teamwork” – implying as does Prensky that the skill set required for online learning is a given of anyone born after a set time, in this case 1982.
I don’t agree. The skills required for online learning, are quite different. Given the fast-paced, ‘always connected’ nature of the modern learner, there is a huge amount of information filtering going on. The skills are acquired over a longer period of time based on individual learner experience and preferred learning style, rather than simply enforced in a rigid environment.
Simpson (2008) provides a small scale application of Proactive Motivational Support (PaMS) which, on the basis of the limited data presented, would seem to suggest an increase in 20-30% in pass rates at completion.
What does that mean for my practice, as my learners are not graded and assessed in hard, numeric terms, but rather in ‘soft’ ways ( how much ongoing support do they need/access?)? How can I ‘open the box’ and bring more to my learners?
My courses are built around tools for enhancement, support and delivery of learning. Yet so much of it, upon relfection, is fixed, static, routine.
These represent barriers to opening up my practice. Groth & Peters (1999) flag up many well established barriers, which my practice can be affected by, both from my perspective as the educator and that of my learners. Time , constraints, fear of failure (and perversely, also of the consequences of success), lack of knowledge, recognition (lack of) and pre-conceived notions.
I therefore need to get more creative in how I deliver (already attempting with flipped classroom & twitter) and what I deliver. I think it would be good to take the elements currently delivered via Youtube and develop into a more of a ‘master class’ offering, and link to re-usable resources that exist (such as question pools for test etc).
Longer term, I will look to create an online community, initially within my learner pool, for sharing of tips, best practice and ideas. I will also start to look into ways in which completion of a course could perhaps be gain an element of recognition, reflecting the growth in the area of ‘badges’ that has stemmed out from the world of online gaming.
Belshaw, D. (2012). Informal Learning, Gaming, & #Openbadges design. Retrieved from http://dougbelshaw.com/blog/2012/07/19/informal-learning-gaming-and-openbadges-design/#.UAviyURJH40 on 16th December 2013.
Groth, J.C. & Peters, J. (1999). What Blocks Creativity? A Managerial Perspective. Creativity & Innovation Management, Volume 8, (3).pg 179-187. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8691.00135
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, Volume 9 (5), MCB University Press.
Simpson, O. (2008). Motivating Learners in Open and Distance Learning: Do we Need a New Theory of Learner Support? Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning. 23:3, 159-170.
Strauss, W. & Howe, N. (2000). Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation. New York, NY: Vintage Original.
Wellor, M. & Anderson, T. (2013). Digital Resilience in Higher Education. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. Available from: http://www.eurodl.org/index.php?article=559 Retrieved 16th December 2013
In fulfillment of HEA UK Professional Standards Framework : A2, A4, A5, K3, K4, K5, K6, V2, V3
The Higher Education Academy (2011). UK Professional Standards Framework. Retrieved 06/11/2013 from http://tinyurl.com/d8qokjw