a virtual community is defined as an aggregation of individuals or business partners who interact around a shared interest, where the interaction is at least partially supported and/or mediated by technology and guided by some protocols or norms.
The proposed typology of virtual communities includes two first-level categories: Member-initiated and Organization-sponsored (…) At the second level of the typology, virtual communities are categorized based on the general relationship orientation of the community. Relationship orientation refers to the type of relationship fostered among members of the community. Member-initiated communities foster either social or professional relationships among members. Organization-sponsored communities foster relationships both among members (e.g., customers, employees) and between individual members and the sponsoring organization.
The literature suggests that five attributes could be used to characterize virtual communities:
- Purpose : or discourse focus
- Place: as in a bounded location (structural) and a sense of shared values (socio-psychological)_ a virtual space is comprised by both a sense of presence and location
- Platform: determines synchronicity which in turn enables real-time interaction, focuses only in the technical design of interaction
- Population Interaction Structure: 1. VCs as computer supported social networks/ 2. VCs as small groups or networks/ 3. virtual publics versus VCs
- Profit Model: tangible economic value
Porter, C.E., 2004. A Typology of Virtual Communities: A Multi-Disciplinary Foundation for Future Research. In Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 10 (1), Article 3.
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- Real Virtual: virtual environments that represent the real world.
- Virtual Augmented Real: use of ubiquitous augmented information systems connected to the real world objects (ie. GPS data, pilot’s line of sight measurement etc)
- Real Augmented Virtual: information from the real world gets embedded into the virtual realm. (ie. Kinect Sports Video Game)
- Fantastic Virtual: products of unrestrained imagination
Pak, B. Newton, C., Verbeke, J., 2012. Virtual Worlds and Architectural Education: A Typological Framework. In Proceedings of the 30th eCAADe Conference – Volume 1, Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Architecture (Czech Republic) 12-14 September 2012, pp. 739-746.
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It involves working with a small number of universities, or specific faculties and departments, that are committed to rethinking and redesigning how they operate. 30 universities over a period of 4 years will rethink and redesign university operations to align with the modern information and knowledge ecosystem. The intention is to offer innovative teaching and learning opportunities, utilizing effective learning analytics models, integrating learning across all spaces of life, and creating a digital and networked mindset to organization operations
- cohort model where universities learn from each other
- centralized consultancy
- universities working with a fraction of the investment needed in working with a traditional corporation or consultancy firm
- serve the advancement of science through modern universities while actively researching systemic transformation in higher education
Full text available here/ Image available here
- HE must lower its costs and scale
- Develop different and digital HE model for developing world
- Stop talking past each other, talk to each other: Higher Ed has a widespread and deep anti-corporate culture
- Don’t lecture me!: ognitive psychology and educational research showed the redundancy of the lecture as a core pedagogic principle (…) we learn through the correction of errors, yet teaching methods fail to recognize this core cognitive fact
- Research is not a necessary condition for teaching – break the link: Research skills require systematic thinking, attention to detail, understanding of methods and analysis. Teaching skills require social skills, communication skills, the ability to hold an audience, keep to the right level, avoid cognitive overload, good pedagogic skills and the ability to deliver constructive feedback
- Build less. Balance out the capital budget with a substantial digital budget: It is perhaps time to consider, what John Daniel called, a ‘default to digital’ for some courses.
- Open up to outside, not just with technology but culturally: there’s some good and real change happening within HE but they tend to be, and remain, outliers; the core system is in stasis
- Embrace transformative technology: the complexity of the problems we face and the need for smart, technological solutions in education
- Strategic, costed initiatives with change management: recognizing the issues and taking a strategic approach to solutions
- Rebalance academic and vocational: pleas for more learning by doing and more apprenticeship
Full article available here/ Image available here
- Barth 1971: Open Education is used here to designate a general approach to teaching and learning which presumes the child’s right and competence to make important decisions; views the teacher more as a facilitator of learning than a transmitter of knowledge, and abundant alternatives and choice for students
- Katz 1972: Open education movement is the commitment to humanistic values including self-determination, freedom of children and aesthetic appreciation.
- Resnick 1972: while the open education movements and educational technology are often seen as mutually hostile, the challenge in education for the future is to find ways to develop the full range of each individual’s capacities
- Paquette 1979: Open Pedagogy is not an assemble of pedagogical processes applied in a classroom that allow results as any other pedagogy. OP influences the way of thinking and acting, it is an innovative way to envisage the educational act (..) it is focused on the interaction that exists in a class between the students and the educational environment (…) it is founded a. on the respect of individual differences, b. on the individuals’ beliefs, c. on the indirect influence of the educator and d. on a natural process of apprenticeship
- Paquette 1995: 3 sets of foundational values of open pedagogy, namely: autonomy and interdependence; freedom and responsibility; democracy and participation.
- Gremmo and Riley 1995: “Autonomous learning” has been shown to be a fruitful approach and one that impinges on every aspect of language learning theory and practice, in all parts of the world. However, one important lesson which has been learnt from this work is that self-directed learning schemes and resource centers have to be planned locally, taking into account specific institutional requirements and expectations, the particular characteristics of the learners and staff, including the socio-cultural constraints on learning practices. There is no universal model for setting up a self-directed learning scheme (…) One of the first “tailor-made” resource centres was established by CRAPEL at the University of Nancy (Riley and Zoppis, 1974; also in Riley, 1986)
- Laura Gibbs and Stacy Zemke 2015: 1. open = agency — Learners are individuals and independent agents within the learning process. They are allowed to operate independently and explore with personal freedom./ 2. open = choice — Learners choose their own pace, their own direction, and their own connections./ 3. open = expansion — The learning network is an open-ended and ever-expanding network of nodes. Each node in the network represents is a connection, a possibility for learning. Everything in the network is a project./ 4. open = creativity — Openness translates to rich possibilities that inspire new perspectives and ideas./ 5. open = student-constructed — Learners take responsibility for their learning networks and are active participants in its planning and growth./ 6. open = open-ended problems — Learning design is focused less on specific outcomes or competencies than on process. It is about empowering learners to create real solutions to real problems./ 7. open: unmeasurable outcomes — Traditional outcome measurement implies the learning is static and closed./ 8. open = risk and goodness — Choosing often leads to unexpected and unpredictable results. While there is risk associated with the unknown, there is even greater reward and goodness.
- Wiley 2015: open= free+permissions/ free and unfettered access, perpetual, irrevocable 5R permissions (retain, reuse, revise, remix, redistribute), open= democratizes innovation, permits innovation (…) open pedagogy: a set of things you can do when outcomes, assessments, and resources are open that you cannot do otherwise (…) openness facilitates the unexpected.
- Downes 2016: “In the case of personal learning, the role of the educational system is not to provide learning, it is to support learning. Meanwhile, the decisions about what to learn, how to learn, and where to learn are made outside the educational system, and principally, by the individual learners themselves”
Dr Vivien Rolfe, University of the West of England, Bristol UK. Open. But not for criticism? In Opened16 Conference, available here
Claude Paquette “Quelques fondements d’une pédagogie ouverte.” Québec français 36 (1979): 20–21. available here
MARIE-JOSI~ GREMMO and PHILIP RILEY , AUTONOMY, SELF-DIRECTION AND SELF ACCESS IN LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING: THE HISTORY OF AN IDEA, System, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 151-164, 1995 Elsevier Science Ltd Printed in Great Britain, available here
NEXTTHOUGHT, Laura Gibbs and Stacy Zemke, Eight Qualities of Open Pedagogy, available here
David Wiley, here (Frischmann’s, Von Hippel’s and Thierer’s work)
Downes 2016, Personal and Personalized Learning, available here
Tannis Morgan, Open pedagogy and a very brief history of the concept, available here
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The Fully Online Learning Community (FOLC) is a reduced social-constructivist learning model based on communities of inquiry model (CoI). FOLC particularly responds to four problems related to the transformation of higher education in an increasingly globalized and digitalized knowledge society:
- the limitations of distance learning and MOOCs
- the call for greater development of 21st century competencies desired by influential organizations such as the World Economic Forum and the Conference Board of Canada
- the needs of transformative and emancipatory learning as conceptualized by Human Rights Education
- the requests from some international partners for new models of learning aligned with democratic and socio-economic reforms
FOLC is based on the following concepts:
- Social Presence: The ability of learners to project themselves socially and emotionally in a community of inquiry
- Cognitive Presence: Four-phase procedural model, considered a generalization of scientific method, begins with a triggering event, and subsequently moves through phases of exploration, integration, and resolution
- Teaching Presence: is here eliminated in favour of a more democratized approach to learning, one which places much greater emphasis on the community and learner empowerment.
- Digital Space: FOLC recognizes four fundamental dimensions of human-computer-human interaction (technical, informational, social, and epistemological/computational) and their accompanying competencies as prerequisite layers supporting SP, CP, and collaborative learning. It offers well-established practices for the selection and use of digital affordances to foster fully online community learning.
- Democratized learning: as a term, it is a loose, boundary construct with scattered presence in the literature: A. it deals with processes of learning not about democracy/ B. it addresses the fact that at the microlevel education tends to be authoritarian/ C. it emphasises on the deepening democracy/ D. it gains strength through digital technologies
Key themes emerge in relation to FOLC educational environments, including:
- collective identity and responsibility: to build interpersonal relationships; to promote distributed responsibility for refining knowledge through challenging feedback that triggers cognitive dissonance; to encourage divergent thinking.
- freedom and flexibility: adults share both structure and control of the digital space, respecting diverse personal learning needs, and working together to improve performance; individuals bring a variety of digital tools and skills to the FOLC
- authenticity: an authentic context; authentic tasks and activities; access to expert performances; multiple perspectives; collaboration; reflection; articulation; coaching; authentic assessment
- community and criticality: FOLC represents a joint enterprise understood and continually renegotiated by its members; fosters relationships of mutual engagement; establishes a shared repertoire of resources that members enthusiastically share
Todd J. B. Blayone, Roland vanOostveen, Wendy Barber, Maurice DiGiuseppe and Elizabeth Childs, Democratizing digital learning: theorizing the fully online learning community model, in International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201714:13, DOI: 10.1186/s41239-017-0051-4, available here
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Openness as transparency between students; communication between students and the outside world; interdependent relationships between educational institutions and external practices ( Dalsgaard and Thestrup). This paper asks if openness is a absolute positive.
The authors claim that:
- a. the binary between open and closed is false: closed is associated with hierarchy and repression while openess represents creativity and innovation, a total liberation from the constraints of formal study (…) all forms of openess entail forms of closed-ness (Edwards), educators decide what forms of openess are justifiable pedagogically and ideologically.
- b. the overemphasis on access homogenizes learners and contexts: not all individuals require simply access to content in order to learn; OER emphasis on replication presumes uniformity of learners (…) complexity reduction is problematic (McArthur)
- c. open does not attend issues of power and inclusion: OERs could be reproducing asymmetric power relations between those who produce and those who passively assimilate the offerings (…) access is not enough unless it is seen in a context of social inclusion and justice
Not-Yetness is a response to dominant discourse of using technology in education: accepting risk and uncertainty of practices in flux while setting boundaries and looking for alternative modes of openness in digital education where there is an emphasis on the learners’ connections and not just content. Openness as a quality of relationship amongst students, teachers, technologies, texts and an unknown audience.
Example No 1: while wikis promote consensus around dominant voices, a federated wiki allows individuals to manage and control content, they resolve to multiple servers
Example No 2: blogging provokes an awareness of audience and voice but student bloggers rarely have the option to experiment with identity or set their own limits of exposure
Example No 3: exposing learning to an unknown and therefore unpredictable audience (the agents beyond the course) may lead students to making decisions based on the awareness of that audience.
Collier, A., Ross J. 2016. For whom, and for what? Not-yetness and thinking beyond
open content. Open Praxis, vol. 9 issue 1, January–March 2017, pp. 7–16 (ISSN 2304-070X), available here
Five domains of core functionality:
- interoperability and integration_the system has to be open to allow different kinds of expressions (…) interoperability has four dimensions: transferable content, easiness of use, learning environment as a source of data, creation of interoperability standards.
- personalization_it is highly dependant interoperability (…) it encompasses two aspects: the configuration (at all levels: individual, departmental, divisional, institutional and consortium) and outfitting of the learning environment and adaptive learning (coaching and suggestions specific learners’ needs)
- analytics, advising & learning assessment_Data: Dispositional, Course Activity and Engagement, Student Artifacts, all intended here in two dimensions: learning analytics and integrated planning as in institutional capability to create shared ownership
- collaboration_as a lead design goal (…) it doesn’t simply involve peers but also institutional collaborations (…) the usual walled garden system allows more freedom for content sharing but learning in social settings seems to be of great value
- accessibility & universal design_ for inclusion, addressing accessibility means framing the learner both as receiver and as creator of content
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References & Image available here
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Degreed is a startup that aspires to become a credentials’ bank. It does so by trying to create a standardized assessment for skills no matter where the individuals got them. Only a year ago it was funded with a 21 million investment to fuel the continued growth of lifelong learning and skills’ measurement for companies and professionals. Degreed seeks to create a common language for grading.
In the log in process Degreed asks you to Use the Degreed free online platform to achieve your learning goals, whether your goal is to learn a new skill or polish an existing one. You then choose from a variety of themes the ones that appeal to you more and you begin attending related material offered to you in the platform. Degreed keeps track of any books, articles, videos or even courses you might read about or watch and accumulates the traces of this material to help you prove your competencies.
In this week’s Economist the article: The return of the MOOC: Established education providers v new contenders, introduces Degreed along with Pluralsight as two companies that are trying different ways to answer to the difficult task of assessing one’s capabilities. The author claims that as long any training gets recognized and accredited it is even more likely that more lifelong learners will receive a continuing education through MOOCs or any other form of adult learning.
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Having established that open collaboration among educators brings quality and attractiveness to higher education Fabio Nascimbeni and Daniel Burgos seek to determine a framework that enhances openness among Universities. Despite the wide dissemination of open material -mostly through MOOCs-, Higher Institutions they say, are still reluctant to engage further. Nascimbeni and Burgos focus on the role of the professors and teaching in matters of openness; it is the faculty they say that needs to change.
So, what they did was study the related literature and then sit together with Mackintosh, Mc Greal, Nerantzi, Teixeira and Weller and discuss on a potential conceptual framework. They came up with the following definition:
An Open Educator chooses to use open approaches, when possible and appropriate, with the aim to remove all unnecessary barriers to learning. He/she works through an open online identity and relies on online social networking to enrich and implement his/her work, understanding that collaboration bears a responsibility towards the work of others.
Their definition is further analyzed through the description of the Open Educators main activities: sharing their ideas; sharing their educational content and teaching resources; fostering co-creation of knowledge by students; implementing open assessment practices.
The authors take this a step further and introduce a framework of self evaluation for educators (image on top). This table, they claim, will help educators determine their current position and relate themselves to develop accordingly in terms of openness. The three different educator profiles on the left column describe the three dominant trends; while the different qualities of openness in teaching on the right columns describe the activities they engage in accordingly.
Since not all educators engage in open practices in the same degree, the authors also describe a process of gradual transitioning from acquiring awareness to getting transformed into open educators.
First of all, I would like to say that I do like a good definition, but what I like even more is an good short and open definition. What the two authors came up with was a quasi page long text and even that wasn’t enough; they kept on explaining and analyzing it further. And the full identity of the Open Educator continues to elude them since at this point their research sample involves only a small percentage of active OEs. Their effort in my opinion is as futile as it is unnecessary; as long as educators are not educated to educate, any attempt to induce change will only be dealt with contempt. Traditional institutional figures can hardly grasp the meaning of transitioning from one point to the next, let alone giving up on their power of sharing knowledge on their own terms. That makes Open Educators the sole missionaries for change toward a new learning environment that treats all individuals as equals. And that is the only single lined definition I can come up with at this point.
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