ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Did I reach my objectives in the BEtreat?

Posted on: August 2, 2012

It’s Thursday – the last whole day in the BEtreat and I want to reflect upon my objectives, expectations and the “real” thing.

What I wanted and what I got:

to experience a training provided by experts in the field of “social theory of learning” and to deepen my understanding

To satisfy my expectations with respect to this objective there were five theory sessions – one at Monday, three at Tuesday and one at Wednesday. Depending of technology I made it to follow the discussions or I failed. As English is not my mother tongue I’m lost if sound is swallowing half words. So my understanding sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t work. As my interest lies in the application of theories and not in theories itself I was sometimes lost when different theories, names, ideas where dropped without further detailed explication.

Nevertheless that the learning room wasn’t ideal I believe that I learned a lot. My head is full of sentences, half ideas, my nights are full of dreams about the BEtreat – how much I will finally get out of it will depend of my time I can invest into debriefing.


to experience how the integration of f2f and online learners could work mainly using synchronous learning

The training design is very challenging for online participants (I don’t know how it is for f2f participants). When I wake up in the morning I open my computer, check what was going on during (my) night, plan my BEtreat day, write in my personal booth, reflect in my blog. Additionally there is to do some “normal” work, at least check e-mails.

So when the BEtreat starts at about 16:30 I already did a lot of work. During the evening I’m participating, writing notes, trying to understand, sometimes make a comment, ask a question. And as I’m getting more tired when midnight approaches my competences of English and of understanding complex discussions diminish!

Yesterday technology worked well – there were the online participants with frozen pictures in adobe, a video of the group in California and skype for audio. It was possible for me to understand a little bit how the f2f participants are doing.

So, yes, I did experience a synchronous training with f2f and online participants – and got an understanding about it.


to get new ideas for my online training design – being at the edge to open up closed training scenarios

Starting with theory the most important aspects for me are Etienne’s “axes” – every aspect has to be negotiated, f.e. structure – action, identity – praxis, or the axes: vertical and horizontal power (maybe transverse power as well). And I want to integrate some of it in my trainings (I’m curios how I will do it).

With regard to the training design I’m happy to participate in this training but I would never adopt such a design. I feel that the training design imposes f2 schedules on online learners and does not give room for the potential of online learning, e.g for asynchronous processes or to support smaller groups of f2f and online learners.

When there is group work during the training f2f and online participants are separated. In my perception the f2f participants prefer discussions without online persons (probably is is much easier for them and there is the flow of discussing without anybody dropping in and out because of technology). (My perception is influenced by Jenny’s post where she described her experience as f2f participant in a BEtreat and how happy the f2f group was without online participants).


to build a group of learners (f2f and online) and to do work together

In my perception the building process for the whole group is at a very early stage. I have a good cooperation with the “onliners” – and yesterday the informal part at the start of the BEtreat session helped a little bit to get to know the f2f persons. But then I looked at the photos and couldn’t produce names to them.

There is not much contact between the f2f group and the online group. Etienne and Bev are eager to handle technology to bring us onliners in – but in this way the  f2f participants don’t have responsibility for us. So the buddy system of one online and one f2f participant doesn’t work and it is not necessary that it works.

At the beginning my leadership group of “social reporters” had some contact between f2f and online persons (which was very nice!) – but in the next days the group separated into f2f and online persons. The group wiki is filled with much more information of the onliners.

Furthermore I was in a mixed reading group and am now in a mixed thematic group. But as group building needs time  – which we do not have because of an overfull calendar – no groups are building. In the thematic group we have 3 hours for presentations, discussions, activities – but as we couldn’t find a common topic yesterday evening  we will do single presentations (and we have reserved some time for a joint enterprise, which we will discuss today).

So I’m very happy about the online group and a little bit disappointed about the performance of the BEtreaters group as a whole.

4 Responses to "Did I reach my objectives in the BEtreat?"

[…] Finally, there is one other BEtreater who is blogging – my online colleague Jutta Pauschenwein. Jutta has written a great series of blog posts about the BEtreat. This is her latest post – […]

Jutta, I can’t remember what influenced your decision to do the academic BEtreat rather than the cutting edge or state-of-the-art? I’m wondering if you wouldn’t have got much more on one which dived straight into practice rather than theory? If so, what could we have said in our online invitation or an early email that would have influenced your decision?

Looking forward to the final reflections tomorrow!

Bev, I’m happy to attend the academic BEtreat 🙂 I don’t know if the cutting edge or state-of-the-art BEtreat would have been “better” for me. My focus was not so much on the content than on the process – what is happening or not happening? and why? And how did we evolve as mixed group? And what was your and Etienne’s role as “facilitator” of our learning experience.

And I liked to immerge myself into Etienne’s theory of cops again- and of course I struggled with discussions about theory 🙂 Now my head is full of pieces of ideas … I’m curios what will come out of it!

[…] everyday until now I immersed myself into the BEtreat by writing a blog post Did I reach my objectives in the BEtreat? – but then for the first time during this week I left my house for entire 3 hours and spent nice […]

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