ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Emergent learning in my EDV4 course

Posted on: November 27, 2012

More than 2 weeks have passed since I attended the last ZML journal club. During this time the article Footprints of emergence by Roy Trevor Williams, Jenny Mackness, Simone Gumtau was published as well. We used this article as basis of our preparation for the journal club.

During the journal club we discussed my course „EDV4“ for bachelor students of Social Work. I wanted to analyze if and how I allow/support emergent learning. For social workers it is important to engage with the internet to judge the potential and the dangers of internet tools. Therefore in my class the students are invited / should deal with internet tools, are invited / should use a tool for the group work related to social work, are invited / should reflect upon the tool and their use of it. Furthermore they are invited / should share with each other what they have learned.

In the conclusion of the article the authors write that

Openness provides scope for creativity, emergence, and personal growth, but if pushed too far may become confusing and disorienting.

Therefore in my didactical concept I tried to develop a very clear structure with a lot of freedom within the structure. My students and I will meet for 5 times. At the first meeting and after the presentation and discussion of the concept they have time to try out internet tools, to get ideas for their project and to form groups. They are free to choose the tool, what they want to do with the tool and with whom.

In a Wiki in our e-learning platform the students should shortly  document their topic, the group members, and the status of their work before the next face-to-face meeting. At the 5th meeting the groups will present their work in a market place. Furthermore I developed „roles“ for the students to support the collaboration: in their roles one student is responsible for the process (time management, fulfillment of tasks), one should focus on the topic, one checks and supports the group process, one is responsible for the presentation at the market place, and one acts as critical friend.

I was very curios to do a footprint of emergence for my class before it started – to analyze my concept and my expectations. Therefore I reflected the clusters and factors of the article, I used Gudrun’s translation into German, and then I tried to draw a footprint with a pencil on paper. It was not easy to do it – first I was not sure about my numbers for the factors and furthermore my draft was very imprecise ;-(

I sent my draft to Jenny and she asked Roy to draw my footprint in a professional way:


The footprint looks nice, but maybe a little bit unbalanced – and therefore I discussed the numbers for the factors with Erika during the journal club. After an intensive discussion about the meaning of the factors, the translation into German, the actual numbers, we changed some numbers … Therefore this nice figure is not up to date anymore, but in any case a first step toward a deeper engagement with the footprint model.

I’m looking forward to the online meeting of the ZML journal club with the authors of the footprint article which will take place next week. Hopefully during the discussion I will get a deeper insight into the model and based on the experiences of Jenny and her team I will be able to finalize my first footprint.

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