ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Webinar about the „birth“ of footprints of emergence

Posted on: November 22, 2013

Jenny Mackness was the moderator of the webinar „Footprints of emergence“ on 18.11.13. Roy T. Williams and Simone Gumtau, who were the authors of the article Footprints of emergence together with Jenny added their perspective to the discussion during the webinar. Another article „Emergent learning and learning ecologies in Web 2.0“ of Roy, Regina Karousou and Jenny was discussed in the webinar as well.

Jenny, Roy and Simone

Jenny introduced the topic and mentioned the footprints-Wiki. Jenny met Roy online in the CCK08 MOOC, but got into more intense contact after the MOOC with the intention to do research about the MOOC. Jenny and Roy asked: Why did people participate in the MOOC in the way they did? For example Jenny contributed in a blog and Roy in the fora. They never planned to  become a research group.

Roy mentioned Montesori with respect to open learning.

Simone spoke about a project where they ask how do we use metaphores to communicate.

Emergent learning

Emergent learning is learning that happens, is serendipity, tangents, …. In their paper Roy, Jenny and Simone wrote that nobody can see the whole picture, that systems co-evolve. However, Jenny said that we do not need emergent learning for all times. So in the paper they discussed prescriptive learning as well.

In MOOCs: Learning is happening that can’t be controlled. What factors influence emergent learning?

1. Case study: MA Management Learning and Leadership has characteristics of emergent learning (but: it is not open, not online) (it started 30 years ago). The students decide together about their objectives, the tutors don’t know at the start how this course will run and every course is different. There was a tyranny of participation at the beginning but then they decided that lurking is ok as well.

1. Group work on the whiteboard: The participants of the webinar had to insert their courses into a scheme with the aspects:

  • prescribed curriculum – negotiated curriculum
  • pre-determined outcomes – emergent outcomes
  • tutor assessed – peer or self asssessed
  • fixed learning environment – adaptive learning environment

2. Case study: Mitra’s Hole in the Wall / SOLEs: slum children learned how to use the computer, taught each other, learned English (they never spoke English before).  Experiment in minimally invasive teaching.

2. Group work  (whiteboard): When is emergent learning not appropriate? The participants found a lot of examples when emergent learning is not appropriate, e.g. when accreditation bodies determine objectives, when health is at risk, when safety is an issue, in a training for complex skills – but they also wrote that there is always an element of emergent learning, hopefully.

„Birth“ of the footprints of emergence

Jenny said they were interested into the balance between prescriptive learning and emergent learning. They needed to know how they balance out. They looked for a visualization tool.

Learning is very complex, there are many factors. They looked for a tool which supports complexity. They invented a 3D-figure.

Further material

Next steps

  • Next webinar focussing on drawing footprints of emergence and a discussion of the critical factors on Tuesday, 26 November 18:00 GMT
  • 3 week online course about footprints starting on Monday 2.12.13 (in German)

1 Response to "Webinar about the „birth“ of footprints of emergence"

Hi Jutta – thanks for coming to the webinar. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your 3 week online course. You will be thinking about footprints right up to Christmas!

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