ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Archive for the ‘Begriff’ Category

As university teacher and head of an e-learning center I’m wondering how my job will change during the next years. Already now students are different, many of them know less maths and spelling rules and speak English fluently. In courses of university teaching colleagues complain that students are not engaged anymore. Instead of immersing themselves in university topics many of them aim at finishing their degree as quickly and easily as possible.

Many of my students are working beside university and I observe that they struggle to combine job, study and family life. Of course these students cannot focus only on learning. But also students who are not working have a lot of distractions.

Furthermore I’m not sure that all the stuff we’re teaching them will be useful for them in their future life. And I’m convinced that our teaching style often doesn’t match how they want to learn and their learning competences.

So what are we teachers going to do? In my teaching I see that open tasks which support emergent learning processes give students the freedom to choose aspects they want to learn. Reflecting and documenting their learning processes strengthen their competences for lifelong learning. As facilitator I’m monitoring their development and I try to give them feedback as often as possible. And I try to use pictures and visualization in class (comics, footprints of emergence, social network analysis). But what else?

At the moment I’m reading a lot about trends, technology-enhanced learning, about the generations Y and Z, deep learning, chatbots, … In my comics workshop yesterday I tried to visualize my thoughts about the future of learning at universities.

I’m not sure about how our job will change. My picture finishes with a large question mark. Ayad Al-Ani does research about the future. He will be our keynote speaker at the 16. E-Learning Day of FH JOANNEUM (the conference is in German) and I get the impression that he doesn’t see a bright future for universities.

I’m discussing the future of learning, the future of books and universities, MOOCs and handwriting, the role of chatbots, the importance or insignificance of knowledge about facts with students and teachers. And I’m curios of your thoughts about the future. I’m looking forward to comments, comics (?) and reactions.


Today I carried out a workshop in the school “Rainergymnasium” in Vienna, with 68 school students between 14-15 years and from three different classes. Their teacher Vera Kadlec invited me to support the students to reflect their experiences in an IMST project with special regard to the subject informatics.


The workshop was planned for two school hours. I started with a short introduction to emergent learning and the footprints of emergence. Then each student drew his or her individual footprint using a sheet with further information; the sheet contains a question for each factor and a picture which visualizes the factor.


As the weather was beautiful most of the groups worked in the open. Vera, her colleague Jochen Reichert and I observed the students drawing their footprints and helped them if necessary. During the process of drawing the footprints the students asked a few questions about specific factors. One student felt that the questions in the sheet need a “yes” or “no” contrary to the footprint template where there is a continuum for each factor.

After the first school hour many students had finished their drawings. In the second hour I started to discuss the footprints with groups of students whereas Vera and Jochen supported the others to finish their footprints as well.


Some observations of the footprints

Cluster Open/structure:

  • A student put the factor risk in the sharp emergent zone. She said that despite of learning a lot for the exam there are questions she cannot answer. Therefore she feels a lot of risk to fail.
  • Another student loved the possibility to learn in other places than in school (lim).
  • Many of them positioned the ambiguity factor in the sharp emergent zone or at the edge of chaos (amb). In the analysis of the footprints Vera will check if this result is related to the specific school class.
  • One student created a footprint with rather high factors of disruption and self-correction. He told me that in class he often cannot finish his work (high disruption factor) and he hates it. Then he has to solve the problem by himself after class (high self-correction) and he likes it. This was an interesting learning experience for the group, that sometimes we like to be challenged and sometimes not.
  • Many students spoke in a positive manner about different learning paths.


Cluster Interactive Environment

  • Many students gave the factor experiential a high value. With respect to this factor they reflected mostly their experience in the subject chemistry.

Cluster Agency

  • Many students were stressed because they often had to organize themselves and be autonomous. Some of them didn’t like this at all and put the factor self-orgainsation and autonomy into chaos.
  • In the discussions I was not sure if the students understood the factor identity. They see very clear and fixed roles of being students or teachers (alas a factor in the prescribed zone) whereas some of them put the factor identity into the (sharp) emergent zone.


Cluster: Presence / Writing

  • We discussed the factor solitude and contemplation (S&C) which was sometimes in the sharp emergent zone. The students said that if they do not succeed in finishing their work in class the professor allows them to finish it at home. But they find it hard and difficult to work alone at home.

After the workshop Vera and I discussed our impressions of the interaction with the students.


Altogether the students said that they are happy to learn within a structured learning environment and that they didn’t want more freedom in learning. Furthermore they stated that during the first semester the design of their learning space was more open and more closed in the second semester.

With respect to the workshop 68 school students were too much to deal with. Next time we will do a workshop with every class again.

Today my colleague Erika and I supported students of physiotherapy to draw their first footprint after completing their first placement. It’s fun to watch them struggling with the concept behind the footprints. 

Based on the description of the footprint terminology of Jenny Mackness and Roy Williams we translated the questions for the factors into German and adapted them for school and university students. We tried to use a simple language but keep hold of the complexity. That was no easy task at all! Furthermore we are using many of the pictures of Roy’s mapping sheet in the Footprint WIKI. But I’m not sure if they are free to use. Therefore I don’t share digital versions of our handouts. 

The students draw the footprints per hand using the German version of this template.


It’s nice when the students get new insights into their learning process at the placement.

I’m looking forward to discuss the footprints of emergence with you and Jenny Mackness at Lancaster during the 10. Networked Learning conference.

To Jenny’s post about our presentation

In knapp zwei Wochen, am Dienstag, dem 10. Mai werden Jenny Mackness und ich auf der 10. Networked Learning Konferenz über den Einsatz der Footprints of Emergence erzählen.


Die Networked Learning Konferenz in Lancaster ist eine bedeutende E-Learning Tagung mit hohem theoretischem Anspruch, was mich als Praktikerin etwas unter Druck setzt. Sie findet alle zwei Jahre statt. Im Jahr 2000 war ich bereits einmal dort und sprach über Networked Learning in Applied Science Education. Diesmal steht die Tagung unter dem Motto Looking back – moving forward, gar nicht so unterschiedlich von der Thematik unseres heurigen 15. E-Learning Tages im September, bei dem wir die letzten 15 Jahre kritisch reflektieren.

Jenny Mackness  lernte ich 2011 online kennen und schätzen. Wie ich liebt sie im Netz ihren Blog und twitter – oder zumindest sind das die Medien, durch die wir hauptsächlich in Kontakt sind. Der Austausch mit Jenny beflügelt meine emergent learning Prozesse – immer wieder regt sie mich zu neuen schrägen Aktivitäten an (etwa gerade eben verlockt mich ihre Beschreibung, wie sie Comics zeichnete) oder wir treffen uns in denselben Online-Lernräumen.

2014 hielt sie gemeinsam mit Roy Williams die Keynote an unserem 13. E-Learning Tag, in der die beiden über ihre Erfindung der Footprints of Emergence sprachen. Damals – in Graz – traf ich sie zum ersten Mal persönlich und nächste Woche fliege ich nach Lancaster zu unserem zweiten persönlichen Treffen. Ich freue mich schon sehr auf unseren Austausch und gemeinsame Spaziergänge.

In unserer Präsentation auf der Konferenz (siehe Abstract) werden wir von der Verwendung der Footprints of Emergence im Rahmen des Competences  for Global Collaboration MOOC erzählen- siehe Jenny’s Blogpost über unser Vorhaben. Die Visualisierung des MOOC-Designs als Footprint of Emergence war überaus nützlich für die Diskussion im Projektteam, das advanced assignment in Woche 6 sollte die Lernenden dazu verführen mit einem Footprint den eigenen Lernprozess im MOOC zu reflektieren. 49 TeilnehmerInnen beschäftigten sich mit der Methode und erstellten einen Footprint.

Ich bin schon neugierig auf die Konferenz, auf networked learning 2016 und freue mich auf einen spannenden Austausch.