If you give any question to a student that has a clear, definitive answer, you are tempting them to cheat.
Those 6 total work hours are going to work out to 90 hours of work over an average term of 15 weeks. (please note, the Carnegie unit wants that to be 120 hours, but we’re going to ignore that). We have 90 hours to work with over the term for a course. How do you want to break that down? It’s going to be drastically different for different courses and styles. But whatever you’re teaching, keep trying to think about it from the perspective of what a student is actually going TO DO.
Simple break down (not quite 90, yes i know)
Watch 3 hours of video* – 5 hours
Read stuff – 20 hours
Listen to me talk – 15 hours
Talk with other students in a group – 15 hours
Write reflections about group chat – 7.5 hours
Respond to other people’s reflections – 7.5 hours
Work on a term paper – 10 hours
Do weekly quiz – 3 hours
Write take home mid-term – 3 hours
Write take home final – 3 hours
I got asked by a long time colleague if I was willing to do a post of all the things that I’ve learned in the last eight weeks about moving online. Not ’emergency teaching’ but actual lessons about people moving to teaching with the internet. I’ve worked with over 100 faculty at my own institution this past few months, taking them through a 1 week intensive course. I’ve also been in constant contact with folks from around the world both through my interviews on http://oliah.ca and in endless backchannels and side chats. Here’s what I got.
You can easily write one post responding to all the posts on a given subject, highlighting themes and correcting misconceptions. Less duplication for you, and it still shows students that you’re involved.
Before our Friday online teaching class I tweeted out a request for suggestions for the ONE THING that people would send someone if they were moving online for the first time.
If you were going to send someone ONE document/video about teaching online, what would it be? Looking for ‘further reading’ …
George Siemens and I are hosting a two week futures-style Open Course starting April 15th on the SSHRC challenge “Truth under Fire in a Post-Fact World,” and the question of how education should respond. You can sign up by joining this mailing list.
It makes me wonder what is pertinent in regards to rhizomatic learning in 2020? How has the context changed? Is ‘rhizomatic learning’ atemporal?
Coming back to Rhizomatic Learning, I am therefore left mulling over how Dave Cormier has successfully ‘managed the MOOC’. I must be honest that the word ‘manage’ may be slightly misleading, inferring incorrectly a sense of power and control, I think that instead what the course has done is instigate learning throughout. In some respect this has now been coordinated by everyone, although Dave has ‘set’ the tasks and facilitated the communications and conversations. However, as was demonstrated by +Mariana Funes‘ post, much was left to the community to continue the learning.
If I were to add anything, it would be your particular patience and persistence to tease ideas out.
As time has past, I often come back to my various experiences from the Rhizo MOOCs. In today’s day and age of impact and effect, I wonder what I carry on with me. I think it would be a certain softness and openness to difference and opportunity. Thinking back on some of my interactions I feel that there were times when I was so naively confident about some things. I think my participation was useful in not only informing me of differences and nuances, but also giving me the opportunity to learn some of these things through the act of doing.
There are three streams to this model that eventually leads towards people being able to function as good online learning facilitators. The top stream is about all the sunshine and light about working with others on the internet. It’s advantages and pitfalls, ways in which to promote prosocial discourse. The middle stream is about pragmatics. The how’s of doing things, it starts out with simple guidelines and moves forward the technical realities of licensing, content production and tech using. The bottom stream is about the self. How to keep yourself safe, how to have a healthy relationship with the internet from a personal perspective.
- Learning online
- Making within constraints
I remember discussed the idea of digital literacy as a series of levels a few years ago. In more recent times, I have come to wonder if what matters is being informed and whatever that might mean for users. However, Doug Belshaw would probably argue that it is about an interaction of elements, rather than a linear progression.
There have been lots of innovation and encouragements. They are, for the most part, directed at trying to get lots of people to ‘work’. They intend to measure the compliance of our students. Is our goal about compliance? Or, as it says in basically every strategic plan in education in the world, are we trying to support independent, creative citizens?
I am left wondering what happens if our children do not even want to play cards at all? Or learn an instrument? Or any other activity. Maybe the answer is enforcing independence where:
Students create and assess their own learning. In this scenario, the learner is facilitator and assessor. Where they create their own narratives, their own successes, their own continual feedback.
Once rhizo always rhizo!
Grading is good at ‘encouraging people’ to do complicated tasks that are often represented by memorization, obedience and linear thinking. If those are our actual goals. If our goals are complex and include things like creativity… we’re looking to support intrinsic motivation. Grades don’t support intrinsic motivation.
I am not sure what the ‘answer’ to the current situation is. I like your hopeful suggestion. For me it is about participating on my own terms, whether this be via webmentions or in a shared space that allows for more ownership, such as a social media space using Edublogs. I am not sure if this is the positive participation you are thinking about. I am mindful that this may not be for everyone, but it at least moves to something other.
- What would happen (for you) if Twitter’s ‘fail whale’ reappeared tomorrow and suddenly Twitter was gone?
- What if you deactivated your original account and started afresh? Knowing what you know and bearing in mind what you wrote in this post, how would you do things differently, if at all? Is ‘making Twitter great again’ within your capacity?
- If Twitter is broken beyond repair and neither Mastodon nor micro.blog quite cut it, if you had the wherewithall, what would you design as a replacement? What would it need to have or be able to do?
Along with your focus on working with people and problems, you have left me wondering what next. I wonder if post-digital is a time of ‘informed consent‘? Or maybe George Seimens suggests it is about ‘being’ skills?? Or maybe the ‘answer’ is having this conversation in the first place? Surely it is only through conversation that we are able to throw off the yoke of digital dogma? I feel that this is what Douglas Rushkoff’s book Team Human attempts.
I apologize for leaving you without a definition or a clear theory of rhizomatic learning, however useful these things could be. Theories, like definitions, help create a shared common language. As we reify language into chunks it creates a shorthand that allows us to communicate faster and more effectively. It also means that we are less likely to misunderstand each other as we have a shared ‘meaning’ for the words that we are using. I am not able to provide this certainty. But with this loss of certainty of meaning there is freedom. Feel free to take this into your own hands and draw the conclusions that work for you.
I was intrigued by your reference to the impact and influence of technology on learning. Here I am reminded of Doug Belshaw’s work in regards to digital literacies. Even before ‘digital’ is added to the equation technology has had a part to play.
Before books went digital, they were created either by using a pen or by using a printing press. These tools are technologies. Literacy, therefore, is inextricably linked with technology even before we get to ‘digital’ literacies.
Personally, my own learning has led me assemblages. See for example Ben Williamson’s work with Class Dojo. I wonder about this as an approach and how it might differ from rhizomatic learning?
Also on: Read Write Collect
Educational technology is replete with consultants who have never managed change. They may have been good teachers or just like to take your money, but this doesn’t mean that they are going to help you change your school. I am always suspicious of the consultant who wants to work with the school superstar. (odds are they were a school superstar too before they became a consultant). Real change is hard, and slow, and takes careful planning. Superstars mostly just give you the appearance of change.
Rather than sustainable change, focusing on the guaranteed +1 is both unethical and creates a super star culture. Something I have touch d upon in the past:
I have lost count of the times I have been asked to reflect on my past and recall a great teacher. For me, these teachers were those that often pushed against the grain, who stood out in the crowd, maybe broke the rules, seemingly going above and beyond. Maybe these are worthy attributes to have, but at what cost? The question that often goes unasked is what context allows for the creation of such teachers and is it always positive? Who suffers and what is lost in the process? Are great teachers in fact bad teachers?
Cormier instead argues that the focus needs to be on long term change, with a plan to solve an actual problem. Associated with this, it is important to make space for such change, what Tom Barrett describes as innovation compression.
When new programmes are introduced, that draw down on the finite energy and effort from those involved without stopping other parallel ideas and releasing resource reserves, we get innovation compression, and a potential weakening of the original ideas.
This is also something that I have discussed in regards to my concern about ‘great teachers’:
Although working with an awesome group of like-minded teachers might seem like the best answer to fix our woes if this is not coupled with a clear understanding of the purposes associated with education them what is actually gained?
Rather than the right teacher, I would argue that we need to focus on the right culture and environment:
The problem with picking the right teacher is that there is no definitive means of finding such a person. This right teacher implies that we are fixed in everything that we do and think. In addition to this, the ‘right’ teacher for today, may not be the ‘right’ teacher for tomorrow. Another alternative is to provide the conditions for the right teacher to develop and grow.
Although not directly related, this reminds me of Charlotte Pezaro and Marten Koomen’s four questions to consider about conferences. I also wonder how distributed leadership fits with Cormier’s approach.
We can’t talk about improved learning without considering the impact on teacher wellness.
We are confronted by the complicated/complex division everyday in education. Do I want to know if a medical students has remembered the nine steps of a process of inquiry to work with a patient or do I want to know if they built a good raport? How often do we choose the thing that is easier to measure… simply because we can verify that our grading is ‘fair’. How often do we get caught in conversations around how ‘rigourous’ an assessment is when what we really mean is ‘how easy is it to defend to a parent who’s going to complain about a child’s grade’.