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Have learners gone feral? Accessing and accrediting learning at the edges of educational space

By 11 March 2014 3

Learners have been teaching themselves for many centuries. However in our highly connected time learning practices have truly gone feral. Twitter drips out 140 character learning bites around the clock. Google Scholar gives you, on demand, as many resources as you need. Scoop.It lets you connect with experts in your field who are curating the best and most recent information on any topic you are interested in. Don’t know how to make that widget? Search YouTube or, better yet, join a maker community.

According to Pew Research the age of ‘binge learning’ in linear courses might be coming to an end: we can now all “graze on information” anytime, anywhere. So how are people organizing these platforms and information streams to maximize their learning? Is it possible, or desirable, for formal higher education providers to engage with these independent learners and add value?

More importantly, if learning is feral and happening everywhere, how can we assess and accredit the learning that is happening in existing higher education settings, but not as part of formal course work? A conventional degree testamur is a ‘mute’ object that actually tells us very little about the richness of the learning that is taking place, especially around the edges of formal coursework. It looks like Mozilla’s Open Badges may be an important piece of the puzzle, a way of making learning more legible to others, and to the learner themselves.

In this lecture Joyce Seitzinger will discuss the concept and potential of Mozilla’s Open Badges movement against the background of these feral learning practices and sketches out what this new development might mean for our universities.

Bio: Joyce Seitzinger has worked in eLearning for 15 years, including 8 years in higher education in New Zealand and Australia. Since 2007 she has become a strong advocate of networked learning in education and organisational learning. Her consulting service Academic Tribe helps individuals and organisations build networked communities and practices in education that suit lifelong learning needs in the 21st century. Joyce is one of the founders of the newly established OBANZ (Open Badges Australia and New Zealand) community. She is an active Twitterer, follow her at http://twitter.com/catspyjamasnz to see what she’s working on.

When: Thursday 20 March 2014, 4-5pm
Where: Room 1.08, Building 10T1, The Australian National University
Register here: http://learnersgoneferal.eventbrite.com.au

Enquiries: E researchtraining@anu.edu.au T 02 6125 7555

Refreshments will be provided.

This project is funded through an Office of Learning and Teaching seed grant.

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3 Responses to Have learners gone feral? Accessing and accrediting learning at the edges of educational space
#1
curmudgery12:11 pm, 12 Mar 14

Oh this is shameless!

This is marketing dressed in academia’s clothing. Tell people there’s a problem then offer your solution.

“Twitter drips out 140 character learning bites around the clock.” Ha! If you mentioned ‘Homer’ to most Twitter users, they’d think ‘Simpson’.

As for “the age of ‘binge learning’ in linear courses might be coming to an end” – sounds like the paperless office and job-sharing to me. Remember those big issues?

And “ …how can we assess and accredit the learning …”? Try evaluating the work submitted. Those who have learnt well and widely will present an understanding beyond mere facts and deliver it with style. They should get a higher score.

Methinks this is a lecture designed to nurture a seed grant to flower.

Shameless.

#2
urchin6:49 pm, 12 Mar 14

curmudgery said :

Oh this is shameless!

This is marketing dressed in academia’s clothing. Tell people there’s a problem then offer your solution.

“Twitter drips out 140 character learning bites around the clock.” Ha! If you mentioned ‘Homer’ to most Twitter users, they’d think ‘Simpson’.

As for “the age of ‘binge learning’ in linear courses might be coming to an end” – sounds like the paperless office and job-sharing to me. Remember those big issues?

And “ …how can we assess and accredit the learning …”? Try evaluating the work submitted. Those who have learnt well and widely will present an understanding beyond mere facts and deliver it with style. They should get a higher score.

Methinks this is a lecture designed to nurture a seed grant to flower.

Shameless.

i reckon you hit the nail on the head there.

I’m gonna take a massive leap here and assume that the “content” will consist of:
5 minutes of “reexamining education in the internet age”
25 minutes of paraphrasing publicly available information from the mozilla badges website
5-10 minutes of examples of how people have forced these largely useless badges into content
15 minutes of mostly pointless q & a by people who will never, ever use them.

then another 5-10 minute walk back to ones office while pondering how much more efficiently the past hour could’ve been spent if only one had thought to bring some good reading material to the presentation.

#3
pierce10:05 am, 13 Mar 14

I’m surprised to see this event listed here as it’s relatively niche – higher education educators – but having seen Joyce present before, I’m looking forward to it.

She knows her stuff and has a grounded and practical take on the challenges and opportunities offered by emerging tech in education.

Sure the blurb might be a bit marketing/academia wanky but the issues being addressed are worth considering.

I have no connection to this event or the organisers.

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