The Learning Story of YOU (#mlearning)
Ever since the beginning of the Internet age, all things and processes can be digitized and hence exchanged through the Internet are only getting more decentralized and democratized. This trend includes learner-centered learning, and that a learner can involve in plotting his/her own learning story, personalized his/her own learning journey. Can you tell the significance of this shift?
From “Flexible Pedagogies: technology-enhanced learning“(Neil Gordon, University of Hull)
While MOOCs, or other online courses can provide access to materials and assessment, the aggregation of credits and award of qualifications is still typically focused on awarding institutions; this can reduce flexibility to the learner in terms of their choices to create their own profile. Given the wider CPD-style framework and associated flexibility considered in the previous section, e-portfolios can offer a valuable solution as a mechanism to collate evidence of achievement and to share this with tutors, professional mentors and ultimately with potential employers. For on-campus, in-course learning, portfolios can seem to have limited direct use beyond being an additional way to evidence activity and potentially supplementary assessment evidence. However, as a resource for professional development portfolios and as a way to log and collate professional practice, portfolios, and especially e-portfolios with their greater flexibility, have much to offer whether as a formal assessment tool within a course, or as a way to evidence and support extra-curricular activity and attainment.
Within courses enabling and encouraging students to collate evidence of their skills through assessment-related evidence, as well as more general portfolio material, can help them prepare for the workplace. Providing e-portfolios that can be exported or used after graduation means this particular university-initiated resource could be on-going. With potential linking from a VLE, MOOCs or other online assessment, the e-portfolio can be automatically updated to reflect a student’s on-going development of their knowledge and skills.
e-Portfolios from the bottom up
“Early in 2013 Western Sydney Institute installed a locally hosted instance of Mahara providing all students and staff with a WSI ePortfolio account. A project was then created to develop and trial a model and resources for providing individuals (students, teachers and other staff) with skills to start using their e-Portfolios on a personal basis (unrelated to their formal studies).
The new ADL Experience API offers interesting opportunities. xAPI is created to be as fluid as possible in terms of aggregation, search, and other services for the learner data.
At the first sight e-portfolios, learning badges, and the xAPI seem to cover the same use-case of documenting learning across platforms and learning environments. However, on closer inspection we find that each concept only deals with one part of this use case. The following infographic illustrates how the xAPI can be used to link learning activities with e-portfolios. (read details here)
API doesn’t tie learners to a particular device, or to particular content, or even to an LMS at all. Through implementing xAPI it’s possible to create a personal data locker, where learners can track their own experiences and control their own learning data.
Serge Ravet had proposed a model called COOLE (CO-constructed Open Learning Environment) by making learners the designers, builders and operators of their learning environments, the authors of their learning contexts!
While, thanks to the rise of knowledge media, we now have many practices based on / leading to user generated contents, what we now need are technologies and practices leading to user generated contexts. Why not build digital learning environments based on the MineCraft paradigm, i.e. using a technology accessible to everybody? Why should Moodle and the like be left in the hands of the teaching high priests? The issue is not just to make Moodle more ‘open’ or to give students authoring accounts (to mimic what their teachers do?) but to create new tools, with which they would be empowered to design their own learning environments.
Make learners the architects of their co-constructed learning environment(s)! This is a very different view from the individualistic PLE, or the course-focused MOOC (prefixed with either a ‘c’ or an ‘x’). A User Generated Context should be more like a co-designed / co-constructed / co-operated open learning environment, a self-generated learning context — autopoiesis.
Nowadays mobile technologies further democratize how we learn. The opportunities of learner generated contexts are abundant. How shall technologies support learners to co-construct and tell their own learning stories? From ADL MoTIF report, it is said” “Mobile Learning is a near-term enabler for many of the capabilities envisioned for the Personal Assistant for Learning (PAL).” We are imaging that this PAL could be a navigator for personal learning journey and a narrator for learner portfolio. Please tweet your thoughts!