Educational Science Happy New Year!

May 2016 bring luck and happiness as well as enhancement and success to everyone – take care and see you next year :-)!

 

Recource: You Tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTCryF1J54Y

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Educational Science Part III: M.A. Thesis Globally Networked Learning-Processes in Higher Education

StructureMindMap

StructureMindMapMaster Thesis

Rethinking and Fusing Terminology and Theories in the Context of Digitalization and Technology

Keywords: Learning-Process, Knowledge-Generation, New Learning-Culture, Competence, Heterogeneity, Online- and E-Learning, academic learning, Knowledge-Society, Digitalization, Network

Part I (Abstract and Introduction)

Part II (Learning, Knowledge, and Competence: Terminology shapes thinking)

Part III 3.……… Revisiting Learning Theories from a New Learning Culture’s Perspective. 21

3.1             Gregory Bateson’s Levels of Learning. 22

3.2             Connectivism: Generating Knowledge in and Through Learning Networks. 28

3.3             Communication as »Social Matrix« of Learning-Processes. 30

3.4             From Competence Development to Enhancement-Competence. 32

3       Revisiting Learning Theories from a New Learning Culture’s Perspective

“Each kind of human behavior in relationships results from learning-processes; which means that each change in behavior (aside from solely genetically determined mechanisms) can be traced back to learning-processes. Therefore in a methodology of change, learning-processes are crucial for thinking as well as for acting.” (Translated from Marc/Picard, p. 103)

It was already argued above that a new learning culture constitutes a claim for re-thinking learning-processes and understandings of knowledge and competence. This may lead to also claiming for a new learning theory, for a change of paradigm. Which in turn could result in regarding theories that have been developed before the increasingly raising impact of technology and digitalization as per se not being adequate and therefore not of relevance.

When George Siemens introduces Connectivism as a “learning theory for the digital age” (Siemens, 2005) this rapidly ran into opposition in scientific discourses. Most of them were – like the discourses regarding terminology – more about the claim to be a new theory or even more, a new paradigm than about the ideas and thoughts behind the name, which linked in most aspects Gregory Bateson’s ideas with the context and potential of digitalization and networks[1]. Therefore a fusion of these theories can dispel both, the argument that Connectivism would not reach the level of being a learning theory, but just a pedagogical view on education (Verhagen, 2006), as well as possible objections on Batson’s theories not originary being educational theories, or not fitting because of their arousal in a time that did now allow to reflect on the impact and influence of today’s state of digitalization.

Therefore the following sections will not develop or claim a new theory, but emphasize that an embedding and fusion of already existing theories can help to compensate weaknesses, and to  counteract criticisms to individual theories, by incorporating arguments and other aspects of balance, and thus to arrive at an emergence. Gregory Bateson’s theories and his levels of learning (3.1) constitute the theoretical frame upon which the ideas of Connectivism (3.2) and communication (3.3) are build and linked to.

It will be shown that the ability to learn to learn (Bateson’s Bateson, 1972 Learning II or Deutero Learning) that was described in section 2.1 as being characteristic for recent definitions of a new learning culture, is not sufficient to cope with a heterogeneity not only relating to different generations and new definitions of roles, but to formations of learning communities bringing together learners and teachers speaking different languages, and having different cultural and social backgrounds. Learning II implies a common appreciation of what learning is – which can no longer be postulated.

Taking these aspects in account, implies to make them conscious through communication, respectively meta-communication (section 3.3). And as the interrelationship between learning, knowledge and competence has been shown to be a spiral process, it is necessary to question the adequacy of the above described definitions and models of competence; what will be done in section 3.4. – but to start with, the following sections will go deeper into Gregory Bateson’s Theory on the logical categories of learning (section 3.1) and George Siemens’ idea on a new learning theory for the digital age (section 3.2).

 

3.1             Gregory Bateson’s Levels of Learning

“All species of behavioral scientists are concerned with ‘learning’ in one sense or another of that word. Moreover, […] ‘learning’ is a communicational phenomenon” (Bateson, 1972, p. 279)

Gregory Bateson published his theory of learning as an essay in 1968, while working at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, under a Career Development Award. The first paper dealt with Continue reading Part III: M.A. Thesis Globally Networked Learning-Processes in Higher Education

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Educational Science Phd Proposal – where to draw the line between proposal and working-version

BA_ArbeitRecently I am working on a proposal (expose) to find and decide on a supervision for my phd or doctoral thesis. At the moment there are several perspectives in Germany but also abroad that seem possible and interesting and challenging. It will be a decision that will influence my work and goals for the next two or three years. I often  tend to be kind of perfectionist and dealing with such an important task I even more am afraid of lacking to cover the expectations of myself as well as of a potential supervisor. Regarding my field of research and my ideas respectively plans (which are to concrete and to important for myself to be just called ideas) there are so manifold aspects and contexts that have to be kept in mind and considered towards their influence and interconnection with my thesis.

But I know I must (soon!) find a point, a marker, where to draw the line between a proposal and a working version that will constantly grow and change and enhance during the process of research and writing. During the time of writing my phd/doctoral thesis there will for sure be further discourses, approaches and changes that have to be implemented and reflected. Maybe I will not be able to read all the texts I have already found and collected as basis to review the state of art. Another conflict in regard to writing the proposal:  will a large and elaborated list of literature show that I am conscious of the interdisciplinary contexts and influencing theories? Or could it  awake the impression that I am not able to focus or concentrate or find the crucial aspects and “get to the point”. But – honestly – I am persuaded that it is much better to have done a little too much review in forefront than to risque to oversee anything connected with and important for my work(and I do not have to read everything I have found and will find in detail … many of the books, texts, resources will show to be not or not as much relevant as they looked liked … but therefor I have at least to scan and skim them…) .

How do you decide where to draw the line between curiosity, perfectionism, and your own claim towards your work and a reasonable (I do not like the word) restriction of time and content? I would love to read your feedback!

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Educational Science Part II: M.A. Thesis Globally Networked Learning-Processes in Higher Education

StructureMindMap

StructureMindMapMaster Thesis

Rethinking and Fusing Terminology and Theories in the Context of Digitalization and Technology

Keywords: Learning-Process, Knowledge-Generation, New Learning-Culture, Competence, Heterogeneity, Online- and E-Learning, academic learning, Knowledge-Society, Digitalization, Network

Part I (Abstract and Introduction)

2……… Learning, Knowledge, and Competence:  Terminology Shapes Thinking. 7

2.1             A New Learning-Culture. 8

2.2             The Process of Learning in a New Learning Culture. 11

2.3             Redefining Knowledge for a New Learning Culture. 14

2.4             The Question of Competence through the Lens of a New Learning Culture. 17

 

      2 Learning, Knowledge, and Competence:  Terminology Shapes Thinking

“It is not at all unusual for the theorists of behavioral science to commit errors which are precisely analogous to the error of classifying the name with the thing named.” (Bateson, 1972, p. 280)

There is a strong relationship between language, the way of thinking, and the way of behaving. As information is expressed in codes, and language is such a code, terminology therefore includes, respectively is a symbol for experiences. To be conscious about this means to be conscious that the same terminology, or the translation of terms, can have a totally different meaning for others than for oneself. But it also means, one has first of all to be conscious about hidden or underlying assumptions of one’s own language and to recognize that the choice of words may affect the way others respond to communication. This is a high-level learning process.

The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education) lists “using language, symbols, and texts” as a key competence[1] and states that students, being competent in this area, also “confidently use ICT (including, where appropriate, assistive technologies) to access and provide information and to communicate with others.” This statement does not use the terms »Learning« and »Knowledge« but it nevertheless defines them, and therefore is a good example for the correlation of terms and their subliminal transportation of a specific meaning or definition. Applying this to the above definitions, these could be read as follows: Students learn. Knowledge is information. Being competent means to know how to learn efficiently and effectively. Learning means to access and provide information using communication.

The relationship described above seems to turn traditional relations between learning and knowledge bottom up. Those usually define »Teaching« as a process, where knowledge is transferred and imparted on students and »Learning« as a process of memorizing and adopting contents.  In contrast to these definitions the above description defines learning as a process where contents are critically reflected, transferred into other, wider contexts, and new knowledge is generated.

Such a change in the way of thinking implies to be conscious about the above described relation between terminology and the herewith transported underlying definitions. A new learning culture, as it will be defined in the following section, implies a high heterogeneity of its participants, and therefore Continue reading Part II: M.A. Thesis Globally Networked Learning-Processes in Higher Education

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Educational Science Part I: M.A. Thesis Globally Networked Learning-Processes in Higher Education

StructureMindMap

StructureMindMapMaster Thesis

Rethinking and Fusing Terminology and Theories in the Context of Digitalization and Technology

With my last post I published the content and the presentation of my Master Thesis – today I will start with the publication of the abstract and introduction. And – as always – feedback is highly welcome :-) !!!

Abstract

A raising amount among of discourses in educational science are about keywords like »Knowledge Society«, »Digital Society«, »New Learning Culture« and about the herewith connected claims for continuing education, and individualized, lifelong and self-organized learning. Institutions of Higher Education have to deal with claims like to become more open (OER, MOOCs), competence-oriented and/or including international aspects and modules. But they lack discussions and reflection of underlying processes of learning, and definitions of learning, knowledge and competence, which differ more and more, as learning communities become more and more heterogeneous and global. This thesis will analyze and discuss learning-processes, concepts, evaluation and research on the above aspects in the context of this claims and of a new learning culture.

Keywords: Learning-Process, Knowledge-Generation, New Learning-Culture, Competence, Heterogeneity, Online- and E-Learning, academic learning, Knowledge-Society, Digitalization, Network

 1       Introduction

“Remember, if you educate one, you can change a life. If you educate many, you can change the world!” (University Of The People, 2012, p. 7)

There are many keywords being characteristic of Western societies on their way to become or to be a »Knowledge Society«: Lifelong Learning, Continuing Education, independent or autonomous Learning; a raising amount of them linked to digitalization, as Digital Society, globally available knowledge-networks, global access to knowledge, and education through networked means of communication. All those are related to questions about learning, respectively how to measure, evaluate and analyze learning-scenarios. Or more provocative to the question: Can one »measure« learning-processes in global learning-communities and global courses at all? And all of them take clear-cut definitions for granted, about what is perceived as learning, as knowledge, as competence, and as learning outcomes.

The number and variety of definitions and theories proves that there are no clear-cut definitions but a deviating terminology. Looking at learning-processes and knowledge requires views from different angles, needs to include contexts (individual, cultural, linguistic, social), and first and foremost Continue reading Part I: M.A. Thesis Globally Networked Learning-Processes in Higher Education

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Educational Science Globally Networked Learning-Processes in Higher Education: Rethinking and Fusing Terminology and Theories in the Context of Digitalization and Technology

As a last part of the Weblog-Update – before starting to reflect with my recent project of my doctoral thesis/phd – I will make my M.A. Thesis public

As I would be happy to receive feedback and to use this process as a basis for my doctoral thesis/phd which will enlarge the M.A.’s theme and questions, I will not publish “the whole cake” in one piece :-) but the different parts of it as individual posts.

So I will start with the content and with the slides of my colloquium.

1 Introduction 1
2 Learning, Knowledge, and Competence: Terminology Shapes Thinking 7
2.1 A New Learning-Culture 8
2.2 The Process of Learning in a New Learning Culture 11
2.3 Redefining Knowledge for a New Learning Culture 14
2.4 The Question of Competence through the Lens of a New Learning Culture 17
3 Revisiting Learning Theories from a New Learning Culture’s Perspective 21
3.1 Gregory Bateson’s Levels of Learning 22
3.2 Connectivism: Generating Knowledge in and Through Learning Networks 28
3.3 Communication as »Social Matrix« of Learning-Processes 30
3.4 From Competence Development to Enhancement-Competence 32
4 Discussing a New Learning Culture in the Context of Digitalization and Technology 37
4.1 Distance Education: From »Drill and Practice« to OER and MOOCs 38
4.2 From E-Learning to Learning Online 42
4.3 From MOOCs to GOAL 45
4.4 Competent for or Through GOAL? 49
5 Interim-Conclusion 51
6 Learning Landscape Global Online-University 55
6.1 Disruptive or Sustaining: Open Online Courses in Higher Education 56
6.2 Learning-Processes in GOAL 61
6.3 How GOAL can Become Learning-Landscapes for Enhancement-Competence 65
7 A New Research-Culture for a New Learning-Culture 69
7.1 Can Traditional Methods Fit New Approaches? 71
7.2 Learning Analytics as Methods and Tool to Analyze, Evaluate and Foster Learning Online 77
7.3 Evaluating Enhancement-Competence and Meta-Communication in a New Learning Culture 86
7.4 Research Culture 3.0+ 90
8 Conclusion and Desideratum 93

 

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Educational Science Past-Action-Update part 2 – Publications in the Context of the LTEC 2015 in Maribor and preview on 2016

StructureMindMapSome of you will remember that last summer I participated at the LTEC Conference in Chile, where from I still enjoy so many perspectives, ideas and great people.

This year the 10th KMO and the LTEC were hosted in Maribor. This time I had two publications, one of them following up my last years paper and presenting important parts of my M.A. Thesis and basics for my doctoral-theseis/phd project, the second one presenting a project that I orginized as part of my job at the Distance University in Hagen: The conception and launch of a writing lab, starting with Citavi Tutorials in Moodle and the AdobeConnects Virtual classroom.

Both papers are meanwhile publicized by Springers serie Communications in Computer and Information Science. Unfortunately the CopyRights do not allow to publish it as open resource here, but you can read the abstracts and get the literature data.

And last but not least: Next years KMO and LTEC is hosted in Germany at the Distance University in Hagen! I will be part of the organisation team and you can contact me for details or questions at any time. It would be great if many of you take part of it – for example by writing a paper – here you find information and the call for papers.

And here what I am and have been working on:

Learning, Knowledge and Competence in Global Online-Universities: How Terminology shapes Thinking

A Theoretical Approach to Innovation and Change in Academic Distance Education

Sabine Siemsen

Fernuniversität in Hagen, Universitätsstraße 33c, 58084 Hagen, Germany

Abstract. Learning, Knowledge and Competence are popular terms in scientific discourses on the conception and evaluation of academic education. With increasing frequency, those take place in online-settings. This leads to an increasing heterogeneity not only in age and educational background, but also in social-cultural aspects and roles. The traditional way of seeing heterogeneity as challenge to be overcome, has to be changed into recognizing its enormous potential for networked learning processes. To foster such a new learning culture, it is necessary to scrutinize the hidden influence and unconscious patterns behind terminology. To enable global learning communities to successful networked learning, we need to define a holistic key-competence, a tool to enable enhancement in heterogeneous contexts, and a change in methods and criteria to conceptualize and evaluate such learning-scenarios. This paper aims to gain epistemological perspectives for practical use in global online-courses through a fusion of the terms learning, knowledge and competence.

Keywords: Learning, Online-Learning, Knowledge, Competence, Online-University, New Learning Culture, Meta-Communication, Connectivism, Interactionism, Interaction, Learning Networks, Learning Theory, Paradigm Shift, Disruptive Innovation, Heterogeneity

Slides:

 

Knowledge-Management by »Social Writing«

The Launch and Establishment of an Online-Writing Lab Using the Example of Citavi-Online-Tutorials at the Faculty of Cultural and Social Sciences of the Distance-University in Hagen Germany

Sabine Siemsen

Fernuniversität in Hagen, Universitätsstraße 33c, 58084 Hagen, Germany

Abstract. This paper presents the conception and first evaluations of an Online-Writing Lab at the Faculty of Cultural and Social Sciences of the Distance-University in Hagen. Academic Writing includes being able to find resources, to do research on the state of art and to critically reflect on recent discourses. Research tools that make this part of academic work easier exist, but require additional (media)competences. These competencies are more or less taken as granted; enabling students to gain them is not really an integral part of study-modules. At the same time the student’s heterogeneity not only in regard to previous knowledge and prerequisites rises, and collaborative and cooperative learning and the necessity to communicate on it becomes an important factor for success and motivation in learning-processes. The conception of the Writing-Lab is an approach to provide students with tools for collaborative learning processes that enable them to gain those competencies.

Keywords: Social Writing, Academic Writing, Collaborative Learning, Cooperative Learning, Research Tools, Citavi, Propaedeutic Courses, Communication, Heterogeneity, Adobe Connect, Virtual Classroom, Moodle

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Educational Science Future Plans and past-action-update :-)

OERMOOCETC

WordCloudMOOCsandbeyond

Regarding new post here I had a very long quiet period which does not mean that it had not been a busy time – on the contrary :-). But from today on, I will start a reverse update which will be followed by information on the state of my project “doctoral theses/phd”.

To start: Some weeks ago I was very proud and glad to receive an invitation to give a short keynote in Dublin in the context of the ENTELIS Seminar in November 2015. It was a short but great time in Dublin and brought about new ideas, perspectives and interesting people and ideas. Below you can find the keynotes slides and audio (produces after my return).

In my next post I will give some information on two publications/presentation I had on the LTEC Conference 2015 in Maribor.

Last but not least: My M.A. Thesis is finally done and now I am allowed to use the degree M.A. eEducation – here I will also give further details in upcoming posts.

 

For today I hope you enjoy the keynote and I would appreciate your feedback!

 

 

 

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Educational Science About to finish … finally :-): Globally Networked Learning-Processes in Higher Education

Just a short update and a (last – in regard to my M.A Thesis) call for Feedback :-)

Some time has passed, since I shared the progress in writing on my M.A. Thesis … which does not mean I did not work on it ;-) – The next three weeks will be a very busy time, reading last papers to meet the state of the art, writing last sections and trying to bring everything together… to make it readable to anyone else than me :-).

So here is my recent structure and if you have some ideas to make the structure (even more ;-)) focussed, or if you have important and recent information I do not have yet (I do not hope so, but love to get it in case …) – feel free to answer or mail …

And here it is:

Globally Networked Learning-Processes in Higher Education:

Rethinking and Fusing Terminology and Theories in the Context of Digitalization and Technology

1 Introduction

2 Learning, Knowledge, and Competence: Terminology Shapes Thinking

2.1 A New Learning-Culture
2.2 The Process of Learning in a New Learning Culture
2.3 Redefining Knowledge for a New Learning Culture
2.4 The Question of Competence through the Lens of a New Learning Culture

3 Revisiting Learning Theories from a New Learning Culture’s Perspective 10

3.1 Gregory Bateson’s Levels of Learning
3.2 Connectivism: Generating Knowledge in and Through Learning Networks
3.3 Theories on Needs and Communication as Constituting Elements of Learning-Processes
3.4 From Competence Development to Enhancement-Competence

4 Discussing a New Learning Culture in the Context of Digitalization and Technology

4.1 From »Drill and Practice« to OER and MOOCs
4.2 From E-Learning to Learning Online
4.3 From MOOCs to GOALs
4.4 Competent for or Through GOALs?

5 Interim-Conlclusion

6 Learning Landscape Global Online-University

6.1 Disruptive or Sustaining: Terminology Affects the Potential of Open Online Courses in Higher Education
6.2 The Perception of »Competence« in Higher Education
6.3 Learning-Processes and Generating Knowledge in GOALs
6.4 How GOALs can Become Learning-Landscapes for Enhancement-Competence

7 A New Research-Culture for a New Learning-Culture

7.1 Traditional Methods and Tools to Analyze and Evaluate Online Courses (Using the Example of MOOCs)
7.2 Can Traditional Methods fit New Approaches?
7.3 Research (Methods) 3.0+

8 Conclusion and Desideratum

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Educational Science Learning, Knowledge and Competence in Global Online-Universities: How Terminology shapes Thinking

WordCloudThe first of my two papers that I am allowed to present and discuss at the LTEC in Maribor is a theoretical approach to innovation and change in academic distance education. Or as I learned by one of the reviews: A discussion paper.

And as I now have time to revise it for the camera ready Springer Version, I would like to have a little discussion in forefront of the “final” one :-). Reading the following abstract and keywords: what would your expectation towards the paper and its issues be? And – by the way: It is (too) on the use of terminology – and researching/writing in a foreign language brought me to the question if to use “competence” or “competency” and I decided on competence – what would you use if advocating for a more global and holistic definition as something that can not be counted and measured and is basis for any development in learning-processes?

Abstract. Learning, Knowledge and Competence are popular terms in scientific discourses on the conception and evaluation of academic education. With increasing frequency, those take place in online-settings. This leads to an increasing heterogeneity not only in age and educational background, but also in social-cultural aspects and roles. The traditional way of seeing heterogeneity as challenge to be overcome, has to be changed into recognizing its enormous potential for networked learning processes. To foster such a new learning culture, it is necessary to scrutinize the hidden influence and unconscious patterns behind terminology. To enable global learning communities to successful networked learning, we need to define a holistic key-competence, a tool to enable enhancement in heterogeneous contexts, and a change in methods and criteria to conceptualize and evaluate such learning-scenarios. This paper aims to gain epistemological perspectives for practical use in global online-courses through a fusion of the terms learning, knowledge and competence.

Keywords: Learning, Online-Learning, Knowledge, Competence, Online-University, New Learning Culture, Meta-Communication, Connectivism, Interactionism, Interaction, Learning Networks, Learning Theory, Paradigm Shift, Disruptive Innovation, Heterogeneity

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