Thursday, September 21, 2006

Versioning Learning

I was absolutely THRILLED to see some of my favorite bloggers comment on my posts. You have NO IDEA how validating that is....

Tony Karrer, in his blog comments on my site eLearning Technology: In the Middle of the Curve: So what do we do now? mentioned that I am probably building something that is Learning 1.3 than Learning 2.0.

I think he is dead-on with that assessment. His comments got me thinking (beyond the comment I placed in his post). Though I am afraid my thoughts are still chaotic on the issue.

I’m just going to throw these disjointed thoughts out there …. hoping that you all can help me make sense of them and give me some ideas for applying this information in a concrete way.

- What does a Learning 2.0 system actually look like? Versus, say, a knowledge management system or a collection of collaborative tools.

- If the audience is expecting a Learning 1.0 solution, will Learning 2.0 be effective? Or will the students not be able to accept new roles? Shoot, I’m happy the people where I work are finally using the computer to look things up. It’s taken me 2 years after the development of our Intranet to get people used to looking THERE for answers and information – and I currently have only (optimistically) 10% usage. For adult education – how much does prior expectation color the effectiveness of a learning experience? Especially when you are trying something new that really SHOULD work better.

- There is some research coming out regarding the acceptance and effectiveness of online training based on prior-knowledge and computer experience.

A paper in the July 2006 issue of Educational Technology and Society got me thinking about this issue: Students’ Preferences on Web-Based Instruction .

Cagiltay, Yilirim, and Aksu studied an adult Beginning Turkish class. None of the students came in with prior knowledge of Turkish.

There seems to be an interesting shift in the progression from child learner to adult learner. Previous research has shown that children are more successful with non-linear, learner-controlled educational programs as they age. Furthermore, the less prior knowledge a child had of the material, the less successful the child was with non-linear learning systems.

As adults, the researchers discovered a shift. The average age of the students preferring linear instruction was significantly higher (41) than the students who preferred non-linear instruction (28). The preference was also driven by prior knowledge and comfort levels with the COMPUTER, not the subject.


- Are we mis-stating the issue entirely in the drive to “version” learning? I personally think of educational technologies and techniques like a construction worker thinks about new tools. Construction workers (at least the ones I know) love nail guns (new technology). Nail guns make nailing things up faster and more fun. But every construction worker I know still has a hammer in their toolkit – where a nail gun just won’t do.

Dr. Karrer was kind enough to correct my spelling of his name. Embarassing since I can READ his name on his COMMENTS. duh....... Dr. Karrer - thanks for your comments and your patience


Tony Karrer said...

Great questions Wendy! Should be worth a blog post or two.

Two quick things - eLearning 1.0, 1.3 and 2.0 aren't versions where you replace the prior version entirely. It's more like AM/FM, CD and iPod adapter in your car stereo. You still use each for its own purpose.

Second thing - my last name is Karrer. :)

Look forward to continued dialog.


Wendy said...

Aaargh!!! I'm so sorry about that!!!!! I also posted your comments three times - but that is more my error than the system :' )

Wendy said...

Oh, and thank you for the clarification on what the differences between the different versions are, or what versioning even means.

I know that in IT (at least with the systems that I use) - 10.0 -> 11.0 is a major change practically chucking all of the code to do approximately the same thing.

10.0 -> 10.1, significantly changing the code to add new features or fix things

10.0.1 -> 10.0.2, changing minor things in the code.

Brent Schlenker said...

Wendy! Great thoughts! this is a HUGE topic as you are aware. I facilitated a great discussion this morning with learning colleagues on this issue and its very difficult to wrestle with the enormity of it. Many discussions over the past few weeks have started to help me create a mental image and I hope to transfer that to paper soon.
Terms in and of themselves are very tricky...look how vague the term eLearning has become. Learning2.0 is the same thing with one MAJOR twist: now we include ALL people as content creators and participants in the design process. Its very easy for people to get hung up on a tool like Moodle, or wikis, or blogs, etc. But they simply facilitate the new process is required.
Still very unclear, but I'm very happy to have onboard taking part in the discussion.