Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Continuing the Conversation

I'm moving Tom's comment to me from my last post so that all can see the conversation.

Wendy: I'm glad you've raised some new questions. Perhaps it will help to consider an exemplar who already creates context and dives into intrinsic processing without any structure from the course. Such a learner has self-selected the course/module. The need or motivation to learn this thing came about in their world. They bring that context to the learning, whether it's an attempt to impress somebody, qualify for some promotion/assignment, or prove to themselves that they succeed when taking on this kind of challenge. They are free of needing structure to make it meaningful, relate it to their own experiences or to anticipate follow thru/implementation on the job -- because they are there for their own reasons. This could happen in groups easily, so long as the entire group's enrollment is self selected, not mandatory, monitored and included in annual reviews.

However, if the group shows up with a context of resentment or work pressures, the cultivation of a "developmental context" takes more of a therapeutic approach. Perhaps they need a reminder of what they are doing right, how their intentions are worthy of admiration, or they already know enough to understand the new content without breaking a sweat. Maybe they would be more inclined to generate some context if they were given some freedom of choice or authentic control of their situation. They might get psyched by opportunities to "contradict the propaganda" with their own personal experiences that could be accumulated in a wiki online. There could even be a sequence in their eLearning module that started with the premise that the content was useless/devoid of context and set up the learner to invalidate the claim and take exception to the lack of context with their own frames of reference - just like Tom Sawyer got Huck Finn to whitewash the fence.

I've been pondering user generated contexts some since last week.Synching up with the learners has been the first sign of that. My post tomorrow will follow up on all this we're exploring

Please read Tom's post. I'm going to spend some time processing.....

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