My motivation to participate in this MOOC on Teaching With WordPress is captured in a post I wrote on my personal/professional blog a short while ago. It is best to read that here rather than me reiterate it.
The essential ingredient of the post was captured by the metaphor of deterritorialising the curriculum and playing with the idea of students being the curators of their own learning. And this is the desire that lies behind and envelopes my wish to participate in this course (even if it struggles for air amongst all the life-stuff and work-stuff), and to take up David Wiley’s invitation to explore what is possible when we learn in the wild.
The course I am considering opening up is a postgraduate certificate in teaching and learning in higher education. It is aimed at faculty members and postdocs to enhance their skills and knowledge around teaching. The underlying philosophy is constructivist and opening it up allows me to introduce a more connectivist aspect. But how much?
Is this my BIG QUESTION?
I KNOW that participants gain a great deal from the course as it is. This, I believe is because we are not about ‘training’. Learning minor techniques can be done anytime and anyhow. We push participants to reconsider their underlying values in the context of exploring and practicing techniques. They engage with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and they redesign aspects of their teaching. So why potentially disrupt this? I am not sure I want to, but I do want to examine the potential of the open to further enhance what we have. In particular I want to relinquish my role as the necessary point of passage to core materials. I want them to identify and evaluate resources that are relevant to their situations, and to do this collaboratively.
Maybe my big question is more like this: what might the relationship between students curating their own learning and being assessed by the institution look like in reality?
An article that suggests “educators need to actively guard space for learners and learning. In a continually changing educational landscape, developing trust depends on teachers being advocates more than experts”.
George Siemens, is an educator and theorist in the field of digital learning and is the author of the article “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age” and the book “Knowing Knowledge“. He provides an overview of connectivism in this short interview for the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
More on Connectivism:
Stephen Downes: Connectivism as a Learning Theory.