Welcome to Croatia, and to the 11th Networked Learning Conference

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Parallel Session 1 - Ban Jelačić [clear filter]
Monday, May 14

2:30pm CEST

Toward theorizing spatial-cultural ‘othering’ in networked learning and teaching practices
In response to networked learning community members’ calls for theorizing the underpinning causes of “othering,” this paper examines the concepts of transculturalism, boundary crossing, and third spaces to provide insights into cultural issues that can occur within networked learning environments. Suggestions are made for working from a transcultural perspective, working within and across boundaries, and teaching and learning in Third Space. We begin by examining challenges posed by increasing cultural diversities among learners in universities and then focus on how these challenges play out for both learners and tutors. In particular, we focus on issues that impact international learners who remain in their home contexts, but engage in university learning via networked learning opportunities. In the introduction, we discuss the complexities learners face when they are simultaneously “land-locked” within their own cultural and educational settings and being acculturated into new learning opportunities in a foreign university. We then draw upon transcultural scholarship to examine instances of encountering vulnerability and instability and possibilities for shifting conversations within teaching and learning contexts first to celebrating difference and then to negotiating potential academic consequences of acknowledgements of differences. We move on to discuss tensions that arise from boundary crossings that evoke discontinuities. In particular, we examine points of exclusion and inclusion where decisions are made about whose voice is heard and whose knowledge is deemed valid and relevant. Within our discussion of the complexities and tensions of boundary crossings, we draw upon the concepts of identification, coordination, reflection, and transformation. At this point, we introduce Third Space theory as a meeting point for recognizing tensions, but also problematize provision of a restrictive definition of a Third Space with a view to maintaining an open approach to theorizing spatiality that retains sufficient flexibility to propose practices that can lead to overcoming otherness. Within this context, we examine dialogical collaborative spaces where individuals share values, meanings and priorities, but also acknowledge Third Spaces as spaces as potential sites for encountering antagonism, conflict and incommensurability: tension-filled messy sites of seemingly insurmountable cultural difference and competing powers. We conclude with implications for theorizing otherness in networked learning practices.


Dorothea Nelson

PhD Student/Research Assistant, University of Calgary

Monday May 14, 2018 2:30pm - 2:55pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 1 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words Transculturalism,border crossings,Third Spaces,theorizing our practices

2:55pm CEST

Laugh with us, not at us: parody and networked learning
In keeping with its theme, this paper has a light touch and a serious point. It arose from a concern that networked learning may not be recognisable enough to be parodied. Parody is a pervasive and ubiquitous cultural practice that entails imitation and laughter – features which could perhaps contribute to making networked learning knowable to a wider community. Despite parody’s potential for serious damage, its broadest use supports the recognition, consolidation, development and renewal of a genre or movement. Drawing on Bakhtinian notions of the dialogic and carnival, as well as the light thrown on contemporary discourse through Bakhtin’s literary insights, the paper explores the extent to which networked learning artefacts and practices engage in parody and have been parodied. A thought experiment to parody a networked learning conference paper led to the current paper’s structure. This attempt to parody highlights the difficulties of departing from conventional academic genres even in a field of study that challenges those genres. The study identifies how themes of genre, intertextuality and multimodality combine in papers and events about networked learning to produce texts and practices that are open to renewal, hacking and augmentation, but without the need for the laughter that comes with parody that might have the same results. In papers and book chapters, although there are lively forms of writing, heavy use of citation is the main source of intertextuality. Evidence of parody was found in a symposium, including (self) parody of networked learning conference practices, suggesting that we are more likely to find parody during synchronous events than in peer reviewed academic texts. An almost accidental result of the parodied structure of the paper suggests that networked learning could be developing in a way that parallels Bakhtin’s understanding of the novel, yet without the cultural work that parody has contributed to the novel. This line of reasoning brings into sharper focus one of the key features of this author’s own initial parody of networked learning: its emphasis on boundaries and boundary crossing. It seems that networked learning, like the novel, cannot be parodied as a ‘complete’ form: like the novel it is constantly changing to reflect its contemporary world.

Monday May 14, 2018 2:55pm - 3:20pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 1 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words carnival, dialogue, genre, intertextuality, multimodality

3:20pm CEST

Knowledgeability and modes of identification in (dis)embodied boundary practice in networked learning.
Building on a continued interest in boundaries and boundary practice in relation to ICT-based networked learning (Ryberg & Sinclair, 2016), this paper addresses the issue of knowledgeability and identification through (dis)embodiment in design for boundary practice in networked learning. According to Goodyear (2015) teaching is about designing opportunities for people to learn, and from a learning perspective, how participants respond to design through their practices and through their use of boundary objects is interesting. Inspired by Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner’s (2015) concepts of knowledgeability and modes of identification, we analyse how two different case studies conducted at the Danish online Master programme on ICT and Learning (MIL) differ with regard to potential boundary practice and use of boundary objects.
In study I, the design for learning was based on a 2D virtual learning environment (Dirckinck-Holmfeld, 2006), whereas the design for learning in study II was based on a 3D virtual world (Riis, 2016). Carlile (2002; 2004) proposed a hierarchical typology for boundary objects aiming at transfer, translation and transformation, and in our analysis, we identify examples of such boundary objects in the two learning arenas. Our findings show that all identified categories of boundary objects can mediate knowledge according to the typology. Nonetheless, certain boundary objects in the 3D learning arena (study II), in particular the avatar, seem to promote a different kind of embodied transformation, which has implications for identity formation of the participants. Furthermore, the 3D virtual space affords a concrete materialised, albeit virtual, opportunity for reification, which is different to that of the 2D environment.
In the paper, we will elaborate on these differences, and based on the two case studies we propose that boundaries in networked learning should not only be regarded as socio-cultural differences, but as socio-material differences and dependencies as well. In particular, the materiality of a 3D virtual arena and avatars provides new relational and performative opportunities in networked learning.

Monday May 14, 2018 3:20pm - 3:45pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 1 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words networked_learning, sociocultural, sociomaterial, boundary_objects, embodiment, identity

3:45pm CEST

21century learning skills revisited - a conceptual paper on leaving 'gaps' and going deep.
This paper revisits the 21st-century learning skills (21CLS) and discusses the need to leave 'gaps' in the curriculum while pursuing chosen topics more in-depth. The paper suggests ways to choose both 'gaps' and in-depth topics; furthermore, the paper investigates relevant technologies for bridging the gaps and for going deep. The paper discusses the connection between 'Das Exemplarische Prinzip' (exemplary teaching) and what may be interpreted to be the initial thoughts behind the formulation of the 21CLS presented in the document 'A Nation at Risk'. The two concepts are separated by three decades (1951 'Tübinger resolution -1981 'A Nation at Risk'). However, they share the same conviction that not every bit of knowledge available can be taught/learned and, furthermore, that some knowledge is more important than other. We wish to revisit this notion because we believe that the advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the automation of increasingly complex processes in our everyday lives will influence education. This indicates that we may need to adjust the topic- and activity-selection principles that teachers and curriculum developers deploy to select what to teach and what to outsource to networked learning and digital learning materials. The discourse of the 21CLS seems to have materialised into a specific practice in Denmark, a practice that embraces programming exercises (Dot/Dash, LEGO Mindstorms, Scratch, Python etc.), tinkering with electronics, playing computer games, 3D printing and Laser cutting in workshops called 'Maker spaces'. The 21CLS, in a Danish context, are distilled into; Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication (the 4Cs). In our research and in the development projects in schools we have taken part in, we have the positive experience that the way the 21CLS are practiced in a Danish context gave some pupils a sense of pride in their products and that some pupils acted more as designers of solutions for real problems than as pupils doing school work. On a more negative note, the 21CLS activities may come across as isolated events with little connection to curriculum or exams. Finally, we raise the discussion of how Teacher Education can develop a practice that incorporates the convictions of the 21CLS in other ways. We suggest a focus on technology that supports dialogue and reflection and bridges both knowledge 'gaps' and time and space 'gaps'. Furthermore, we suggest learning designs that revisit 21CLS as a framework for learning to learn.

Monday May 14, 2018 3:45pm - 4:10pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 1 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words 21 century learning skills,Teacher Education,Educational Dialogue,Learning Designs