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

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Parallel Session 2 - Ban Zrinski [clear filter]
Monday, May 14

4:15pm CEST

Designing for youth engagement across formal and informal learning networks
Growing up as part of a networked society is demanding youth’s active engagement in digital literacy practices – where their ability to find, evaluate, use, and create digital content is critical, as well as their ability to successfully participate in networks. Those with restrict access or those unable to effectively use technologies are unlikely to meaningfully contribute to a globalized world, with potential negative impact on individuals’ lives and on community prosperity. Understanding how to best design and encourage youth involvement in networked learning is therefore crucial. Drawing on the ACAD framework, this study examines the structural components of two learning networks geared at youth, within two learning scenarios: ‘in’ and ‘out’ of schools. By exploring the relationship between youth, tools, and spaces, we attempt to contribute to connect literature on formal and informal learning, digital culture and literacies. We also attempt to contribute to the call for understanding networked learning beyond the boundaries of Higher Education. Our research employs a case study methodology, conducted over consecutive weeks of a semester in two research sites: a year 10 classroom and a multiplayer online game called Potterworldmc. The asynchronous conversations of students on a social network site with learning purposes used at a school, as well as observations, interviews, and artefacts of a player were collected. The paper identifies key design elements and the emergent learning activity young people are engaging in, with a particular focus on digital literacy. We analyse the influence of social structures, tasks, tools and resources on youth activity, and discuss how previous boundaries between in-school and out-of-school, physical and digital spaces, traditional and new literacies might be rather blurred in learning networks geared at youth. We conclude by highlighting some key design elements across formal and informal networks.


Monday May 14, 2018 4:15pm - 4:40pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 2 - Ban Zrinski, Paper
  • Key Words informal networked learning,digital literacy,design for networked learning,connected learning

4:40pm CEST

Learning in the wild: Predicting the formation of ties in ‘Ask’ subreddit communities using ERG models
The theoretical lenses, empirical measures and analytical tools associated with social network analysis comprise a wealth of knowledge that can be used to analyse networked learning. This has popularized the use of the social network analysis approach to understand and visualize structures and dynamics in online learning networks, particularly where data could be automatically gathered and analysed. Research in the field of social network learning analysis has (a) used social network visualizations as a feedback mechanism and an intervention to enhance online social learning activities (Bakharia & Dawson, 2011; Schreurs, Teplovs, Ferguson, de Laat, & Buckingham Shum, 2013), (b) investigated what variables predicted the formation of learning ties in networked learning processes (Cho, Gay, Davidson, & Ingraffea, 2007), (c) predicted learning outcomes in online environments (Russo & Koesten, 2005), and (d) studied the nature of the learning ties (de Laat, 2006). This paper expands the understanding of the variables predicting the formation of learning ties in online informal environments. Reddit, an online news sharing site that is commonly referred to as ‘the front page of the Internet’, has been chosen as the environment for our investigation because conversations on it emerge from the contributions of members, and it combines perspectives of experts and non-experts (Moore & Chuang, 2017) taking place in a plethora of subcultures (subreddits) occurring outside traditional settings. We study two subreddit communities, ‘AskStatistics’, and ‘AskSocialScience’, in which we believe that informal learning is likely to happen in Reddit, and which offer avenues for comparison both in terms of the communication dynamics and learning processes occurring between members. We gathered all the interactions amongst the users of these two subreddit communities for a 1-year period, from January 1st, 2015 until December 31st, 2015. Exponential Random Graph models (ERGm) were employed to determine the endogenous (network) and exogenous (node attributes) factors facilitating the networked ties amongst the users of these communities. We found evidence that Redditors’ networked ties arise from network dynamics (reciprocity and transitivity) and from the Redditors’ role as a moderator in the subreddit communities. These results shed light into the understanding of the variables predicting the formation of ties in informal networked learning environments, and more broadly contribute to the development of the field of social network learning analysis.

Monday May 14, 2018 4:40pm - 5:05pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 2 - Ban Zrinski, Paper
  • Key Words Social Network Learning Analysis,Reddit,Subreddit Communities,ERGm

5:05pm CEST

Students' digital learning environments
The objective of the paper is to examine the nature of students’ digital learning environments to understand the interplay of institutional systems and tools that are managed by the students themselves. The paper is based on a study of 128 students’ digital learning environments. The objectives of the study are 1) to provide an overview of tools for students’ study activities, 2) to identify the most used and most important tools for students and 3) to discover which activities the tools are used for. The empirical study reveals that the students have a varied use of digital media. Some of the most used tools in the students’ digital learning environments are Facebook, Google Drive, tools for taking notes, and institutional systems. Additionally, the study shows that the tools meet some very basic demands of the students in relation to collaboration, communication, and feedback. Finally, the study shows that most of the important tools are not related to the systems provided by the educational institutions. Based on the study, the paper concludes with a discussion of how institutional systems connect to the other tools in the students’ practices, and how we can qualify students’ digital learning environments in relation to existing and emerging needs.

Monday May 14, 2018 5:05pm - 5:30pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 2 - Ban Zrinski, Paper
  • Key Words Personal Learning Environments, LMS, Virtual Learning Environments, Digital Learning Environments, Educational Technology

5:30pm CEST

Networked learning in children's transition from day-care to school: Connections between contexts
This paper reports on a socioculturally informed design-based study concerning young children's use of tablets within the educational contexts constituting their transition from day-care to school. The study explores tablet-mediated and dialogical activities as potential means for negotiating connections between the different contexts which the children traverse during this transition. At several occasions, the participating 5- to 7-year-old children are invited to use tablets for producing photos, photo-collages and e-books about their everyday institutional environments, thus aiming at mediating the children's engagements within their contexts. During processes of mutual production and dialogical reviewing of this digital content, children, peers and professionals dialogically and multimodally explore the institutional contexts of transition. As an element of this, differences and similarities between these contexts are pivots of dialogue. Networked learning is thus conceptualized as a matter of networked situations and contexts for young children during their transition from day-care to primary school, and technological artefacts are viewed as potential means for mediating children's meaning making about continuities as well as differences during this process. It is argued that tablet-mediated activities in young children's educational settings tend to imply a certain theoretical as well as practical notion of worthwhile tablet use, valuating active digital production against consumption of content, and at the same time involving a certain educational use of tablets which dissociates itself from the social and emotional aspects of tablet use often related to games and play-culture. In the present project, activities partly adapt to prevailing notions of worthwhile tablet use by including literacy-aspects involved in the tasks of children producing digital content. But at the same time, the intended focus on children's engagements within and perspectives on their institutional contexts transcends tasks of simple instruction and implies dimensions of social and emotional character which may be delicate to handle within the educational context of pedagogically planned activities. This calls for certain considerations concerning the cultural and social dimensions of meaning making which are involved when dealing with children's experiences within their institutional contexts. Potentials as well as pitfalls are highlighted by way of examples, and finally some principles are outlined regarding the project's ongoing work on tablet-mediated activities as means for engaging pedagogically with children’s experiences of their everyday institutional lives across contexts.

Monday May 14, 2018 5:30pm - 5:55pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 2 - Ban Zrinski, Paper
  • Key Words Tablet-mediated Activities, Networked Contexts, Primary Contexts, Day-care, Primary School, Transition