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

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Parallel Session 4 - Ban Frankopan [clear filter]
Tuesday, May 15

11:15am CEST

Mapping Patterns of Relations in an Online Graduate Course: A Sociomaterialist Perspective
This study explores the patterns of relations that emerged and mutated during a particular semester of an online, graduate course, Multimedia Design for Learning. The assemblage, a learning community, was comprised of a professor-course designer, learners, the course content, digital connectivity, a learning management system (LMS), digital media production software, learning tasks, assessment criteria, and emergent activities. We describe the expected and unexpected relational interplays observed among the actors and map the performativity of the learning community. Within this interplay we were more concerned about how particular nodal points (actors within a network) came to operate as sites of attachments (bonds between actors), and simultaneously promulgated different sensibilities and new relations, which in turn, worked to transform material/digital/human objects into agents.  Our main interest was to better understand how, from an initially fragile assemblage, an online learning community could emerge, reconstitute, and/or dissolve. We first describe Sørensen’s (2009) patterns of relations (regions, networks, and fluids) metaphor. Then, we consider the shaping, reshaping, and co-constitution of the patterns of relations (Mol & Law, 1994). We also describe the role of obligatory points of passage, and sites of attachment that held the assemblage’s network together. Our methodological approach drew upon Hine’s (2000; 2004) principles for undertaking a virtual ethnographical study. In order to gather our data, we conducted online, structured, asynchronous, text-based interviews with seven of the fourteen course participants. A second data set was derived from the course designer-instructor’s (also a co-author here) reflective notes. As a research-group, we spent reflexive time constructing and applying a guiding conceptual framework for data analysis. We engaged in two rounds of coding. The first round was descriptive; the second round was self-reflective.  In this paper, we focus on key themes that describe student-participant’s chosen sites for: 1) finding familiarity/continuity in the processes of navigating synchronous and asynchronous communication channels and associated resources initially chosen by the instructor, (2) finding ways to collaboratively engage in knowledge construction within the course, and (3) circumventing the patterns of relations initially implemented within the course design. We conclude the paper by discussing how initial attempts to create spaces for specific patterns of relations (“design choices”) appeared to evolve within the learning community assemblage; that is, how activities emerged unexpectedly.

Tuesday May 15, 2018 11:15am - 11:40am CEST
Ban Frankopan Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Frankopan, Paper
  • Key Words sociomaterialism, network learning, online education, mapping relations

11:40am CEST

Student Inquiry, Networks of Knowledge and Linked Data
This paper explores the potential for the development of new learning opportunities in higher education, through students being conceptualised not as consumers, recipients or commodities, but rather as co-researchers and co-producers of knowledge. Specifically, it discusses the implications of new forms of networked knowledge enabled by the emergence of semantic web and linked data technologies and the reconceptualising of the Internet as a ‘global data space’. We draw on our experience of initiating and supporting a range of projects in UK higher education in the course of an extended programme of research and development. Some of these involved the design and development of new technology platforms, while others were focussed on the redevelopment of taught courses, assignments and assessed activities. What these projects had in common is that they all took place in the context of complex learning settings in which some variety of case based learning is used. They involved students drawn from different disciplines in higher education in ‘research-based learning’ about curriculum contexts, and about pedagogical aspects of these contexts. New digital tools were developed in the form of rich web applications that allowed learner interaction with content, in many cases underpinned by data from multiple sources and in diverse formats. In the development of these online technologies, students located, analysed, synthesised and, in some cases, generated new data, and, perhaps more significantly, participated in local or global knowledge networks. What we will argue is that these types of projects involve not only the development of specific techno-literacies, but also that they form the basis of broader ‘critical digital literacies’. These in turn equip students to enter workplaces better positioned to inquire into the particularities of the educational settingsin which they work and the practices in which they are engaged. They can thus undertake ‘counter-research’ in which dominant rhetorics are challenged, and evidence bases for policy and practice are subjected to scrutiny, critique and reinterpretation. This presents the potential for students to undertake critical and politicised inquiry as part of a broader reframing of the purposes of higher education.

Tuesday May 15, 2018 11:40am - 12:05pm CEST
Ban Frankopan Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Frankopan, Paper
  • Key Words linked data, inquiry-based learning, higher education, digital literacy, politicised inquiry

12:05pm CEST

ThreadED: A Networked Learning Initiative
ThreadED is a networked learning initiative designed to promote connections between teaching staff, students and digitised resources, as well as to support teaching and learning at Massey University Institute of Education in New Zealand. ThreadED is framed around three strands (and related teacher and student competencies) identified by the Institute as important foci for their programmes: equity, cultural responsivity and digital literacy. Resources and artefacts such as website links, articles, videos and apps are being identified, developed and catalogued at various levels of granularity, and linked to key competencies. A platform to archive and curate artefacts and resources has been developed, incorporating design principles that focus on maintaining autonomy and freedom of access to resources, for all teaching staff. Templates were also developed to provide support and guidelines for the annotation of each resource. These resources and artefacts will be used and curated by teaching staff for different teaching and learning purposes, across courses within the Institute of Education. A number of benefits are anticipated when the initiative begins operation in 2018. These include the adoption of the three key foci across all of the teaching programmes within the Institute of Education; the reduction in work and duplication associated with staff each producing the same content in different courses; staff having a greater awareness of each other’s work and a strengthening of relationships; and the creation of synergies between staff that may lead to other opportunities in teaching and research. Finally, it is anticipated that ThreadED will enable personalised, self-directed and flexible teaching and learning practices by allowing teaching staff to select – from a range of quality learning objects – a resource that best meets individual needs and learning goals of the courses that are taught within the Institute. This paper introduces this initiative, discussing its key underlying principles as well as strategies used to facilitate staff’s participation and contributions to a joint venture of knowledge creation. The initiative aims at reframing isolated academic practices at the Institute of Education towards an evolving participatory learning community, where everyone is able to build on each other’s knowledge and expertizes, sharing resources and practices related to equity, cultural responsivity and digital literacy.

Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:05pm - 12:15pm CEST
Ban Frankopan Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Frankopan, Short Paper
  • Key Words equity, networked learning, digital literacy, digitised teaching, higher education

12:15pm CEST

Networked mentoring: a natural extension of self-directed learning
The primary responsibility of tertiary institutions is to prepare students in such a way that they enact authentic, effective and evolving practices throughout their careers.  To achieve this, teaching and learning, including teacher education, have changed in recent years.  21st Century pedagogies are increasingly premised on principles of personalised learning that occur with others and in context; evolving understandings of inclusion and diversity; and a culture of self-directed, inquiry-based and lifelong learning (Bolstad et al., 2012). What counts as knowledge has shifted to encompass the collective views, intuitions and beliefs of participants (Dede, 2008, in Li, 2012).  In keeping with these changes, there is never ‘one right answer’, and an increased need to co-author understandings with others._x000D_ Models of supervision have not kept pace with networked approaches to learning, and traditional models persist.  Professional supervision continues to be framed as a dyadic interaction, usually conducted face-to-face by one expert and one novice.  The present study acknowledges the place of traditional supervision, but argues that networked learning begets a framework for networked mentoring.  Networked mentoring supports professionals in considering the learning and support they both give and receive at each layer of their ecology.  Learning is thus seen as “the product of educational self-organisation. If you allow the educational process to self-organise, then learning emerges.  It's not about making learning happen; it's about letting it happen." (Mitra, 2013, 16:32)._x000D_ In contrast with traditional approaches to mentoring, networked mentoring positions each teacher at the center of their ecology, intentionally and spontaneously recognising opportunities for learning with, from and about others.  Teachers are empowered as the people best placed to solve their own problems and identify their own solutions in bespoke and networked ways.  The role of the mentor shifts to supporting others to identify, cultivate and sustain their existing and potential networks: their sources of learning on- and off- line, in and out of their formal learning environments. _x000D_ The focus of this paper is research conducted on networked mentoring within one postgraduate programme in which teachers are encouraged and supported to take charge of their learning and then their networks of support.  Key principles and pedagogies within the programme are outlined, to set the stage for the study of networked mentoring.

Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:15pm - 12:25pm CEST
Ban Frankopan Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Frankopan, Short Paper
  • Key Words supervision, mentoring, networked learning

12:25pm CEST

Networked Learning: Theorising a ‘Manager’ Capability
Networked learning (NL) is concerned with how students learn using connections enabled by IT: connections with other learners, with teachers and with resources.  In contrast to school or university education, there is no place in the current conceptual model of NL for an administration or management function.  This may be demonstrated by looking at the proceedings of the Networked Learning Conference.  The aim of this paper is to develop the conceptual model of NL by proposing a 'manager' capability.  The method consists of critical discourse analysis of a sample of the Conference proceedings to gain a better understanding of the problem.  This is followed by a pragmatic exercise in which suitable concepts from other relevant disciplines are identified, assessed and added to the NL conceptual model.  The most likely explanation for the gap in the theory is the collective ontological stance of the NL research community. 


Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:25pm - 12:35pm CEST
Ban Frankopan Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Frankopan, Short Paper
  • Key Words networked learning, management, managerialism

12:35pm CEST

From Not-working to Node-working: Designing a Professional Learning Network
The space and pace of learning is changing.  Traditional professional learning and development courses – with defined content in a set place and time – are arguably not working for many, as they are linked to outmoded approaches to learning. As societies have evolved from an industrial, to information and then social-age, we have shifted our understandings of learning and teaching. This shift is from disseminating information in formal institutions, towards open access to knowledge via the web. Current notions appreciate that learning is continual through our interconnections with others, as we co-create, communicate and collaborate. The shifts to conceptualising learning as open, continuous and social has a flow on effect of disrupting how we conceptualise professional identity development, and ongoing professional learning. Professional learning increasingly involves co-constructing knowledge with others in learning networks across different contexts and time. New technologies such as digital badging and ePortfolios afford opportunities to make learning more visible, and allow learners to collect evidence of their learning in network, which can be seen as learning nodes. These nodes can be acknowledged as evidence of ongoing professional learning and credentialed as such. Linking learning nodes within and across related networks enables mapping and integrating learning that is both personalised and social, informal and formal, as well as open and accredited. This short paper outlines a new professional learning initiative being introduced in New Zealand that is designed around networking and ‘node-working’. The initiative is for Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCo), teachers who provide learning support to include all students in school.  The professional network for SENCos consists of four learning hubs. Hub one is an open network where SENCos connect and collaborate with each other, face-to-face and online, regionally and nationally. In Hub two SENCos can subscribe to a professional network and join journal clubs, collaborative research projects, webinars, and share evidence-based practice. Hub three uses digital badging to recognise the personalised and collaborative learning that occurs in Hubs one and two, thus creating learning nodes as markers for credentialing learning across the network. Hub four allows for these learning nodes to be mapped within a professional e-portfolio, as part of a formal qualification. The research behind this initiative investigates the effectiveness of networked nodes of learning and the potential it offers to revision professional learning and identity development.

Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:35pm - 12:45pm CEST
Ban Frankopan Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Frankopan, Short Paper
  • Key Words Networked learning, professional learning, communities of practice, digital badging, ePortfolios