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