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

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

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

11:40am CEST

Communities of Practice: new modes of collaboration and networked learning?
Over the last decades, there has been more and more interest in various modes of networked learning, knowledge creation, communities or practice (CoPs) but there is not yet a clear identification of the conditions to succeed in such initiatives. This interest for CoPs stems from the fact that organizations expect substantial gains from knowledge development and networked learning. Communities of practice are seen in many organizations as a source of networked learning, and ultimately of competitiveness and innovation. The interest for communities of practice arises from this objective of learning and innovation, but it is viewed as a specific form of learning and sharing, in principle more centred on the individuals and their exchanges than on “management” by the firm, although the firm does seem to have a role to play in fostering such initiatives. Thus, the use of communities of practice has emerged as a way to develop collective skills and organizational learning, in order to foster innovation and success for organizations. In this paper, we identify the conditions of success or failure of communities of practice as a mode of networked learning, knowledge management and knowledge sharing, as these conditions have not yet been established. We first define this new form of learning and knowledge sharing through communities of practice. We then present some of the results concerning success, or more precisely attainment of objectives, as success can be defined in various ways. We do this on the basis of 7 case studies of communities of practice implemented in firms. The empirical results are based on a questionnaire survey administered to the participants of these communities of practice, but also on qualitative interviews and regular work and exchanges with some of the animators and participants in these communities of practice. We highlight some interesting differences observed according to age and gender, as well as some limits and challenges that were observed in the learning and sharing process, which are often underestimated. We mainly highlight the factors which explain success, defined as attainment of objectives, and these are : commitment and motivation of participants for the attainment of objectives, as well as the presence of a leader, animator or steward._x000D_  

Tuesday May 15, 2018 11:40am - 11:50am CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Zrinski, Short Paper
  • Key Words communities of practice, learning, collaboration, network, knowledge, sharing

11:50am CEST

Balancing privacy and openness, using a lens of contextual integrity
This paper describes a qualitative, empirical research study which explored the use of open educational practices (OEP) by academic staff in higher education, focusing particularly on the findings in relation to balancing privacy and openness. The study explored meaning-making and decision-making by university educators regarding whether, why, and how they used OEP. Open educational practices have been defined as “practices which support the (re)use and production of OER through institutional policies, promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect and empower learners as co-producers on their lifelong learning paths” (Ehlers, 2011, p. 4). The purpose of this study was to understand how university educators conceive of, make sense of, and make use of OEP, and to try to learn more about, and from, the practices and values of educators from across a broad continuum of ‘closed’ to open practices. The study was conducted at one Irish university using constructivist grounded theory methodology; semi-structured interviews were carried out with educators across multiple disciplines. Balancing privacy and openness emerged as a key concern of academic staff in relation to their digital and networked practices. This balancing act was described by participants, overwhelmingly, as an individual decision and an ongoing challenge: “you’re negotiating all the time.” A model was developed to illustrate how individuals seek to balance privacy and openness at four levels: macro (global level), meso (community/network level), micro (individual level), and nano (interaction level). The main finding of the study was that openness is always complex, personal, contextual, and continually negotiated. These empirical results reinforce the utility of Nissenbaum’s (2004, 2010) framework of contextual integrity in constructing a full understanding of meaning-making and decision-making with regard to open practices, and thus can contribute to effective support of academic staff in relation to open education and networked learning.


Tuesday May 15, 2018 11:50am - 12:00pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Zrinski, Short Paper
  • Key Words OEP, open educational practices, privacy, contextual integrity, networked learning

12:00pm CEST

Impact of MOOC-based professional development courses on self-directed and critical learning.
Recent research has revealed an increase in opportunities for MOOCs to provide students from different countries with an effective platform for learning. The main argument is that MOOCs can provide fast and easy access to western universities and their resources, and with that improve collaboration and interaction between nations. However, MOOCs have been criticized for being too challenging, specialized in certain teaching methods and not always meeting the expectations of the learners. Expectations are rooted in the way participants from different countries access and construct knowledge, and their individual way of learning may not be accounted for by the educational platform._x000D_ This paper investigates professional learning within the context of a MOOC to improve learning experiences. The study starts from the assumption that learners with different cultural and educational backgrounds bring different expectations and assumptions to online learning. The research explores the extent to which participants’ expectations, learning goals and aims have been met through examination of their criticisms, critiques and concerns of a MOOC. Brookfield’s Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ) was used on a weekly basis to capture the experiences of six English language teachers undertaking a continuing professional development (CPD) MOOC over the span of four weeks (Brookfield, 1995). Three ‘Cs’, concern, critique and criticism, were used to explore learners’ responses. In this study a concern is something related to an activity or content that causes learners to worry; critique is defined as the act of expressing an opinion about the good and bad parts of a thing, and criticism is defined as the act of expressing disapproval and noting the faults of a thing._x000D_ Findings illustrate the change in participants’ expectations and show them becoming aligned with the objectives of the course, critiquing rather than criticizing. This suggests that they started to take responsibility for their own learning and they became more reflective and analytical in their learning style. A wide range of critiques and criticisms that surfaced during the study have been identified around the content of the MOOC, particularly that the knowledge provided was too basic, and did not target experienced learners. Furthermore, the course lacked sufficient differentiation to meet participants’ metalanguage needs, and thus it did not account for terminology difficulties one would expect from participants with different professional backgrounds.

Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:00pm - 12:10pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Zrinski, Short Paper
  • Key Words Massive, Open, Online Courses (MOOC), The three big Cs, Activity theory, Professional development

12:10pm CEST

Socialization and Cognitive Apprenticeship in Online Doctoral Programs
Online doctoral programs are gaining in popularity, both among students and institutions. However, research to date on the effectiveness and popularity of such programs has looked largely at either quantitative measures of student satisfaction or of administrative effectiveness and design. Further, previous research has also tended to focus on the early part of doctoral study; in specific, the coursework. This qualitative study reports findings from four online doctoral programs in one UK university, contributing to the literature in two important ways. First, we aim to look specifically at current and recently graduated students’ experiences of doing their thesis using a demographic and experiential survey. This will be followed up by in-depth interviews to better understand the kinds of academic experiences and knowledge they both bring to, and receive from their program. Second, we aim to analyse the data through the lens of cognitive apprenticeship to help us better understand the individual trajectories of students in the thesis portion of their programs. By so doing, this research will contribute both theoretically and practically to our understanding of student experience of the thesis process in online doctoral programs. In particular, we conclude that there is a lack of knowledge and frameworks for how to design online/distance post-graduate programmes that best support the cognitive apprenticeship model. We suggest a shift in the research agenda on this issue:  Perhaps, the first step towards a more effective direction is to focus less on quantitative measures for success, like enrolment statistics or graduation rate but rather to employ qualitative judgements for the evolution of the post-graduate experience. What might be the guidelines for such qualitative judgments? The answer may lie within the principles of Networked Learning: knowledge is not confined to an individual; rather, it is distributed across individuals within the environment. That is, learning is not an in-the-head phenomenon but a matter of engagement with, participation in, and membership to a community. We argue that it is through this notion of learning that we may develop a more effective framework to reconceptualise the theory and practice of online/distance post-graduate education within the cognitive apprenticeship model of learning.

Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:10pm - 12:20pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Zrinski, Short Paper
  • Key Words Socialization, Cognitive Apprenticeship, Online Doctoral Students, Online Doctoral Programs, Community of Practice, Legitimate Peripheral Participation