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

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Parallel Session 5 - Ban Jelačić [clear filter]
Tuesday, May 15

3:15pm CEST

Stewarding and power in networked learning
A study is conducted of twenty groups, of 5-7 learners each, who are studying on a postgraduate course unit oriented toward development of professional practice in the field of educational technology. On the unit, students are assessed through their contributions to online discussion boards in which their groups are engaged in learning tasks that increase in complexity over the course and require them to make critical judgments about a range of informational and technological resources that can help the group meet its shared learning needs. Through the accumulation of these judgments, the group stewards its own digital habitat (Wenger et al 2009), modifying and enhancing the set of resources that the tutor provides to each group at the start of the course unit. The study investigates how this process draws on the power that flows in different ways through the course environment. Students discipline themselves and each other to conform to practices that they perceive as being those rewarded by the tutor, but they also resist this institutional power and authority when they introduce new resources and practices. The study shows how practices form at the very earliest stages of the formation of a community of practce, and bring with them a proto-hierarchy that supports the more complex information tasks but also introduces differentiation into the community. Visibility and scrutiny of the emerging practices and proto-hierarchy are what help the environment meet its learning needs and give students an experience of variation in power and authority that helps them develop informational practices in ways that are relevant to later work in professional settings.


Tuesday May 15, 2018 3:15pm - 3:40pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 5 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words communities of practice, stewarding, digital habitat, groups, online discussions, learning

3:40pm CEST

Online knowledge construction in networked learning communities
Networked Learning Communities (NLCs) comprise individuals from different schools or organisations collaborating with one another in purposeful and sustained professional development (Jackson & Temperley, 2007).  Knowledge construction is central to the work of NLCs as networked learning entails the construction of new knowledge by tapping members’ personal practitioner knowledge and the public knowledge base.  In Singapore, some NLCs sustain their professional learning through online interactions in collaboration groups within "One Portal All Learners (OPAL)", a learning and content management system developed by the Ministry of Education (MOE).  This paper outlines a project that studied knowledge construction within 10 OPAL collaboration groups created by NLCs (“ONLCs”), the roles adopted by the members, and the factors that influenced members' participation in knowledge construction within the ONLCs.  According to the Interaction Analysis Model (IAM) by Gunawardena, Lowe, and Anderson (1997), knowledge construction in online collaborative environments progresses over five levels: (a) sharing and comparing of information; (b) discovery and exploration of dissonance or inconsistency among ideas; (c) negotiation of meaning; (d) testing and modification; and (e) application of newly-constructed meaning.  Findings revealed that the majority of the online knowledge constructions were at the level of sharing and comparing of information.  Six possible factors that influenced members' engagement in knowledge construction in the ONLCs were identified through focus group discussions.  The factors identified were (a) a structured approach for enacting NLCs, (b) organisational support, (c) a conducive environment that enables trust to be built among members, (d) shared ownership among members, (e) a culture of sharing that prioritises higher levels of knowledge construction, and (f) OPAL as an enabler.  Using findings from the study and from literature, an implementation framework was developed to promote knowledge construction in ONLCs.  The implementation framework was field-tested by four NLCs and then refined based on feedback gathered.  The feedback gathered on the implementation framework was generally positive and participants found it to be comprehensive, although many felt that the efficacy of the implementation framework to support online knowledge construction may be limited by the affordances of the online collaborative workspace being used.  However, the key to raising the level of knowledge construction could lie in nurturing a conducive environment and a culture of sharing, and fostering shared ownership.  These three factors can work together to shape the dynamics within the NLC, to help members recognise the importance of co-owning and co-leading the NLC's professional learning.

Tuesday May 15, 2018 3:40pm - 4:05pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 5 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words Networked Learning Community, Knowledge Construction, Online Collaborative Environment, Teacher Professional Learning

4:05pm CEST

Everyone already has their community beyond the screen: Reconceptualising learning and expanding boundaries
Under a prominent recent regime of online education, often represented in the scholarship as a “social constructive learning paradigm”, learning is defined as a social practice that involves a group of students actively participating in collaborative knowledge construction processes. Pedagogical theories and strategies developed and utilised in that regime focus extensively on enabling student-to-student interaction and building communities of learners in online learning environments. In this context, where the notions of “collaborative” learning and learning “community” have gained substantial legitimacy from relevant theoretical traditions, other beliefs about meaningful learning are likely to be harshly criticised or, at best, simply neglected. However, it is not at all difficult to notice a gap between the accepted theoretical ideas of effective online learning and actual pedagogical practices in most online education institutions. Here, I aim to reduce that theory-practice gap by reconceptualising online learning using a double-layered Community of Practice (CoP) model. That module conceptualises online learning as interlinked processes of participation and socialisation in multiple communities across internal and external or online and offline “layers” of learners’ lives. The model helps online course designers and instructors to expand the boundaries of their course environments or designs to reach out to students’ personal and professional lives and to make sense of online learning experiences that are shaped by their interactions with other members of different communities outside the course environments. Using data, three students’ narratives, collected from a series of case studies on learners’ learning experiences in three different types of online courses (or programmes), this article effectively demonstrates how difficult it is to develop a strong CoP nested and sustained within online learning environments, which usually have a close finish. The article further argues that it may be useful for instructional designers to expend their view on learning environment to include distance learners’ life situations beyond their computer screens. Everyone has their own community in which they naturally learn, develop, and live with other members outside the courses. Thus, rather than putting so much effort to form a community inside our learning environment, we may want to think about more effectively support our students to form a stronger and more sustainable community in their lives through being engaged in learning activities in our course.


Tuesday May 15, 2018 4:05pm - 4:30pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 5 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words Online Learning, Community of Practice, Double-layered CoP model, Online course design

4:30pm CEST

Promoting agency and identity building in dialogic learning communities online
_x000D_ _x000D_ For several decades educational institutions and their educational designers have waited for a significant innovation and pedagogical breakthrough in digitally based teaching and learning (Bates, 2015; Bruce, 2016; Conole, 2013; Tait, 2013; Sorensen & Brooks, 2017). New innovative approaches and pedagogies were expected in design of teaching and learning; approaches which, methodologically, would acknowledge basic human qualities and inter-human co-existential virtues and functionalities. Such approaches, as e.g. dialogue, collaboration, communication, creativity, improvisation, may be viewed to be relevant to any topic addressed, as pertinent values for developing and empowering robust identities. However, as it stands, new and innovative pedagogical paradigms for teaching and learning seem to have stagnated. The authors of this paper make a plea for the use of fundamental human concepts, features and inter-human functionalities - such as e.g. a focus on concepts of relational agency, dialogue and dialogic, identity, which may produce very fruitful teaching and learning processes through restoring, implementing and operationalizing fundamental motivating principles ofdevelopment processes of the human nature._x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ This paper reports on an explorative study of the learning dialogue in an online module, one module of an online master’s part-time program in Ict and Learning. The philosophy behind the design and organization of the program is inspired from the Project Oriented Project Pedagogy (POPP) approach, introduced at Aalborg University (AAU) at its very birth in 1974. The paper focuses on the use, role, potential and implications for teaching and learning when using a digital dialogic learning pedagogy built on the basic principles of POPP and unfolding in virtual learning environments. Through the analytical lenses of the theoretical concepts such as “identity” and “agency”, the authors set out to explore the extent to which online dialogues and potentially identified signs of developed identity, and agency in learners, may promote inclusion and contribute as very important meta learning values for the cultivation of awareness in citizens in our future global society._x000D_ The analytical optic is formed from a perspective of some key concepts of theorists, such as the notion of “relational agency” by Edwards (2006 & 2007), the notion of “dialogic” by Wegerif (2007) and the idea of “co-creation” (Sanders, 2008). The methodological approach is inspired by the principles of Netnography[1] and is a continuation of the authors’ serious of earlier studies on inclusive online learning dialogues and their implications for learning in digital environments (e.g. Sorensen & Brooks, 2017)._x000D_ The findings of this study suggest that for networked learning of including quality, co-creation, identity and relational agency are important elements for learners to obtain and be exposed to. All of these concepts appear very close to the essential aspects of human nature._x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ [1] Netnography uses these conversations as data. It is an interpretive research method that adapts the traditional, in-personparticipant observationtechniques ofanthropologyto the study of interactions and experiences manifesting throughdigital communications(Kozinets, R. V, 2010)_x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_

Tuesday May 15, 2018 4:30pm - 4:55pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 5 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words Learning Design (LD), Digital Dialogue (DD), Inclusion, Collaborative Knowledge Building (CKB), Learning2learn (L2L); , Agency