Monday, January 21, 2008

Week 2- Unit 1?!

So posting has begun in earnest ... with some confusion as to where to post what etc ... but that's natural as it's new to many of us. I was a bit late posting protocols for posting too as I went down to Calgary on Friday for a network lunch meeting & got stuck there with the foul weather :-( Luckily I had a friend's place to stay at as my drive down was "hairy" to say the least! Suffice it to say, this was my first experience of how dangerous icy roads can be?! 8-(
Some of my students are joining in my consideration of the personal/private issues surrounding web presence and interaction. On the one hand, literature in the area of on-line teaching stresses the importance of establishing personal relationships before more serious issues of scholarship can be fully explored - and also the importance of maintaining on-going communication throughout a course.
On the other hand, there is also literature about the personality and learning styles, which tells us that many of the learners who choose DE do so because they are naturally more private personalities - & who therefore may not wish to take advantage of the social networking tools that are available to expand the communication opportunities in technology-supported learning environments of all kinds, including DE.

A third position relates to PLEs (Personal Learning Environments), learner-created learning space within which they accumulate the tools they prefer, and within which they interact with their instructors, learning materials from various sources, and with other learners - & which are also shaped by individual differences and learning styles. Some of these PLEs will then naturally encompass private individuals and more garrulous, sociable ones; and the tools they choose will vary according to this as much as any other aspect.

Another questions that then arises in my mind is: to what extent the literature on personality and learning style and interaction modes in DE has kept up with the rapid changes in affordances of technology for communication and interaction. This will surely be a question to introduce in the last Unit, when we discuss research in and about DE

No comments: