Your words echo my own experience with our version of the Landing, called Pace Commons.
Although the Landing is often used for teaching purposes, it deliberately avoids things like institutional roles, and deliberately blurs such distinctions when its users make use of them (eg. when they create course groups). It can be quite confusing for students expecting a guided space and top-down structure, and annoying if you are a teacher trying to control the learning space to behave that way, but that's simply not how it is designed to work. The Landing is a learning space, where everyone is a teacher, not an institutional teaching space where the role is reserved for a few.
I am hoping that the community feeling more comfortable (or at least more inclined to participate) in this learning space.
Gerald Ardito April 26, 2017 - 9:27am
I'd still love to supervise a comparative study into the use of learning styles vs use of astrology or phrenology to pick a teaching strategy. I strongly suspect there'd be no significant difference. It would be equally good fun to invent a plausible but totally unfounded learning style theory and compare that. Maybe something based on the big 5 personality types so that it seems sciencey.
Your comment on personalization is spot on. In some ways it would actually be worse if it worked. Even if a system does increase the speed/efficiency of learning as a result (as measured in tests) the assumption that the teacher-specified outcome is the one and only point of the learning process describes pretty much everything that is wrong with our educational systems today. Not a recipe for cognitive flexibility, not transformative, not life-changing, just a better form of indoctrination.
Jon Dron March 15, 2017 - 10:18am
Interesting article Jon. I can believe that 80% of teachers in the UK and the Netherlands believe that student learn best in their prefered style. (I wonder what the percentage would be in Canada.)
I used various learning style inventories for quite a few Septembers for a couple of reasons. They gave me a chance to learn a lot about students and their approaches to things like following directions in a way that engaged them - who doesn't like thinking about themselves? It also gave me the opportunity to introduce the concept of metacognition and using strategies for learning. I was also curious about the whole idea and noticed that although I had inventories that were designed to be age appropriate, students didn't develop preferences until they were 10 or 11. Until then their profiles were flat.
In the end, if they prompt teachers to accept learning strategies that are different from their own and encourage students to think about how they learn, there is some good in them, but they're a long way from science.
Mary McNabb March 15, 2017 - 10:30pm
Hi Dr. Dron,
Interesting topic. Your comment about having reserve if this was automated reminds me of Linus Torvald's concerns when his lieutenants wanted to use automated code merges. He resisted for a while and then wrote Git. It's become common place to just trust code merges now with high degree of confidence.
What concerns you with an automated system for detecting and responding to attacks when there are known patterns? Assume of course that there these changes still hit the Wiki history and there is some way to appeal. (I'm not enticing you to write this tool though ;-) )
Daryl Campbell February 15, 2017 - 12:57pm
Machines might be very good at *identifying* problems, and that's great, but humans are needed to react to and deal with them: there are infinite possible ways to do that, and there are always vastly many opportunities to heal rifts, and make things positive again. It's about humans socializing with humans and the smartest AI in the world does not yet (and likely never will) know what it is like to be a human, so will not be able to respond creatively or appropriately to that unique social context.
Jon Dron February 15, 2017 - 1:54pm
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