Landing : Athabascau University

Course Overview: TLSTLN

Last updated April 18, 2010 - 7:53pm by George Siemens

Albert-László Barabási has stated “networks are everywhere. All you need is an eye for them”. No where is this more true than in social structures. Over the last five years, tools like Facebook, Myspace, Skype, and Twitter have increased awareness of the value of networks for communication and interaction.

Public and open social networks – such as Facebook – can be disconcerting for learners; too much “noise”, lack of separation between personal social life and learning, and general reluctance to post still-developing ideas on the open web. To address these limitations, Athabasca University has launched The Landing – a social network where individuals have control over how much information they share and with whom they share it.

Structurally, networks differ from the design traditional classroom or distance education models. Networks facilitate greater social interaction, two-way information flow and exchange, participatory pedagogy, and social learning. While these attributes can be included in classrooms or distance education with some difficulty, effective learning networks use these as a base pedagogical model.

This eight week course will provide an introduction to teaching and learning in social networks learning, using The Landing as the instructional tool.

What you will do and learn:

At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Define social learning
  • Detail ways in which networks can assist peer-to-peer learning
  • Use the main toolsets within The Landing to create content and communicate with colleagues and learners
  • Describe and model effective teaching practices in networked environments





Week 1 - April 19

Introduction to networked learning

Intro and theory week – main emphasis on social networked learning (i.e. Connectivism)

Week 2

Diving onto the Landing

Overview of the landing, addressing how the site works, privacy, completing your profile, adding friends, searching

Week 3

Using Blogs

Blogging, aggregating blogs, commenting

Week 4


Creating groups, hosting and facilitating groups, finding groups

Week 5


Using the wire for “information flow”

Week 6

Pages, portfolios

Collaborative activities and writing

Week 7

Polls, files, bookmarks, photos: working with content

Working with content, using polls, sharing files

Week 8

Teaching in networks

What is the role of the educator in networked learning? This week will explore teaching activities and effective practices to keep learners involved and engaged.


Each week, an optional synchronous (“live”) session will be held in Elluminate. The day of the week will be selected based on what works for the majority of the course participants.

All discussions will be held using a combination of tools in The Landing. As the schedule details, new Landing tools will be introduced weekly.

At the conclusion of the course, all participants will be asked to create a concept map of relevant course details and to produce a short presentation on how they could integrate The Landing into their teaching, learning, and professional development activities.

What about marking? grades?

Your contributions to the course are not marked or graded. Through out the course, you will receive feedback from other participants and course facilitator(s). Helping Athabasca University to build capacity in using social networks for teaching and learning is the primary intent of the next eight weeks.

Time Commitment

You should expect to spend approximately 5 hours a week on this course to complete readings, weekly tasks, and to interact with other learners. Time commitment will obviously be influenced by your experience in online courses, social networks, and general technology skill level.


George Siemens will facilitate this course. Guest speakers and presenters will be involved through out the course. He can be contacted using the mail/message system in the Landing


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