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Participant Websites
Learning Experiences http://kulari.weebly.com/
Literacy Update http://literacyupdate.wordpress.com/
Intentional Interplay http://intentionalinterplay.blogspot.com/



From Participant Becky Kinney
November 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink
#eTop12 – We’ve all had the experience of having to do an independent research project. Hell, I’ve had that experience repeatedly since the 5th grade (1964). My teachers did not provide a list of resources, either. We picked our topics, and we asked the librarian, and our parents, and our friends for help in obtaining useful resources. So teaching students to be better independent learners has been around for a very long time.
I do agree that in general formal education in this country needs to step up its game when it comes to inculcating the attitudes and self-discipline required by independent learning. Clearly all those research projects we did failed to get the job done for many, many students. Perhaps that’s because what they learned was to hate and dread them! Released from the confines of the classroom, students may CHOOSE not to engage in independent learning. That needs to be changed, but i don’t think it justifies throwing adult students into the deep end of the pool and calling it a pedagogy. We’re all in the deep end already.
My personal opinion is that when a student enters into a contract with a learning mentor of any kind, he or she should expect more than to be assigned a self-graded research project and a cohort of peers. I want a learning mentor to help me make my learning more efficient. When I make a commitment to a course or tutorial, I WANT structure to be imposed on my learning path, because without it, I will inevitably sequence my learning in in appropriate and inefficient ways. I happen to be very good at learning through trial and error, and at digging up the proverbial ‘just-in-time’ information, but I’ve done it enough to know that it’s no panacea. When I bother to commit some time to a course, whether it is online or in person, I expect a smoother and more effective journey.

From Becky Kinney
November 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
#eTop12 – Curating content is all well and good, but in my experience, the majority of students won’t follow the links you provide unless you have a way to force them to do so. I am experimenting the the Canvas LMS, which provides instructors with an easy way to distinguished between required and optional course elements, including web resources. I think there is some great potential there. When you assemble a large number of resources, I think it’s important to provide excellent guidance in terms of which resources are best for the achievement of specific learning outcomes. I also think it’s important to provide students a quick and easy way to assess their own need to attain or brush-up prerequisite competencies, and easy access to resources that help in as tightly targeted a way as possible. Confronting students with a long page of links does not inspire them to follow very many of them, and knowing they won’t go to all of them leaves them wondering whether it’s worth following any at all. Less is more, especially when no priorities have been set by the mentor.

Reply from Sarah Linden
November 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink
Hi, Becky–
Thanks for your response! Two things you mentioned are key: indicating which resources are required/optional and providing clear guidance on how the curated materials align with learning objectives. I agree with you–it’s important (and by important I mean necessary!) that as facilitators of learning we be choosy and thoughtful when determining what kind of content (be it articles, photos, videos) and how much of that content we want to provide our students.
Also, glad to see that you’re participating in #eTOP12! We look forward to hearing more from you.



Participants Twitter Profiles to Follow

Heather http://www.twitter.com/1heatherann
Robin http://www.twitter.com/robinwb
Karen http://www.twitter.com/kanders1313
Brian http://www.twitter.com/BrianMullNL
Kulari http://www.twitter.com/klokuge


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Mind Map of eTOP12 Micro-MOOC