Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pedagogically neutral? No

I do not know what happened just then, but I suddenly saw a little fissure in my (relative) complacency about choice of VLE. Ah yes, I know what it was... I was transcribing something a student had said to me in a recent interview.
[I] don't really put anything into blackboard, it's more what I get out, out of it
Well now, I am not about to bash corporate VLE's. Of course, it's the way that we use the tools that matters most. But part of 'networked learning' ought to be the establishment of links, of all shapes and sizes and levels and types of activity.... but it struck me that they ought not to be one-way streets. In the perception of this student, a discussion list was alien to the overall thrust of blackboard. How can the whole enterprise of being a student @university be re-branded and re-engineered so that the statement above can be inverted to read:
[I - or, better, we] really put loads into blackboard, it's more what I put in, into it


Aaron Pua said...

Pedagogical Neutrality and Engagement

Technical standards and specifications enabling the interoperation of elearning systems and content have recently been the subject of much research and development. One claim that is frequently associated with these standards is that they are “pedagogically neutral” --able to address requirements regardless of the specific pedagogical tasks or contexts in which these requirements arise. This paper challenges such claims by arguing that, as Jean Paul stated over 200 years ago, “to speak about pedagogy is to speak about everything at once.” In the place of "neutral" standards, this paper advocates the development of pedagogically "engaged" or "committed" conceptions of content and systems that directly address some educational purposes, situations and methods, but not others.

Mike Johnson said...

Thanks for the reference Aaron. I'd not come across the journal either, and there looks to be plenty of meat there. Sadly my institution does not subscribe to it so I'll have to get it on inter-library. No issues online yet this year... makes me wonder if it's falling off a bit...