Friday, May 2, 2008

What does it mean to be networked learned?

In June 2007 I posted the following message to the networked learning jiscmail list :

I have been thinking about the definition of networked learning and what it means for assessment - especially the central notion of 'promoting connections'. I've come to a question I think might be worth pursuing - what does it mean to be 'network learned'? That is, if one had gone through a degree programme that was designed to 'promote connections', what would characterise the students who graduated from it? Perhaps they would just be the 'embodiment of critical thinking', or some other commonly held aspiration for a modern graduate...
Unfortunately, the 2 responses were about the means of conducting assessment via networks rather than the learning outcomes that any assessment might measure. I tried to re-word the question and eventually sent the following:

I mean, what would a person look like, what would make them different (better even?) from someone who had learned via Communities of Practice or lectures/tutorials? My colleague Joe's off-the-bat response to that was 'appropriateness'. Having the 'right' clutch of the 'right' kind of connections that can be 'activated' (all inverted comma concepts in need of unpacking!) in a timely way - not just to people but to resources (of course). Is that a good measure of networked learningness? (am I a good example of having been 'networked learned' since I'm foisting this on your inbox via this jiscmail list?!) Assuming it should, can that be bottled and taught? Can it then be factored in to assessment leading to accreditation? As I said before, all of this might 'just' mean the kinds of things we already hope to see in 'good' students...
Thoughts anyone?

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