Title: Learning from our own designs: Generating knowledge from practical implementations
Abstract: Powerful work can happen when practitioners carry out research on their own implementations of educational innovations. In my keynote, I will discuss methodologies that support practitioners in taking an inquiry stance toward their enactments of new educational approaches. I will also discuss tools, such as the Social Infrastructure Framework (Bielaczyc, 2006), that provide a means for analyzing the design of a classroom’s social and technical infrastructures (including learning activities, collaborative practices, and the organization of physical spaces). Through a deeper understanding of how to learn from their own designs, practitioners can better identify implementation issues, address challenges, and generate knowledge of how to get one’s classroom onto a successful trajectory of change.
Title: The Final Frontier: Space
Abstract: The concept of learning design is typically represented as a form of pedagogical design, to the effect that learning technology is devoted to the selection and presentation of a series or sequence of resources to support the development of a learner toward a predefined learning outcome. But while the learning design based approach is characteristic of formal learning, the bulk of learning online is informal, and rather than enter into a predefined pedagogical space, learners are seeking means to accelerate their own learning path or accomplish immediate and pressing tasks. In such cases, the learning design metaphor is inappropriate, as it is typically not timely or responsive. In the case of personal or informal learning, the learning environment is a better metaphor. But this idea of a learning space, as opposed to a learning design, is largely unexplored in instructional technology. How can we create an environment that supports the learner who needs immediate and short-term learning solutions as well as longer-term, but unpredictable, learning needs? The development of the personal learning environment is a response to this problem, and Stephen Downes explores the major issues and concepts underlying the field.