I am going to be participating in a one day event Peer-to-Peer Pedagogies (P3) Workshop September 10th, 2010 sponsored by HASTAC on the Duke campus. As part of that, I’ve been assigned to work with Kim Singletary on a bio/ speaker intro piece.
The event was great fun. Thanks to all. Here is the SlideShare from my talk. Coming back on the plane I remembered this piece by Downes on Open Assessment that seems as timely as ever.
This post is an invitation to collaborate with the two of us as we co-develop the materials that Kim will ultimately push into final form. At the same time, I see my dialog with Kim as sharpening my focus for the event. Please weigh in using this blog’s comments. I will continue to edit the body of the post based on your remarks, and any backchannel with Kim, or other readers.
After reviewing some of our blog (written with colleagues of mine at Washington State University) Kim sent a list of questions to get the discussion going. Here is the first of those questions.
Kim: What do you hope will be accomplished at P3? What is your goal for your appearance at the conference?
Nils: I feel like the open learning, peer pedagogy landscape is loosely defined and rapidly changing and I hope to come away with some ideas about where the clusters of agreement lie in this terrain. Brian Lamb and Jim Groom just wrote a piece in Educause Review “Never Mind the Edupunks; or, The Great Web 2.0 Swindle” July/Aug 2010 where they are suggesting that the open learning wave may have crested. They provide an interesting perspective on the shoals that may have dashed the vision.
In the same issue Dave Cormier and George Siemens had a piece on their experiments with open online courses, “Through the Open Door: Open Courses as Research, Learning, and Engagement” See also some response in Dave’s blog.
My colleagues and I at Washington State University Office of Assessment and Innovation have been approaching this conversation with an eye to two contexts:
- The need to expand higher learning opportunities in the developing world is so large that it challenges historic thinking about brick and mortar institutions. John Seely Brown, Don Tappscott and others are talking about this challenge. Some of our analysis of this context is here.
- The other context (given our assessment/accountability role at WSU) is the increasing press for accountability and the rising volume in the discussion at national levels about the failures of US higher education to be accountable for its students’ learning outcomes. See this stream of bookmarks on the topic maintained by Gary Brown.
In that context, we’ve been looking at how Personal Learning Environments, or student-owned ePortfolios, can facilitate learning among communities (including peers) and how the learning in those contexts can be credentialed. A condensation of some of that thinking appears in our discussion of our emerging understanding of an ePortfolio.
We have been developing those ideas, in part, by watching the peer learning and collaborative problem solving of one of WSU’s doctoral students, Margo Tamez.
I would advise anyone who is seriously committed to the larger structural uses of E-portfolios by contemporary students– who by the way do not view the college classroom as their most significant ‘center’ of knowledge and tool acquisition, (providing one is inclined to view the technology and control over the production as the domain of liberatory education)–,to examine their assumptions about knowledge and power and the political will of the Indigenous peoples.
So, one of the things I hope to get from the P3 conversation is more personal clarity on the ideas in this “4 models” figure that we created to think about the changing roles of the university as it moves from traditional brick and mortar, with traditional accountability, to a problem-based curriculum in peer-to-peer university with community-based accountability and credentialing. Along with the four models figure, we created a self-assessment to help clarify the conversation about where each of us in on an institution- vs community-based learning spectrum.
As Margo’s portfolio illustrates, open peer-to-peer learning is necessarily scattered widely across the Internet. Pulling that evidence together for assessment and credentialing is a challenge. Gary Brown coined the term “Harvesting Gradebook” to describe our approach to the problem of allowing learners to gather structured feedback on artifacts of their learning and to route evidence of that feedback back to a ‘home’ institution or to present that feedback as part of a claim within a community for a credential. An early description of the Harvesting Gradebook and how it might work in/out/with a university program appear here (skim down for “Variations in the Model” section).
In my P3 session I hope to introduce some of our Harvesting Gradebook thinking in a large scale real-time experiment using a backchannel where the audience can provide assessment feedback to my presentation.
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