Space to learn October 13, 2009Posted by IaninSheffield in TELIC.
Tags: learning, spaces, TELIC
We were asked towards the end of the first year of our Masters course what we might like to address during the second year. One of our tutors suggested we might consider collaborating on a project to design a ‘learning space.’ I don’t think I got it then and when this was brought up at the first session of this year, I still didn’t really understand with what we might be tasked. ‘Second Life’ had been cited as an example of type of (potential) learning space; so were we going to put together something along those lines? Or a wiki, or blog, or what?
If I’m kicking around an idea and want to clarify my thoughts, a search engine can sometimes provide a useful wall to bounce ideas off . . . well actually it’s more the returned results that can prove illuminating. And sure enough, I got a pointer to a regular and invariably useful source of information – EDUCAUSE. The specific resource that piqued my interest was an e-book they published called Learning Spaces (D G Oblinger, Ed.), which although mainly addressing physical learning spaces, nevertheless offered plenty to consider for any learning space whether in the real or online worlds.
Synthesising the significant features from such a variety and wealth of articles is quite a task, but certain features begin to stand out. I’d suggest that the kinds of elements we might want to consider for our ‘learning space’ could include access for multiple users at anytime. It should facilitate dialogue and interaction between users, enabling coaching, collaboration and reflection, allowing users to take on different roles (critic, guide, mentor, presenter). It should be a stimulating environment in which information and resources, including multimedia can be displayed and viewed easily. Interactions should be possible both synchronously and asynchronously, with historical records ready to hand. Possibly it should be accessible from a mobile/handheld device? And I wonder whether it ought to be a ‘closed’ or ‘open’ environment i.e. just for the group or open to the wider world? Anything missing?
Well that should take care of the first 20 minutes of our next session then . . .