Out of Class Learning

This was meant to be a trackback to Brian Alexander’s posting Further Notes on Microlearning 2005, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to enable trackbacks in b2Evo.

At the end of the post, Brian commented:

I was struck by the problem of focusing on classroom [emphasis added] uses of technology. Such discourse often sidesteps the enormous amount of formal learning time spent outside of physical promixity to an instructor – reading assignments, self-directed lab work, fieldwork, writing assignments, automous study groups, academic fraternities, and so on. So many other spaces are evoked by learning outside the classroom: dorms, libraries, quads, homes – all of which are mobilized by wireless, mobile learning. Content provision is part of this, of course, but so is constructivist learning, heightened by social software.

This is related to my previous posting on What is a College or University Course? I suspect that many faculty have a fairly narrow view of where student academic learning takes place, and that perhaps even more focus their teaching on what goes on in the classroom. What got me interested in various forms of pedagogical electronic discourse with and between students was the desire to add structure to what my students were doing outside the classroom. I suspect this is no different in kind from the more common practise of structuring one’s in-class activities to guide students to the desired learning outcomes. This is not to say, of course, that my students’ learning in entirely deterministic, only that by adding structure I can push students in a certain direction which they might not have gone to on their own.

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