The why dimension opening frontiers for digital learning
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The Why Dimension Opening Frontiers for Digital Learning. PhD by Published Papers. Jon Mason PhD Final Seminar QUT, September 26, 2013. The Elevator Pitch. It’s all about one word: why Why? It is fundamental to learning & making sense of things

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The why dimension opening frontiers for digital learning

The Why DimensionOpening Frontiers for Digital Learning

PhD by Published Papers

Jon Mason

PhD Final Seminar

QUT, September 26, 2013


The elevator pitch

The Elevator Pitch

It’s all about one word: why

Why?

It is fundamental to learning & making sense of things

But current digital tools don’t support it very well

What have I found?

A significant gap in digital learning tools

As powerful as Google is, it does not handle why questions well

Why seeks explanation more than information

Why is ambiguous & multi-dimensional – but it makes you think!

What am I selling?

Something Google doesn’t do


The thesis in 3 minutes 1

The Thesis in 3 Minutes (1)

An investigation & presentation of the why dimension

- asking, learning, understanding, knowing, explaining

- across reflective and dialogic contexts

A theoretical & transdisciplinary approach

- focused on challenges & opportunities associated with digital technologies that can support the why dimension

Contextualised by historical perspective

the evolution of digital learning

probing possible futures

Draws from knowledge modelling

- educational theory

- knowledge management


The thesis in 3 minutes 2

The Thesis in 3 Minutes (2)

Five key topics

Inquiry, Learning, & Asking Why

Sense-Making – Models and Frameworks

Metadata & Learning Content

Cognitive Engagement & Questioning Online

Scaffolding with ICT

A collection of constructs

primitive questions

primitives of information retrieval

why dimension

the open agenda

search paradigm

consequent questions

sense-making

sense-making technologies


The thesis in 3 minutes 3

The Thesis in 3 Minutes (3)

Consequences

The why dimension is not (yet) explicitly supported by digital technologies

The why dimension provides theoretical perspective that can inform the development of inquiry-based digital learning

Why-questioning is concerned with sense-making in which meaning-making does not necessarily take place

Technology support for the why-dimension identified as a strategy for cultivating cognitive engagement in digital learning

(some) constructivist theory may be wrongly placing emphasis upon meaning-making

Plausibility identified as important during sense-making

Sense-making technologies are distinguished from semantic technologies as technologies that explicitly support the why dimension


The why dimension opening frontiers for digital learning

a little more detail … & some explanation


Research questions

Research Questions

(1) Why does the convergent ICT infrastructure provide no explicit technology support for ‘knowing why’ in knowledge management and ‘asking why’ in e-learning?

(2) Would modelling knowledge with a transdisciplinary approach inform how ‘why-questioning’ might be supported during e-learning?


Key publications

Key Publications

Mason, J. (2008a). A Model for Sense-Making: Exploring Why in the Context of Learning and Knowing. The 16th International Conference on Computers in Education, 1, 545-549. http://www.apsce.net/ICCE2008/papers/ICCE2008-paper286.pdf

Mason, J. (2012a). Theorizing Why in e-Learning – A Frontier for Cognitive Engagement. In D. Sampson, J. M. Spector, D. Ifenthaler, & P. Isaias (Eds.) IADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning (CELDA 2012) Proceedings pp. 57-64.

Mason, J. & Pillay, H. (2013-accepted). Opening Digital Learning to Deeper Inquiry. In Mohamed Ally & Badrul Khan (Eds.), The International Handbook of E-learning. Athabasca University.

Mason, J. (2009). Knowledge Management and Dublin Core. Proceedings, International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications (pp. 41-50). http://dcpapers.dublincore.org/ojs/pubs/article/view/953/950

Mason, J. (2011). Cognitive Engagement and Questioning Online. In A. Mendez-Vilas (Ed.), Education in a technological world: communicating current and emerging research and technological efforts (90-99). Formatex. http://www.formatex.info/ict/book/90-99.pdf

Mason, J. (2012b). Scaffolding Reflective Inquiry – Enabling Why-Questioning while e-Learning. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning 7(3) pp.175-198. Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education. http://www.apsce.net/RPTEL/RPTEL2012NovIssue-Article3_pp175-198.pdf

Mason, J. (2013 – in Press). The Why Dimension, Dialogic Inquiry, and Technology Supported Learning. In Sebastian Feller and Ilker Yengin (Eds.), 21st Century Education: Constructing meaning and building knowledge in technology supported learning environments. Singapore: John Benjamins.


Supplementary publications

Supplementary Publications

Hoel, T. & Mason, J. (2011, September). Problematizing the Way we do Standards – Focusing more on Scope and Rationale. In Proceedings from Open Forum during ISO/IEC JTC1 SC36 meeting in Shanghai, Eastern China Normal University.

Hoel, T. & Mason, J. (2011b). Expanding the Scope of Metadata and the Issue of Quality. In MohdAyub A. F. et al. (Eds.) Workshop Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Computers in Education (pp. 263-270). Chiang Mai, Thailand. Retrieved from http://www.nectec.or.th/icce2011/program/proceedings/ICCE2011_WORKSHOP_proceedings_20111127_CH05.pdf

Mason, J. (2011a). Developing Tools to Facilitate Integrated Reflection. Proceedings, E-Portfolios Australia Conference 2011 (pp.73-83), Curtin University, Perth. Retrieved from http://eportfoliosaustralia.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/eac2011_ebook_v1_201110031.pdf

Mason, J. (2011b). Scaffolding for Integrated Reflection. The 19th International Conference on Computers in Education (pp. 587-594), Chiang Mai, Thailand: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education. Retrieved from http://122.155.1.128/icce2011/program/proceedings/

Mason, J. (2008b). A Model for Exploring a Broad Ecology of Learning and Knowing. In Workshop Proceedings: Supplementary Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Computers in Education (pp. 194-203). Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education (APSCE). http://www.apsce.net/icce2008/Workshop_Proceedings/Workshop_Proceedings_0194-201.pdf

Mason, J. & Hoel, T. (2011). The Relevant Question and the Question of Relevance. The 19th International Conference on Computers in Education (pp. 307-311). Chiang Mai, Thailand: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education. Retrieved from http://122.155.1.128/icce2011/program/proceedings/


Methodology

Methodology

Thesis by Published Papers

Informed by Inquiry || Focused on Inquiry

Initial literature review (theory & practice)

Development of concept maps

Topic domains identified

Paper-specific literature reviews

Conceptual working and re-working

Transdisciplinary perspectives considered

Synthesis


The paradigm page

The Paradigm page

The convention of declaring what paradigm one’s research & thesis belongs to - positivist, critical, interpretive, postmodern, naturalistic inquiry, …

Paradigm is also a widely used & appropriated term

Paradigm shifts are even more common – especially in the literature associated with the digital revolution

- paradigms of emergence, the 4th paradigm, etc

This thesis is ‘multiparadigmatic’ (Taylor & Medina, 2013)


Methodological perspectives

Methodological perspectives

Hermeneutics(Heidegger & Gadamer)

Philosophy of inquiry

Experience is always becoming

We are compelled to ask questions

Not preoccupied with method

Interpretation is reflexive & reflective

The parts & the whole are mutually informing

Mode 2 Knowledge(Gibbons)

Emerged in late 20th century

Transdisciplinary

Fits with digital learning as a multi-disciplinary discourse (Friesen)

Implications

Each paper provides perspective on the aggregate body of work while also being informed by emergent constructs of a whole


The why dimension opening frontiers for digital learning

Question: how to model knowledge?


The why dimension opening frontiers for digital learning

Source: M. D. Lytras & M. A. Sicilia (2005). The Knowledge Society – A Manifesto for Knowledge and Learning, Int. J. Knowledge and Learning, Vol. 1, Nos. 1/2, 2005. page 3 http://www.inderscience.com/storage/f410121258637119.pdf


Epistemological perspectives

Epistemological perspectives

Becoming to know. Adapted from Jakubik (2011)


Epistemological perspectives1

Epistemological perspectives

Jakubik, 2011

Mason, 2007


Digital learning e learning

Digital Learning & e-Learning

Learning facilitated by engagementwith digital technologies


Digital learning inputs

Digital Learning inputs

Cloud Computing

Apple & Microsoft misread Internet

Open Educational Resources

YouTube

e-Research

“Content is King” – Digital Libraries

Web Services

Learning Management Systems

Learning Technology Standards

Social Media, e-Portfolios

Smart phones & tablets

Hypertext & Multimedia

World Wide Web

ATC21S

.… … Digital Revolution … … . . …. ..

2012

2011

Paris OER Declaration

2007

2005

2004

2009

2000

1998

1995

1994

1992

2002

1993

Laurillard – Re-Thinking University Teaching

Friesen – Re-Thinking e-Learning Research

Laurillard – Re-Thinking for the Knowledge Society


Key narratives

Key Narratives

The Digital Revolution:

is disruptive & relentless

is transforming teaching & learning

is conducive to self-directed, inquiry-based learning

has enabled convergence(s)

has ushered in a profoundly networked world

demonstrates the success of open technologies & “openness”

demands new skills & competencies

can be classified by various iterations: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, …

marked by moments such as:

“content is king” (2000) -> “data is king” (2013)


5 key topics 2 central themes

5 key topics & 2 central themes


Why sense making

Why Sense-Making?

We all need to make sense of things (routinely)

“structuring the unknown” (Weick)

“a mandate of the human condition” (Dervin)

It is closely related to understanding

Asking why is often integral to it

A term that has found its way into the discourse on digital learning only in recent years (e.g., The Horizon Report 2009)


Why inquiry learning

Why Inquiry & Learning?

Toprobe the role of questioning

How to situate why-questioning in learning theory

The Web’s mainstream tools for discovering and retrieving relevant information are overwhelmingly dominated by a search paradigm that is configured to search for information and facts rather than explanations


Why content metadata

Why Content & Metadata?

Metadata (data that describes or identifies other data or information … or anything) is pervasive in the digital infrastructure (technology, services, content)

Most metadata schemas (to date) are reducible to semantics of who, what, when, & where

How can content relevant to why be discovered?


Why cognitive engagement

Why Cognitive Engagement?

A topic of interest in many disciplines … psychology, cognitive science, education, information systems, human-computer interaction, marketing, etc.

Evidence exists that Web technologies often function as “interruption technologies” (Carr, 2010)

Why-questioning prolongs interaction beyond a keyword search & skimming


Why scaffolding

Why Scaffolding?

A term that has evolved rapidly to now include peer & technology support & interventions in learning

Specialised developments show promise for supporting reflective learning & the why-dimension

E-portfolios

Intelligent tutoring

Automated Question Generation


Information explanation

Information & Explanation

  • Who

  • What

  • When

  • Where

  • Why

  • How

  • If

Information Processing

descriptive‘primitives’ of information retrieval

e.g., DC-Kernel

conditional, motivational or explanative‘primitive’

Knowledge Construction & Understanding

proceduralor rule-based ‘primitives’


Information explanation1

Information & Explanation


The why dimension opening frontiers for digital learning

The Why Dimension


The why dimension

The Why Dimension

Involves five key activities associated with the word why and functions in both reflective and dialogic contexts

Asking why:is concerned with sense-making & critical thinking

Learning why: invokes reasoning skills

Understanding why: constructs plausible conceptualisations

Knowing why: rationalises plausible conceptualisations

Explaining why: enables dialogue & story; elaborates upon plausibility


Contributions consequences 1

Contributions & Consequences (1)

Why-dimension not (yet) explicitly supported by digital technologies

Thewhy-dimension provides theoretical perspective that can inform the development of inquiry-based digital learning, e.g.,

digital interfaces that promote & prolong questioning

digital tools that focus upon explanatory content

development of expanded metadata schemas

The why-dimension broadens the scope of the open agenda

beyond access, intellectual property, public benefit, sharing,& interoperability  opening inquiry

Technology support for the why-dimensionidentified as a strategy for cultivating cognitive engagement in digital learning


Contributions consequences 2

Contributions & Consequences (2)

Why-questioning is concerned with sense-making in which meaning-making does not necessarily take place

Plausibility identified as important during sense-making

(some) constructivist theory may be wrongly placing emphasis upon meaning-making (implications also from Language Action Perspective & the “descriptive fallacy” of speech acts)

Positioning of the why-dimension that aligns with discourse on 21stcentury skills & extends “guided inquiry” (Kuhlthau, 2007)

Sense-making technologies are distinguished from semantic technologies as technologies that explicitly support the why-dimension


Metaphor

Metaphor?

1903: The Wright Brothers made their first flight – 36 metres


Questions

Questions?


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