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Technology and the Challenges of moving from Formal to Informal Learning. E-Learning Russia 3 June 2010 Professor David Vincent Pro-Vice-Chancellor Strategy & External Affairs. Formal and Informal learning. The nature of informal learning E-Learning and the growth of informal learning

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technology and the challenges of moving from formal to informal learning

Technology and the Challenges of moving from Formal to Informal Learning

E-Learning Russia 3 June 2010

Professor David Vincent

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Strategy & External Affairs

formal and informal learning
Formal and Informal learning
  • The nature of informal learning
  • E-Learning and the growth of informal learning
  • Building the bridge and how to do it
  • 5 challenges of moving between formal and informal
informal vs formal learning
Informal vs Formal Learning…

The terms formal and informal learning have nothing to do with the formality of the learning, but rather with the direction of who controls the learning objectives and goals. In a formal learning environment the teacher or HEI sets the goals and objectives, while informal learning means the learner sets the goals and objectives (Cofer, 2000).

the concept of informal learning
The concept of informal learning...

Informal adult learning is taken up for its own intrinsic value. It encompasses a huge variety of activities: it could be a dance class at a church hall, a book group at a local library, cookery skills learnt in a community centre, a guided visit to a nature reserve or stately home, researching the National Gallery collection on-line, writing a Wikipedia entry or taking part in a volunteer project to record the living history of particular community.

The Learning Revolution, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, 2009

a healthy society is a learning society
A healthy society is a learning society

Informal adult learning:

  • Contributes to the health & well-being of communities
  • Builds confidence and adds to personal fulfilment
  • Provides a route back into education for the low-skilled or those with a negative experience
  • Acts as a stepping stone to further learning, qualifications and more rewarding work
  • In a period of economic downturn helps individuals re-train and re-skill

The Learning Revolution, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, 2009

within not apart from
Within, not apart from
  • ‘Traditional’ formal Higher Education alone cannot meet these challenges
  • To meet the demands of a rapidly increasing and diversifying worldwide student population requiresinnovative approaches whichusee-learningtopromote access to learning and academic programmesthroughout an individual’s lifetime
  • Within this HEIs must recognise the important role of informal learning
take the ou
Take The OU
  • 250,000 people are currently studying with the OU, nearly all students are studying part-time
  • 10,000 students have disabilities
  • A third of UK undergraduate students have entry qualifications lower than those normally demanded by other UK universities
  • 20% of new UK undergraduates live in the 20% most deprived areas of the country
  • About 70% of undergraduates are in full-time employment
  • More than 50,000 students are sponsored by their employers
  • Most OU courses are available throughout Europe - some available in many other parts of the world
  • More than 25,000 OU students live outside the UK
  • The OU is ranked among the top UK universities for the quality of its teaching
revolutionary opportunities
Revolutionary opportunities
  • Apart from our formal learning pedigree, we are also innovators in informal learning.
  • The opportunities:
    • Reaching informal learners on a worldwide scale
    • Bringing informal learners into formal HE
  • OU examples:
    • BBC
    • OpenLearn
    • YouTube, Facebook, iGoogle
    • iTunesU
    • Second Life
    • SocialLearn
how is openlearn being used
How is OpenLearn being used?
  • Over 17.5m downloads since it started
  • Over 300,000 visitors a month
  • 90% new to the OU
  • 50% international
  • OU students and prospective students
  • Global HE community
  • Widening participation
  • Work-based learning
  • Schools & colleges & prisons
  • 6,000 registrations through site
slide14

New Channels to reach learner? With rich / AV content?

http://podcast.open.ac.uk

http://www.youtube.com/ou

http://itunes.open.ac.uk

14

slide15

Social Video and YouTube

a community solution

YouTube users can distribute our videos by embedding them in other websites, often blogs and social networks. We can have a conversation with our viewers via comments, contests, groups, asynchronous chat and bulletins.

Viewers can feedback to us by marking a video as a favourite, sending us a message, adding our channel as a friend or subscribing.

Playlists to connect to others content! Bring your uploaded video into our playlist

http://www.youtube.com/ou

slide17
The iTunes music store, open 6 years & sold 6 Billion songs

75 Million credit card accounts

Powerful mobile synch

iTunes U. open -2007June 2008 UKOU + 2 …

open university on itunes u
Open University on iTunes U

Over 17.5 million downloads.

Over 1.7 million visitors downloaded files.

Currently averaging over 295,000 downloads a week.

Over 1 Terabyte each week.

89 % of visitors from outside the UK.

1 in 14 go on to visit the OU website.

OU nearly always featured by Apple, in top 10 and often top three most popular.

slide19

http://kmi.open.ac.uk/projects/microscope

S276 Geology

Open University

19

19

19

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beyond social networking
Beyond social networking…

From:

  • people like me
  • “friends”
  • informal chat
  • quick facts / info. exchange
  • simplistic numeric ratings
  • tag clouds
  • shopping recommendations

To:

  • people who challenge/stretch me
  • learning peers/mentors
  • learning conversations
  • learning journeys/depth
  • endorsements and critiques
  • meaningfully connected ideas
  • learning recommendations
the opportunity the crisis of the formal system
The Opportunity: The Crisis of the Formal system
  • Formal learning cannot do this:
  • The Cost of Expansion
  • The Excluded Classes
  • The Migrant Populations
  • The Lost Generations
5 challenges when moving from formal to informal learning
5 challenges when moving from formal to informal learning…
  • The student journey
  • Technology and quality
  • Unbundling the formal model
  • Globalising the formal model
  • The sustainable university
challenge 1 facilitating the student journey
Challenge 1: Facilitating the Student Journey
  • Global Online
  • OpenLearn and BBC sites as recruiters
  • OpenLearn as preparation
  • APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning
  • Integrating Web 2.0 learning elements into courses
challenge 2 technology and quality
Challenge 2: Technology and Quality

‘The notions of collective intelligence and mass amateurization are redefining scholarship as we grapple with issues of top-down control and grassroots scholarship.’ (Horizon Report)

  • The University of the People
  • The Assessment of e-learning and informal learning
  • EADTU and E-xcellence
  • Fraud and impersonation
challenge 3 unbundling the formal model
Challenge 3: Unbundling the Formal Model
  • Recruitment, Curriculum, Teaching, Guidance, Assessment, Award
  • Specialised Services by Specialised Bodies
  • London University External
  • Varsity and UNISA
  • Liverpool and Laureate
  • The Textbook Providers e.g. Pearson
challenge 4 globalising the formal model
Challenge 4: Globalising the Formal Model

With the growing availability of tools to connect learners

and scholars all over the world — online collaborative

workspaces, social networking tools, mobiles, voice-over-

IP, and more — teaching and scholarship are

transcending traditional borders more and more all the

time.” (page 5) Education has gone global (The Horizon

Report (2009)

But, technology is not as global as Education needs…

challenge 5 the sustainable university
Challenge 5: The sustainable university

Public/Charitable Funding

Customer

Mainstream University

Business