I’m finally getting a chance to go through some of the data collected from the study of my EC&I 831 graduate course. I absolutely love this passage from former student, Cindy Seibel, who describes her learning experience in the course.
To me this course was a personal journey loosely coupled in a community. I liken it to an island-hopping cruise ship. When we were on the ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays there was an array of activities for us to participate in. Then we would stop at an island, get off and go on a personal investigation. We could sit on the beach and reflect, or go off an investigate something that had been triggered for us on the last ship’s activity. Our reflections and learnings were captured in our blogs and we would seek out each other through those expressions. Others outside the course would also participate in the same way, joining us randomly on the island or the ship. Then we would get back on the ship on Tuesday for a new buffet. So could we have done that with a closed LMS? I don’t think so. The public blogs were absolutely key to this experience. The open wiki was important as it forced us to “put ourselves out there”. That was an important part of the experience. We learned that there is a network out there if we choose to participate. The tools are almost secondary. Connecting to the network was key.
I love the cruise ship analogy. As well, I want to pay close attention to Cindy’s description of a “personal journey loosely coupled in a community.” It is an important distinction.
Apt analogy, if I could get my high school students to see how community enhances their personal journey, I’d be half way there!
I got around to uploading a bunch of papers to Scribd today and linked them into my Drupal site. Here is a report I wrote for a class on ECI 831 – see http://designedtoinspire.com/drupal/node/605 – I haven’t read it for a couple of months, but I think it reads more like a fan letter from a groupie than a “critique”.