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Wisdom is not the product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it.

- Albert Einstein

Rich Landscapes of Learning (including MOOCs) a Perspective from the Learning Sciences
Gerhard Fischer Center for LifeLong Learning & Design (L3D), Department of Computer Science and Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado, Boulder

EMOOCs Meeting, Lausanne, February 2014


Gerhard Fischer 1 EMOOCs, 2014

My Background:

! Center for LifeLong Learning & Design (L3D) founded in 1993

! one of our objectives: to create socio-technical environments in which people want to learn rather than have to learn

Gerhard Fischer

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The Envisionment and Discovery Collaboratory (EDC)

Gerhard Fischer

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Frames of References for MOOCs


! many of the reflections about MOOCs are based on
- economic perspectives (scalability, productivity, being free) and - technology perspectives (platforms supporting large number of students in online environments, enrichment components such as forums, peer-to-peer learning support, automatic grading, ..)

! our/my research objective:


to create a learning science perspective by putting MOOCs into a larger context with other approaches to learning and education - inspiration: Learning Webs from Ivan Illich (chapter 6 in: Illich, I. (1971) Deschooling Society) outlining educational systems that o provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives o empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them o furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known

Gerhard Fischer

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Rich Landscapes of Learning


why what
! ! ! !

! solve a problem ! pass a test ! interest and passion

core competencies basic skills powerful tools personally meaningful topics

who
! ! ! !

beginner intermediate student worker

multi-dimensional aspects of learning


when where
! ! ! !

how

! instructionist ! problem-based ! self-directed

with whom

! indidual ! communities ! cultures of participation

! school ! lifelong learning ! on demand

formal institutions informal environments face-to-face online

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Specific Dimensions

Gerhard Fischer

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Learning About versus Learning to Be

! learning about:
- focused on the accumulation of intellectual capital realized in a curriculum - stresses the communication of culturally central theories, facts, and skills - claim: MOOCs can be effective and are often well suited for learning about (e.g., learners getting introduced to domains of knowledge that are new to them, e.g., Math 101, Physics 101, Design 101, etc.)

! learning to be:
- not teaching about mathematics, physics, or design " but: what it means to be a mathematician, a physicist, a designer, a Wikipedian, a skier, or a surfer - in our Center for Lifelong Learning & Design (L3D): o Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program o horizontal and vertical integration - claim: learning to be is facilitated by letting learners engage with communities

Gerhard Fischer

EMOOCs, 2014

Learning When the Answer is Known versus Learning When the Answer is Not Known
! learning when the answer is known
- domains: existing knowledge in different disciplines (specifically in the natural sciences) - the answer to the problems discussed in courses exists - the answer is known by the teacher - the core challenge is for learners to learn what the teacher knows

! learning when the answer is not known


- domains: wicked, ill-defined design problems (specifically design problems) - all participants engage in collaborative knowledge construction - a correct, final answer does not exist - teacher, learner ! f{person} " teacher, learner = f{context}

Gerhard Fischer

EMOOCs, 2014

MOOCS versus Self-Directed, Design-Based, Active Collaborative Learning

MOOCs

SDACLs

massive (scaling up to very large numbers is personal interactions are best facilitated with possible and supported) small numbers of participants open for learners as consumers online with global reach pre-planned: designers create course content, interaction, and support resources well before any learner arrives in a course (courses are fixed) learning about learning when the answer is known knowledge transmission emphasis and focus is on teaching, curriculum, covering content open for learners as active contributors face-to-face with local participation situated: real-time modifications of learning resources and social suggestions (environments are seeds evolving by active learner participation) learning to be learning when the answer is not known collaborative knowledge construction emphasis and focus is on self-directed learning, passion, intrinsic motivation

role of teachers: sage on the stage, provide role of teachers: guide on the side, information, superstars are promoted member of a community of learners

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My Personal Interest

! to create arguments grounded in the sciences theories for the respective contributions of
- online learning (MOOCs, open educational resources) - core competencies of residential, research=based universities

! basic assumptions
- teaching a class in a residential university with more than 100, 150 or 200 students is not fundamentally different from a MOOC - ..

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Our Research Agenda to Focus on the Core Competencies of Residential, Research-Based Universities (complementing MOOCs)
! Cultures of Participation migrating from passive consumers to active contributors ! Meta-Design fostering and supporting active knowledge construction; transcending the information given ! Learning-on-Demand allowing and motivating learners to engage in authentic, self-directed learning activities ! Courses-as Seeds flipped classroom, student as active contributors, peer-to-peer learning, peer assessment, self assessment ! Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship learning to be; vertical integration, horizontal integration, fostering enculturation

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