Networked Learning Conference 2012 has published many research papers and I’ve been reading them. I used to refer here – in this blog – when someone publishes results about those open courses which I have participated. Now the researcher was Mohsen Saadatmand from University of Helsinki, Finland. Another writer is Kristiina Kumpulainen. They report preliminary findings from two courses, I remember the inquiry, it was nice to answer Mohsen’s questions. Their paper discusses the learning activities and experiences of the participants who are coming from different parts of the world to online networked environments and integrate various tools and digital application in the process of their learning and interactions.
The main research question for this paper is: what is the nature of learning in open and networked learning environments and what learning activities and experiences result from participating in these environments? The study adapted a virtual auto-ethnographic method which sounds very interesting. Perhaps it is something we all participants are using every day.
The study begins with reflection on socio-cultural theoretical frameworks such as social constructivism, communities of practice and connectivism, and a rhizomatic approach to learning in networks and communities (Cormier, 2008, Engestrom, 2007, Tella, 2000). In this part I had difficulties to follow because in my mind those three names have very little in common. Perhaps it is a list of different perspectives. The aim of the research is to look at different emergent and multi-directional learning activities take place in the context of open environments and to explain how open-digital-networked technologies are used by participants of open online courses. Something was told about he latter questions, but emergent learning leaves open and waits for deeper analysis which will be published in the following part. I am eagerly waiting for it!
It is better that you read the original publication, I cannot summarize it here. It is not easy to see what has been said in earlier researches and what is new, I cannot concentrate so well . This must be a step forwards I want to believe so. But learning itself seems to disappear always, it is challenging to grasp …