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Essentials for Blended Learning. The University and its Disciplines. You and Your Action Research Project. ICT, Pedagogy and the Curriculum. Finding that weakly tied pairs are bound only by a medium established by others suggests that this medium lays the foundation for weak ties. But, since there are no ties before the medium is established, I have suggested that such a medium creates a latent tie structure , i. Using these media, and posting to the medium rather than to other individuals, provides visibility and awareness of all class members, which then affords weak tie formation.
The mandated media provide a substrate of connection among class members. Media such as asynchronous bulletin boards or synchronous chat provide visibility of all class members and an easy way to get to see and know others, at least at a weak level.
While a major reconfiguring is expected for weak ties, such a change in medium is likely to have minimal impact on strong ties. Strongly tied individuals not only have more reason to make the effort to continue their connection and are likely to work together to do so, they also tend to use more media already, and thus can continue their connection via other means.
For more on latent tie theory and the studies behind it, see Haythornthwaite, , a, b, Thus, while technology provides part of the equation, there is an equally important social component of participation that matters. In many grassroots initiatives, it takes little to bootstrap such action, with voluntary participants rapidly making their presence known and visible online. In reality, even these now popular social software sites had to start and build up a critical mass of participants. Latent tie theory helps explain the role of different kinds of media and different kinds of social implementations accompanying such media.
Without such direction, without some kind of social impetus, the medium is likely to remain unused and unable to sustain a social network. The theory also predicts that where such media already exist, change will have its greatest impact on current and future weak ties connections.
Thus, when implementing innovative information and communication technologies, consideration needs to be given equally to both what the technology enables and what it disables in terms of access to resources, exposure to others, and formation of social ties. It addresses the way in which knowledge is built and applied by learners who stay in their home settings while taking online courses Kazmer, a. It takes into account the way this knowledge is used, distributed, and adjusted in relation to ties students already have to their communities, family and friends, and members of clubs, social, civic and volunteer groups Kazmer and Haythornthwaite, When students come together online to learn, they bring with them and share each remote workplace.
As each workplace becomes a part of the learning community, there is also the potential for it to be shaped by that community. Students not only bring their workplace into the online class, but also bring what they learn in their courses into the community that they know well and that knows them. The idea of embeddedness derives from Granovetter who developed the concept to explain the relationship between economic action and social structure.
This idea of embeddedness serves as the underpinning to the association between online learning and social structure described here. Before continuing it is necessary to clarify terminology. In order to be clear here, two different terms will be used to distinguish between off and online worlds. Community will be used to refer to communities local to the student, and social world from Strauss, will be used to refer to the shared online engagement that exists with other online learners. In both arenas students engage in meaningful, lasting relationships, sharing ideas, working together, and supporting each other to reach their goals.
Thus, the distinction is not technical. Further, there need be no intentional interaction between arenas: As the friendships turn into professional networks, they continue to rely on a variety of communications media to provide access to existing relationship ties Kazmer, , ; Nardi, et al. Students bring their own knowledge, share it with others, combine it with the course materials and the opinions of others, and come away with more knowledge than if each individual had worked solely with the course materials. However, it is important to ensure through assessment and evaluation that individual students can later apply the knowledge independently.
However, assessing applied student performance can be a problem because it calls on employers to take on the task of academic assessment, and because creating objective measures of applied learning is difficult Andresen, et al. Traditional students taking a practicum or internship are allowed leeway for mistakes and are expected to learn as they go. An embedded learner being paid full wages to do a job may not enjoy the tolerance for error or the explicit instructional support provided in structured experiential learning situations Granovetter, , p. On the other hand, a general resistance to change, no matter what the basis, can provide a necessary and useful inertia to prevent change being implemented for its own sake.
Although a CEL student may benefit from the synergy of online interaction and local practice, some who stay in familiar environments while they learn online miss the opportunity to experience new physical and geographical places and to examine their home environments from a distant perspective Hearn and Scott, Some may even experience pressure to focus their learning on the needs of the local community rather than the broad variety of concepts offered by taking full advantage of academic offerings see Wilson and Bagley, However, not all can participate in educational opportunities if they have to leave jobs or families, and students who stay put continue to benefit their communities as they continue to provide services and support.
While engaged with their community they can focus their academic choices toward local community and enhance local practice. This brief overview presents some of the essentials of CEL, a new perspective on online learners and their relations with embedding local communities and online learning social worlds.
While the model was developed from observation of graduate student education, the learning interactions discussed here are likely to appear and flourish in any collaborative learning setting.
They engage in an emergent and iterative process of leading and learning by providing and receiving information, experiences, and opinions to and from fellow students and others. Moreover, this leadership begins to be demonstrated beyond the learning community. Effective teaching practice in graduate education reflects these needs, particularly those of interaction.
How to write a great review. At first there is a shift into unfamiliar circumstances. This dynamic process of braiding depends on trust between the participants, plus humour and passion; it builds over years with knowledge of past exchanges that cannot be communicated easily to the outsider. Shumar editors , Item s unavailable for purchase. University of Chicago Press. These new forms include e-mail, video conferencing, Web CT, and computer conferencing.
As McKeachie, et al. Equally important is that learners take responsibility for their learning and interaction: This kind of active, responsible interdependence is also emphasized in professional realms, and thus, where graduate education promotes this kind of learning it also provides effective experience for professional life. Yet, this will not be fully achieved without emphasizing collaboration in such settings, e. Within the program, students act as both givers and receivers of encouragement, perspectives, information, and questions.
LEEP students deem sharing facets of diversity — particularly dimensions of geography, age, and parental status — as beneficial to learning. Students thus are both willing to give lead and receive learn from other students. In terms of collective engagement, as givers and receivers, students have ample opportunities to exchange information and create learning.
As part of their experiences in LEEP, students encounter challenges, which may be considered counterforces. These include individually and collectively based issues. In the context of the learning environment, which is filled with largely positive forces, these types of struggles are often considered as opportunities to develop new competencies and build understanding.
In LEEP, learning extends beyond classroom and program boundaries. As part of program exit surveys, students provided varied examples of how they shared their learning in professional settings. Statements illustrating a range of beyond school applications perspective, action, attitude are presented below:. Within this online learning environment, students have ample opportunities to share encouragement, perspectives, information, and questions.
Learning and leading is supported and facilitated by existing and emerging community structures e. Here, a sense of community is promoted and continually reinforced. Students build academic, professional, and technical knowledge simultaneously. At first there is a shift into unfamiliar circumstances. In an environment concerned with developing leadership, there are many forces at work. Leaders rely on many kinds of learning as well as abilities to function across varied levels of complexity.
For example, Gardner , p. A multimodal model facilitates growth within individual learners and throughout the community. Here, many factors integrally contribute to the development of the learning environment, in particular, as described in this study, the constituents. Unified forces lead to synergetic advancement. As in this example, when transformations occur, individual sensitivities shift toward collective sensibilities.
Distributed Learning: Social and Cultural Approaches to Practice [Mary R. Lea, Kathy Nicoll] on cowaxutiry.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. At a time of. Distributed Learning: Social and cultural approaches to practice. Lea, Mary R. and Nicoll, Kathy eds. (). Distributed Learning: Social and.
Capacities are extended and new opportunities emerge. Within a multimodal learning context, such as LEEP, when a similar merger occurs, students are presented with many potential opportunities, and the time and space to learn and lead and lead and learn. Braided learning is a theory that has emerged from the observation of modes of online learning as the MirandaNet community of professionals has matured in digital competence. The MirandaNet Fellowship is a professional organization of educators, researchers, policy makers, and developers of software and hardware who have a uniting conviction that teaching and learning can be transformed by the use of digital technologies.
Established in , the Fellows began their association online in These processes reveal how learning by professionals, for the purpose of strengthening both the profession and individual understanding, unfolds in the online context. There are three identifiable stages in the process professionals in MirandaNet adopt and practice in their professional, online, learning.
In the first stage the community engages in creating a braided text online that supports diversity and change of opinions. In the third stage, accomplished fellows take the initiative to set up working parties to explore a subject in more depth. At this point the participants become active professionals, using collaborative knowledge to build new theories and policies that will impact their profession in the longer term Preston, The following draws the elements of this braided learning process together in more detail through an exploration of MirandaNet practice.
This concept of a Community of Practice CoP is key to understanding how braided learning works online. The term CoPs was coined by Lave and Wenger with acknowledgement that it refers to a human process of working and learning together that has been operating for centuries e. MirandaNet is such a community of practice.
Members decide on their learning agenda rather than waiting passively to be taught from a curriculum decided by others. In MirandaNet, this active practice moves further out into the community as educators in the more mature stage of their collaborative, braided learning come to influence professional policy and create theories and policies of their own.
Braided learning joins other models and research that describe stages in online learning e. Braided learning does have in common with these models stages relating to access, motivation and socialization in joining the community, exchange of information and experience relevant to the joint venture, development of joint practice, and development of shared meaning. Braided learning processes begin to appear when members engage with MirandaNet, revealing who they are. As a community, the relevance of such disclosures was recognized after a few years, and profiles for members, which would now be called blogs, were introduced in The CoP as a whole began to see and benefit from this kind of publication in Although braided learning begins in these stages, its most important contributions come in the stage of collaborative knowledge building.
Thus, Braided Learning as a theory of learning practice most significantly addresses the way in which knowledge is jointly construction through online texts created by and for their fellow CoP members. In MirandaNet, this kind of learning has been observed since , when the community had gained a mature capacity to use the listserv to enrich their professional learning. Braided text The first evidence of Braided Learning is the appearance of braided text.
Debates can be started by any member on any subject relevant to the group. In these braided digital exchanges, members interweave their comments, judgments and evidence to create shared insights, which have influence on current professional thinking, formally or informally. Text is the primary medium of exchange in MirandaNet as it provides a means that is accessible to as many users as possible; it is possible that, in the future, communities may see braiding occurring in use of other means of communication. This dynamic process of braiding depends on trust between the participants, plus humour and passion; it builds over years with knowledge of past exchanges that cannot be communicated easily to the outsider.
This kind of online closed publication can support contradictions and disagreements. Conflicts are not necessarily smoothed over or resolved in the pursuit of greater understanding. Nor is the style homogenised, as it might be in a more public presentation. Individual approaches can be recognised which is not possible in official publications or reports.
This stage of building a collaborative online text is a form of learning by collaborative knowledge building. Members learn by participating in this jointly owned braided text, and by observing the process. There is evidence of learning when particular participants post about their increase in knowledge on the topic or about a change of opinion as a result of the online debate. Braiding, in the form of posting evidence of learning, is of key importance to this CoP.
Without posting about learning, i. Braiding is important as more than an image; weaving individual threads of text together makes a stronger knowledge fabric, one that represents, and creates the representation of the community as a whole. Learning to braid text In MirandaNet senior Fellows contribute by promoting braiding.
Look up in Google Scholar Abstract During the last decade, new technologies have resulted in new forms for delivering learning, together with new terms for describing them - such as "distributed learning". With contributions by some of the leading international authors in the area,Distributed Learningprovides a theoretical framework for practitioners who are new to the field of distributed learning Item Type: Edited Book Copyright Holders: