How hard is it to develop a research method that both matches your theory and created curriculum? What was simple and what was difficult?
The focus of our lesson is creating objects (digital fabrication) using 2D printers. This seems like an easy task to undertake given one of the theories is experiential learning. Hmmmm… not so fast. Trying to get someone to understand how something operates, experiencing first hand the objectives and forming opinions, fact finding, possibly working together with another classmate… sounds easy enough. I see much of this same type of thing happening in many of the “online” courses – let’s just take the content intended for a face to face model and use it. Sounds like it will work – WRONG. Having not ever facilitated an online course I have limited knowledge of the background, but I have been a participant or student and I am still amazed of the quality of delivery, the feedback, the course content. Why does this happen? I lead a ton of webinars and although not the same, there is still a level of social “community” and connectedness. I have even gone to the extent of trying some virtual “make and take” models. Allowing for the experience. In a search for experiential learning and online, I found a wide variety of studies, but it seems that everyone has a different approach to best facilitating this type of learning. It was interesting that many schools identify that there is a gap, but not 100% sure what to do about it. Is it a content problem or a professor problem or maybe a delivery problem or maybe an instructional design problem???
In this article – http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/september/venture-lab-platform-091712.html the authors describe notes:
“The most important part of this platform is that students can learn from their peers,” Saberi said. “The social and experiential aspects of learning must not be diminished by going online; on the contrary, the challenge is how to amplify them online.”
Love this word – amyplify! How many conversations are lost or gone because the social and experiential pieces are lost? In our lesson, I think there were standards and objectives, but I would love to delve into a more creative approach to using this same type of level of interaction. Could students be paired up and use potentially a webcam, video, pictures to amplify their learning and learn from their peers? We invited students to work with a family member, etc. to explore their project, but a potentially more valuable exercise might have been to experience the printer, the lesson and then have discussion with another classmate. What worked? What didn’t? Why? What could you have done differently. As it stands now, our lesson seems to just stop… could their be more learning and conversations?
Here is another interesting article on the subject with focus on constructivism: