22 avril 2009

LMS: passer à autre chose !

Social software: E-learning beyond learning management systems:

Fantastique texte sur le design pédagogique : tout est à lire et relire !
Je retiens :

"This article will discuss the use of centralized and integrated LMS and argue that they, within a framework of a social constructivist pedagogy, should play only a minor role within organization of e-learning. It is argued that social software tools can support a social constructivist approach to e-learning by providing students with personal tools and engaging them in social networks. Using social software in this way requires that organization of e-learning moves beyond centralized and integrated LMS and towards a variety of separate tools which are used and managed by the students in relation to their self-governed work.

Recently, the emergence of social software has questioned the use of integrated LMS.

However, the discussion will find no answer, unless it is placed within a context of pedagogy. Use and organization of tools within e-learning can be approached in different ways depending on the chosen pedagogy (Dalsgaard, 2005). Different pedagogies will have different things to say about the problem of integration vs. separation. A discussion of the educational value of different tools must use a pedagogy as a starting point. The usefulness of different tools in support of learning depends on which learning activities the tools should support.
Social software

Students' self-governed and problem-solving activities are considered the focal point of a learning process. This conception of a learning process means that it is not possible to structure or pre-determine the students' activities in a learning process – the activities must develop on the basis of the student's own problem-solving. As a consequence, a learning environment needs, in the words of Land & Hannafin (1996), to be open-ended. An open-ended learning environment provides students with multiple possibilities for activities. A similar approach is outlined by Jonassen (1999) who presents a model for designing 'constructivist learning environments'. Students' activities in constructivist learning environments are initiated by a problem or project. Surrounding the student are different tools and resources which support the student's problem-solving process.

The term management system is meant to indicate a limited use of an LMS. Whereas LMS refer to systems which organize and manage e-learning activities within a system, a management system is used only for administrative purposes. LMS are well suited for managing student enrolment, exams, assignments, course descriptions, lesson plans, messages, syllabus, basic course materials, etc. However, self-governed and problem-based activities are not very well supported by LMS. LMS are to a large extent developed for the management and delivery of learning – and not for self-governed activities of students. Learning processes of the kind described in the social constructivist approach outlined in this article cannot be managed. What can be managed, however, is the administrative aspects of a course. Thus, a management system is limited to organizing administrative issues. Anderson (2005b) describes the potential of social software as "overlay networks"

The approach to e-learning presented in this article first of all suggests that focus be moved away from learning management systems. Instead of integrating all functions within a system, the approach suggests making available several separate tools to support different needs of students – in other words, providing students with a tool box of different opportunities.

As stated, learning cannot be managed. Learning can, however, be facilitated. The educational potential of social software is to facilitate self-governed, problem-based and collaborative activities by supplying students with loosely joined personal tools for independent construction, and by engaging them in social networks. This approach to e-learning empowers students by giving them the ability to navigate and participate on the web and to use it actively to solve problems. It is important to stress that the argument for using separate tools instead of an integrated system is a pedagogical argument. The argument is that the learning activities of students cannot be structured or pre-determined. Choice of a variety of tools will better support the required flexibility of open-ended activities than any one integrated system.

The approach to e-learning presented above does not suggest simply letting students loose on the web. However, the approach neither suggests confining the activities of students to a system. Instead, it is important to support students' independent work and actively facilitate relations between collaborating students and also between students and teachers connected to the same course.

A student-centred approach to e-learning is approached by:

1. using a management system for administrative issues,
2. offering students personal tools for construction, presentation, reflection, collaboration, etc.,
3. facilitating networks between students within the same course, and
4. facilitating networks between students and other people working within the field.

Following this approach, an e-learning course is initiated by the formulation of problems for the students' self-governed work. These may include small problems which may be solved within a week, or they may be problems which form the basis of students' work throughout an entire course. The point is that during the run of a course, students work on problems. The learning processes do not take place within the management system, but develop through the self-governed work of students which is manifested in personal tools such as weblogs or wikis. Separate from the system, the student has different personal tools for construction, presentation, collaboration, etc. In relation to self-governed, problem-based and collaborative activities, the most important tools to the learning process are personal tools. They directly support the active process involved in working on problems and continuously constructing a solution. A personal tool is a manifestation of the work of students. In other words it can be seen as a manifestation of the learning process. This means that students' participation in networks is motivated by the process directed at solving a problem. Networks are secondary to personal tools.

the students do not necessarily work on the same problems, they do share a common context and subject area. This means that their problem based work and their personal references are probably relevant to each other.

"Self-organised learning networks provide a base for the establishment of a form of education that goes beyond course and curriculum centric models, and envisions a learner-centred and learner controlled model of lifelong learning."

Source : http://twitter.com/malinkaiva

La conclusion me laisse un peu sur ma faim : il faut aller jusqu'au bout et agir des structures en P2P !

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