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Page history last edited by suifaijohnmak 15 years ago

1.  How about keeping the questionnaire on email only for the time being, to maintain confidence?  We'll not post it to the Pbwiki/Moodle Forum/ until we are ready to release it to everyone for the survey.  This will also allow a significant samples of participants (hopefully 30-40% bloggers) to be included into the survey.
  • 1. I think its essential for the validity of the research that nothing about the questionnaire or interview questions is seen by people outside the research team before these tools are used.
    • Agreed by John 
      • 1. (validity) agreed;
2. It may be worthwhile to brainstorm some of the ideas on this survey research either via email or the pbwiki, as it is now a private one.  So we don't have to worry about our ideas being "leaked out" or "contaminated" by the public, as only pbwiki members could read them. 
  • 2. So long as the research is not compromised then it is possible to discuss it openly on the wiki. I think we will only be able to do this at the research findings stage - although I think it would be useful to share a bibliography and ask Ning members to contribute 
    • 2. (what to share in public) perhaps in addition to bibliography,

      also issues of data acquisition, could be public (Matthias)

    • 2. Keep the research ideas discussion on this prviate wiki, but we could share our research process with other research groups if there are others who want to do research and are interested in such sharing.  This will showcase our commitment and support to our learning and research ConnectivismEducationLearning Ning community.  Also, we could explore how other research groups/communities are doing such research. By John

3. Also, I could set up another pbwiki easily to serve this purpose if necessary.  I have also got an edublog set up (but not used) and if you like we could use that.
  • 3. I have concerns about making the Ning wiki private. I think it goes against the spirit of openess and community that a connectivism community should be trying to promote. On the other hand I think we will soon start losing all the valuable information that is in these emails, if we carry on like this. So ideally I think we would have a completely separate and private wiki for the research team only, until we start to discuss the findings. Another pbwiki for private research team conversations would be ideal. What do you both think?
    • How about me creating such a private research wiki? Say tomorrow.  What would you like it be called? Blogging as a connection and learning tool? Please note that there may be other researches on LMS (Moodle) as a connection and learning platform could be done as well (This is an easier project as you could find most statistics available and I have been actively involved in the Moodle forum) I will discuss it in further details in a separate email. by John
      • 3. (a new Pbwiki) agreed; its name does not matter for me, it

        could be short and cryptic.

      • 3. Pbwiki now set up.  By John

4.1 My first guess on survey is: we will be pretty lucky if there are 30 responses from the bloggers of CCK08, i.e. around 1/3 of the participants (out of the 90 plus blogs) to respond to the initial survey (1st questionnaire).  And may be 1/2 of the respondents (15 participants) would allow for the further interview (2nd questionnaire).   As some of the participants are coming from an non English speaking background, any interview conducted has to take this into consideration.  So the 2n questionnaire may need to be completed first by the respondent before the interview, whereas the interview is used for the clarification and elaboration of the responses to the questions.  Besides, we may need to advise the time that is expected in an interview, say a maximum of 15 minutes - with a statement such as "We can further assure you that it will only take about fifteen minutes of your valuable time to complete our interview with you". 
  • 4.1. I think if we don't get enough responses to the survey we might have to abandon the project, unless there is enough information in the blogs and forums to continue and we could get consent to use this information. I think that 15 minutes would not be long enough for an interview. My experience is that once people get going they have a lot to say and that it takes time for them to open up. In my very limited experience with interviews I have always allowed an hour! But it's early days yet to be deciding on this and we can see first how many 'takers' we get.  
    •  We could still research based on the analysis of existing blog posts and may be a few focus group or forum discussion on Ning.  I know that any interview must take at least half an hour, but am worry that people could be time conscious and would therefore refuse to take part in the interview.  by John
      • 4.1. (data and interview) I have not yet fully understood the

        role of the qualitative investigation in addition to the

        quantitative questionnaire. Is it meant for our own understanding,

        to help us come up with the hypotheses? How would that work if

        the interviews are AFTER the questionnaire? Is a two-level

        approach needed?

        I could also imagine just one level (questionnaire) with two

        levels of detail of the expected findings, one coarser

        hypothesis (say, blogs vs. forums preference is determined by

        social/ power/ personality-style AND cognitive styles), and

        one finer hypothesis about the KIND of cognitive styles. If

        data were to poor, the detailed level would have to be discarded.

  •  It was my suggestion to follow a questionnaire with interviews - but only because that is the way I am used to working. In the past I have used questionnaires to gather the quantitative data, but also to help identifiy the issues, which I've then explored further with in depth interviews. However, I'm not wedded to this approach - although I think some sort of triangulation is needed (i.e. cross checking from one source to another). Would more than level in the questionnaire do this?
    • I did not want to suggest a different structure of the questionnaire, I just did not understand the role of the interview. But triangulation is a plausible answer.
    • When I did my MSc (Eng) dissertation, I used the same questionnaire for survey and interview.  This will allow for easy analysis and consolidation of findings.  However, in our research, it depends on the time allowed for the interview, and so the questionnaire for the interview may include some more probing questions. The interview would dig deep into the respondents' perspectives by asking "what makes you think that way? or why?" - i.e. the underlying reasons behind the answers.  Normally this could be revealed using probing questions as mentioned above, which normally followed those of the open questions in the questionnaire.  The interviewer needs to be tactful in assisting the respondents to elaborate on the reasons. By John
    • I like the idea of different levels within one questionnaire. It would have to be very well designed to get data about cognitive styles! Were you thinking Matthias that a questionnaire collecting basic data about numbers of posts etc. is not necessary and that we should go straight to the deeper level?
      • No, the basic data are important, and if they are not in the questions, we had to determine them manually from the web, whichever is easier.
      • A few questions relating to learning styles should be able to establish the relationship between learning styles and type of  bloggers (see my post on what makes you a blogger? on http://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com).  I would suggest this to be explored more deeply during the interview questions to verify the relationship qualitatively. By John
  • Could you say a little bit more about what you know about cognitive styles? I wanted to do a dissertation on this for my Masters, but my tutor wouldn't let me. He said it would be impossible to get any worthwhile data and was all too woolly (this was a long time ago though and he's retired now!)
    • I think I should start a separate page for this, which will probably not get finished tonight.
    • See my response to you on cognitive style - original by Matthias.  There are links to learning styles. Edited by John
4.2 In the blogging survey, it may be necessary to include a question asking about participants' methods of connection or communication or learning: apart from blogging, and the reasons for choosing them.  I think Mike has done one in the CCK08 course with some responses (may be around 30).  We could have a check on the findings on Mike's blog too.
  • 4.2. I missed Mike's blog posts about this. I'll have to check them.
  • The CCK08 course is overflowing with data. The difficulty will be in keeping focussed and not allowing the research to get so broad that the analysis of findings becomes very laborious and difficult. I think we may need to identify some boundaries round the research and stick to them, so I'm not sure if in order to know more about the blogging experience we also need to know more about other forms of communication. What do you think? Ah! I see I have already said this below ;-)
    • Agreed, not extending the scope.
    • Agreed.  Stay with blogging now.  Consider other forms of communication for another research project (PhD) after this one? By John
4.3 Survey on non-bloggers: As Matthias as pointed out, there are some who are non-bloggers, and it would be good to include them in the survey in order to know their reasons for not blogging.  These are the participants who stayed as lurkers (legitimate peripheral participants) throughout the course or those who don't see much value in continuing the course after 1 or 2 weeks.  I would suspect that most of these participants wouldn't be responding at all when sent with the survey.  There may be 5% (30) responses out of 540 (total from the forum registrants) who may complete and return if the questionnaire is easy to complete.  So just a few questions relating to reasons why they don't blog, and their alternative ways of connecting and communicating with others in the learning process, i.e. Moodle forum discussion, FB, social book markings, tagging or OLDaily, SL, and reading of blogs etc. will do.
  • 4.3. Yes - I have also been thinking about how we will get responses from people who preferred other forms of communication to blogging in the questionnaire. It depends on the focus of our overall question. If we are wanting to find out why people chose to blog rather than post to the forums, then we can focus on bloggers - but if we want to find out why some people preferred forums to blogs and vice versa then we need to target both groups. I haven't cleared this in my own mind yet. As Matthias says - we need to clarify our research hypothesis, then other questions will fall into place. What are your thoughts on this? 
    • See my other posts: A comparison study of LMS (Moodle Forum) versus Blog in e-learning (or as learning and connection tools) - A Case Study on CCK08.   There were already lots of discussion on Moodle Forum and Blogs on the Moodle, just to data-mine a bit to extract the main points, coupled with statistics.  by John
      • 4.3 (non-bloggers) Should we concentrate on the prounounced

        bloggers/ non-bloggers, or on the border line cases, like those

        who dropped after a few weeks, or those who were equally

        active in both blogs and forums? (Lisa is an example of this

        last type, and it's hard to say what her preference is since

        her tools "portfolio" includes blogs and microblogs, so forums

        might not play a contrasting role but an intermediate role

        which is not too important for her.)

        John: you mentioned another post, but I couldn't find it

        without its URL.

      • Here are the URL: http://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com/2009/0/07/what-is-the-purpose-of-blogging, http://designing.flexiblelearning.net.au/gallery/activities/blogs.htm 

          (which highlights the features of blogs), and the other under the title of What makes you a blogger ?

      • For the other one on Comparison - I have to search again in my blog/forum.  Sorry for this hasty comments. But Jenny's post on the comparison is fantastic
  • I am interested in the reasons behind the choice made between blogging and forums -i.e. the preferred form of communication, even if people participated in both. I think Heli's comment on my blog today is an interesting one. She clearly felt very uncomfortable in the forums.
    • That is a good focus decision. I think it suggests focussing on the 44 pronounced bloggers (and perhaps some similar forum fans) but to skip the more problematic swappers and undecided?
    • I have sent you both an email on my overview impression on CCK08 (private and confidential), but if you want, I could upload it onto our email correspondence.  I think it is important for us to consider both the individual's perception of such course, and the big picture (issues and solutions) of MOOC.  Blogging is only one of the learning and communication tools.  We need to understand the system dynamics as a result of the interactions between participants in a network and a course, the instructional design, the instructional techniques, the instructors and guest speakers, the learning media (LMS), the different ICT (learning and communication) tools, the networks created.  We could then gain a better understanding of the choice made by the learners (in the tools/platform, whom to network, PLE used) within the system, and the impact of such choice on MOOC education and learning .  To understand the MOOC within the complex adaptive ecology or digital ecology that Roy mentioned in our Community Network. by John
5. I have thought of using a focus group to further explore some of the questions to be finalised in the 1st or interview survey.  Normally focused group would be designed to explore the interests of the customers and could also be used for the pilot testing of survey questionnaire.  We could organise a mini-Adobe connect, UStream, Elluminate, DimDim, Skype, or Ning session for a few potential participants.  These could take the form of a chat in the chat room (typing in of responses or comments on on FB or our Ning Network).  We could try one ourselves with a sample research topic if you like.   Just pick a time and we could start it in a particular media: FB/Ning.  I have tried such methods on FB with other participants and it was fun.  So easy.
  • 5. Yes - we might be able to triangulate the research by using an additional research tool - a focus group might be one way - although given that Matthias is not keen on synchronised communication, an alternative asynchronous method might be preferable. I think I have already suggested somewhere that we could ask people to do a piece of reflective writing - not sure what response we would get to this - or how easy it would be to analyse - or even if it's worth thinking about!
    • Excellent point by John
      • 5. (Focus group) Please do not accomodate to my aversion for

        synchronous tools! If you chose asynchronous, reflective

        writing instead, this could mean a severe skew towards the


      • I am not experienced with focus groups - although I have been thinking about whether a questionnaire should be piloted. The problem is that I think our response to the questionnaire might be small and therefore we don't want to 'use people up' so to speak, by including them elsewhere. Does this make sense? Could you say a little more about your thinking on this John?

        • Great that you thought of it, "use people up".

        • We are already that Focus Group, if we could think outside the squares and pull ourselves out as researchers for a while.  Pilot testing is important to ensure the questions are succinct and easy to understand.  We could also pilot test between ourselves, or ask a friend or relative to comment. Agreed that we better not to "use up too many people" now.

6. Again, as everyone is busy these days, we could just enjoy the research, and not to worry too much about the timing at this stage.  It may be good if each of us pop in some ideas - similar to the brainstorming, on this email. 
  • 6. I think we might find it easier when we move off email onto a wiki - so that we can stick to email for short communications. 
    • Yes, I will set up a wiki tomorrow (as mentioned in point 3) by John 
      • 6. (no hurry, move to wiki) agreed
  • A big thank you John for all the work you have done setting up the wikis. I don't like to think of you working until 3.00 am. As Matthias says - there's no rush.
    • Big thanks from me, as well. And I hope your son's exam went well!
    • Thanks for your regards. We have now got this private wiki.  My son's examination went well, he would be having his crown by late April to May 09.  By John 
7. I would start the literature research sometimes next week and provide you with an update right after.  I will also include the references into our Pbwiki. 
  • 7. Yes - starting on a literature search would be good John. I was also thinking about actually sitting in the university library next week (with real books!). I have also done a bit of a trawl through the Moodle forums today and I'll post up what I found soon.
    • Let's move to the private wiki once it's set up
      • 7. (literature/ Moodle trawl) Great work already! It supports

        the conjecture that one major factor is power and numbers

        (monopoly, stats, Fitzpatrick, Technorati, dominant voices),

        and the other threads contain plenty of input for hypothesis


      • Hope you would find fhis www.engageme.net useful

      • It's much easier to do research nowadays.  So far, I think we have made great progress. Our collaboration works out brilliantly. Million thanks to Jenny and Matthias.   By John                             

  • Jenny
    • John
      • Matthias
  • This is absolutely great Matthias - but I think I have already completely messed it up. I had some difficulty with the different bullet points - so I ended up putting my input in 'blue'. Is this stying in the sandbox or being moved somewhere else?
  • Blue is great! I don't think it is messed up. Little unevennesses (?) are IMO normal in wikis, and I probably added confusion by chosing the name "sandbox". 

    Another note on the wiki "garden": like a real garden, it grows sometimes organically rather than orderly and needs the notorious "wiki gardener" who both wariiy and courageous needs to use the secateurs, wich might upset the others. If you don't agree with such an intervention, just say it and it is easily reverted. In my experience it is much more difficult to anticipate such disagreement and try to avoid it in advance. Matthias

  • I have chosen to be yellow in highlight, and it works great for me.  I think even George and Stephen would be awed by our efforts here!  May be we could showcase this in a an e-conference, once we have finished this research.  What do you think?

  • Do you think we could have a special team title?  Any suggestions? This could be useful for future "press release". By John

  • 2009-03-07: Since I start losing the overview over the older pages, it may well be that I forgot to answer a question even if it was directly addressed to me. In this case please don't get angry but just remind me of it.

    Another note regarding irony/ satire: I don't understand such nuances in English and therefore never use it. So if something I said will ever sound as if it is silly or ironical, please assume that it's only silly and never meant to be sinister. Just in case it will happen.


March 24 

  • Hi Jenny, I want to respond here to your blog post http://jennymackness.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/wobbly-research/ So I think it is great that we 4 are not subject to this sort of pressure and can pick challenging inquiries that do nor guarantee success but promise the satisfaction to come closer to important aspects. It is certainly no incident that just open-minded people like you ask such questions about the reseacher's role, while the prolifics do not. (I remember Lilia Efimova's doubting thoughts, as well).

    In particular, the "objective" capability you listed is an unrealistic requirements in fields like ours where different styles play a role. Those who do not acknowledge this, end up in flawed and biased denials of learning styles.

    So I think we struggle much more and may fail, but it is definitely more rewarding for ourselves than another item in the publication list that is actually for a ridiculously tiny slice of the alleged body of "knowledge" that still pretends to be sound and evidenced and just forgets how biased and irrelevant most of this non-connectivist, binary, either-or knowledge is.

  • Hi Jenny and Matthias,  I share with you on the thoughts about successful researchers.  It requires hardwork.  I think studying for higher degree (Master or Doctor Degree) requires a different mindset to that of achieving "excellence" as a scholar, though most people might have thought these to be the same.  I have shared my previous study and research experience with you Jenny, and I would like to share it further here with all three of you:

  • As I have indicated to Jenny over Skype, I don't see it too difficult to write research papers based on theoretical models nowadays, as this is typical for most researchers.  Also, with the lastest technologies, one could locate research articles more easily.  Or even "copy" and "paste" in seconds.... and you could have papers even like a daily.... Did it sound too easy?  One could research based solely on 10 or 20 research articles, mix and match and then a mesh up to come up with a beautiful model or paper that summarises what some researchers have done in the past.  I would like to try!  But it seems that such research is merely a copy of plagiarised research.  When you copy from one person, you call it plagiarism, but when you copy the work from many persons, you call it a research.  

  • My view may sound too difficult to swallow by scholars or researchers, but I think it may be reflective of reality.  

  • I like to write in my own words rather than copying from others in most cases, but sometimes I have to cite the source, and that makes the research more credible.  That's why I found it intriguing, when I noted some research papers merely a copy of "what everybody else says" but not what the author says.  So, when I found that the researcher kept on quoting sources from elsewhere, I asked myself: "Is it another model of Chop Mix of researches?"  Am I too critical?  Or may be I am committing the same errors in my research?  But take a look at many research articles, doesn't it sound familiar? :-)

  • I also found people using "old researches and famous philosophers" to back up their thoughts, which might be employed even by the brightest "researchers".  This becomes the "Einstein and Newton" plagiarised theory of Relativity and Newtonian Theory of "MetaPhysics" - that is Meta Meta Theory.  Sorry again that I seem to be rambling on this seemingly serious "Scientific Approach to Research", or the Complexity and Chaos Theory of Meta Learning which you would ask where all these come from?  I invent it here!

  • Is it the way "Punk and Scholastic Theories" are presented amongst the bloggers, or even highly acclaimed articles in Scientific or Wired or educational journals?   New terms, new metaphors, new and emergent theories of theories are filling up the sky like clouds - CLOUD THEORIES, as I would like to call them. They come and go.  And some of these "meta-scientific, social constructivist or connectivist Voice of the Crowds" approaches may be ephemeral, mainly because they soon be replaced with another set of wonderful theories.   This is happening now, and you don't have to wait and see!  Are there any better ways of conducting research?

  • So, what I think may be an alternative way of researching is: what we are doing now - by conducting objective empirical research, rather than the ivory tower theoretical research, where few people understands, and sounds so EinsteinIAN AND NewtonIAN that no one dares to argue or discuss.  Even Descartes, Aristotle, Socrates or Plato have come back ALIVE to debate! How? Through the quotation of their ideas and writings! They have become the shields of modern conversation and arguments, throughout researches.  They have become the backbones of critical thinking that may be true.  One may claim that there are also values in referring to past philosophies, but they are PHILOSOPHIES (with more than one answers) and could be true when you think and argue that it is true in the present context.  Also, I am finding conflicts amongst nearly all theories (learning theories) which sound mutually exclusive rather than inclusive.  Was it due to the theory itself or the interpretation of the theories?  I don't know! What could we do?

  • Our approach is so new or emergent that I doubt if there are any researches done before on our collaborative research practice.  I could see a lot of individual researchers working alone at Masters or PhD levels, and collaborative researches conducted by University professors on an international level.  I wonder if researchers are willing to share their difficulties and problems while conducting researches: the lack of credibility in the research if it is done alone,  and the lack of leadership or community involvement on networking research with any of us - as this may damage their prestige and reputation.  What they always like to tell would be the success stories, solutions etc.   But is it reflective of reality?  I doubt!

  • I have raised the following concerns and concepts in my blog or sharing with others on a number of occasions: Networking is at odd to organisational leadership and management (quite the opposite and lots of conflicts sometimes), and the conflict of individual learning to group or community learning (or research) - like what we are doing. No one knows how it works, until you are involved in it!  And I would say most experts or consultants might have consulted or advised based on their individual experiences only - because they might not have tried it, and they might not like it even (as an individual).  I think liberal educators prefer liberation in individual or informal learning, and that's why formal education is not their favourites.  For me, I tend towards liberal education, but when it comes to my actual work, I have to comply with the strict VET standards in the delivery of education.  That's why this research makes a lot of sense to me - to learn beyond the mindset of VET education.

  • So, I am ready to challenge the basic beliefs on the above premises, and would like to see how it works, just like what we are doing now.  I don't see any failures that would arise, I only see opportunities of learning amongst us.  And I am pretty confident that we will succeed, despite all differences and similarities (of course the PASSION, the LEADERSHIP and the INTELLIGENCE - EQ, SQ, collective IQ) that brings us together in this research.

  • I think most professors, researchers (PhDs, Masters, and consultants etc.) have been used to the habits of writing research articles based on: MORE is beautiful.  Why?  The tenure of professors and lecturers are gauged on the number of articles (peer reviewed in particular) they could publish in journals.  And the Masters and Doctors candidates on the progress of study and number of articles presented in conferences.  Who are seriously considering the "true value" of their researches on the academia, education, community, organisation or society?  The ivory towers are still there, and no one dares to ask why it is like that.  Also, who will be allowed to climb the ivory towers are decided by the ivory towers "leader" or "manager".  If you are not amongst the masters, you will not be allowed to raise your voice.  Is it what research is all about? 

  • Here is a dilemma in our era of research:

    • 1. When you are adopting a sceintific approach to research, your findings may not be appreciated by some "researchers and educators, bloggers", and it may not attract too many hits (as such research is carried out behind close doors, or peer reviewed by scholars only), not too many people will bother to apply the recommendations based on such research.

    • 2. When you are adopting a free-lance "meta-scientific approach" - similar to blogging or publishing with e-books (the mix and match type of research), you may attract a lot of hits, but it also depends whether you could "argue" your views in public.  Please note that I am not trying to belittle the value of blogging - where blogging research is really of great value to me.  However, I think the salesperson technique could be more important than the academic "craftsmanship" technique when it comes to convincing people to believe in your research. 

  • So, this is an era where networking is the phenomena, and networking seems to represent the TRUTH.  Is it true?  I really don't know! Learning and research in higher, open education is evolving in an "emergent" manner.  No one could predict the future, but you could witness its chaotic and complex nature, NOW!  I think I better write an article or book to reflect on this!  And I will quote all of you!  LOL  John 25/03/2009


March 31st


I just sent John an email which I think I should have shared.


Sorry if I sounded as if there were any reason to justify your

occasional "forest" views. I don't have any issues with them since

they are never obtrusive. (In the forest analogy, they are like

an eagle making his circles high above the forest and it is

fascinating to watch them and there is nothing wrong with it

unless we forget looking ahead of our feet and falling over a tree

log lying on the ground in our way.)


Similarly, your styles assessments. For us internally they are fine,

I just wanted to remind us of the hostile mood out there in academia

against them. Even Stephen is skeptical (if you read his yesterday's post


linking to the Eide's). I think the dispute will even become sharper,

as the inability to provide empirical evidence for the learning styles

is turning into a reproach against the education system (and in my opinion,

it is mainly due to the unawareness of many teachers themselves about

their OWN cognitive styles).


I agree with you that our team and our research are great and unique.

But even if we are lucky and yield a little significant outcome,

I am afraid that there could be a major letdown imminent, if

we hope for major formal recognition about this. I have been working

long enough in academia for knowing that they will definitely not

grant such acknowledgement to outsiders/ newcomers who don't have

a long list of formal "merits" in renowned peer-reviewed boredom.


Think of Stephen's unapproved PhD, and all his work which is

not even acknowledged in formal papers, as I cautiously observed here


I think it is even intellectually dishonest when they read his informal

publications, are definitely influenced by his thinking (which is obvious

in their writing), but nevertheless skip him on their reference list.

OK, the phenomenon is new which you described when you said

that you may have been unconsciously been influenced by some

previous readings (I forgot where it was). You forgot where you

were influenced but you acknowledged THAT you were influenced.

And I think this would be the new citation honesty. But established

academia does not feel like that.


So what I do hope for is, that we might get them thinking, or at

least help other, more open-minded researchers with our new

approach of balanced biases. If we may influence good people just

a little bit, that is yet very rewarding, isn't it?


1 April 09 (it happens to be the fool's day!) Now at 2:00 am in Sydney, Australia... Still writing by John

Matthias,  What a great and fruitful reflection that shines!  I resonate with your views on those strong debates, and the lack of empirical evidence out there on learning styles.  Even large scale study could be manipulative and misleading: I have taken the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicators), and realised that they are based on studies of particular groups of people.  An understanding of styles could also be stereo-typing too, as we exhibit those different styles under  different circumstances. 

So, an interesting phenomenon is that those who sell flowers are also praising the fragrance of their flowers - does it look familiar to us? I don't want to be biased, as there are very nice and beautiful flowers (theories) which last sometime. 

I think we have now come to an era where theories are everywhere like flowers, and some of them without ROOTS!  These flowers (theories) will be ephemeral. 

I am prepared to embrace changes - or challenges that you mentioned above.  


I have sympathy on Stephen's PhD journey.  It seems that he hasn't been given the chance to explore and defend his philosophy.  The Chair was getting those ideas likely from him but has included them in the blog post as if it was his own, without giving the credits to Stephen.  It's sad. 


About that unconscious influence, I think what I have mentioned was the pollination concept.  I have since re-read paper on Connectivism by George and noted that he has mentioned pollination somewhere.  When I wrote my comments here, I normally put down whatever that came into my mind.   It was really a coincidence that such idea was also mentioned by George (couldn't remember whether he quoted from other writers as well in that Connectivism paper).  But I really want to acknowledge that citation (as I have read his paper long time ago, and has since forgotten).  


My metaphor of learning - based on digestive system could be applied here, as the concept of pollination had gone into my blood stream that enter the brain, so it just pollinated my brain nerve and has since left a "memory nerve" there.  


I have also used another metaphor since I was young, in that one has to egest (the old and obsolete knowledge) before you could ingest (new and emergent knowledge).  The emergent knowledge could be (navigating) in your vein and artery of your brain, your muscles (where motor skills are involved) and your senses and every organ and part of your body.... that make sense to your learning.  Again, I am not sure if there are any philosophers, researchers or educators who have used this as a metaphor.  But I am confident that I haven't read or noticed any so far!  Not to my knowledge in history?


I would like to share an important conclusion from neuroscience (source: the Manager's Pocket Guide to Emotional Intelligence by E.A. Sterrett, PhD 2000 pe 15 (my favourite book)

Chemical information substances, or peptides, regulate blood flow.  Blood carries glucose, the brain's fuel which is necessary for the brain to function.  Blocking of emotions through trauma or denial can slow down this process, depriving the brain of nourishment and leaving it less able to think, plan, and make decisions.

So my metaphor of digestive system could again be further explained using the Neuroscience approach....


Relating to recognition, I can assure you that what we are doing is as good as any Master or PhD research, and I don't see why we can't get the formal qualification using such an approach.  As I have indicated to Jenny in my facebook message, my previous 2 professors would like me to continue with the PhD studies back in the 90s.  So, I am confident that you could get a MPhil, MEd or PhD along this pathway!  Also, you might have found that sometimes PhD is just the starting point of the research journey - at least that is what typical universities are looking for when recruiting their teaching staff!  But, our research journey here has no end (if you like!)

Comments (1)

Jenny Mackness said

at 4:17 am on Mar 26, 2009

Thank you Matthias and John for your thoughts and comments - much appreciated! Jenny

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