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Thoughts about Part 4 Draft 4

Page history last edited by suifaijohnmak 15 years, 3 months ago

I have to admit to now feeling rather swamped and overwhelmed by so many thoughts. So I'm going to try and stand back a bit and consolidate from my own perspective. These are my thoughts.


1. We seem to have come to some agreement (Roy we need your thoughts here) from our exploration of forum and blog posts and the literature, that the reasons why people chose to Moodle or Blog in the CCK08 course are centred around 4 themes:

  • how effectively they could make personal connections
  • how effectively they could make conceptional connections
  • how effectively they could use the associated technology
  • what best suited their individual learning styles


2. Matthias' most recent concept map (thanks so much for all your work on this and to John for the discussion), suggests that whilst technology and learning styles are themes to be considered, they will not be as significant as personal and conceptual connections

  • I don't think they are not as significant but not as differentiated and disputed, because we seem to agree that
    • those who found the technology aspect very important will have chosen Moodle,
    • and those who strived for very intensive learning will have chosen blog (also indicated by the colors in the first Cmap).
  • With personal connections, I think the sub-topics are now similarly clear and undisputed:
    • Whoever wants the group feeling ("Sense of community") or likes the pace & sparring, will have chosen Moodle,
    • while those who strive for deeper connections ("Strength of relationships") or are concerned about the "Tone of communication" will have chosen blogs. 
    • Matthias, I think we could set these up as hypothesis, and test them in the survey, see what our fellow CCK08 participants think.  So, I am happy with what you and Jenny have come up with.  And Matthias, just so much thanks for having the CMaps - so fantastic!  by John


3. Matthias' most recent Cmap suggests that personal and conceptual connections are important to both bloggers and moodlers (as you would expect), but for different reasons. This is what we need to tease out in a questionnaire.


4. My recent thinking has been around the question - do we need to ground this research in a theoretical framework. I have only skimmed the many articles that John has posted (thank you John), but so far I have not come across any research into blogging which is grounded in theory. Or do we need a model to serve as a basis for our seletion of questions? Or is what we are doing by establishing themes  the beginnings of a formation of a model. So far we seem to have had most discussion about Kolb and Honey and Mumford's learning styles.


5. On the question of polarities e.g. convergent/divergent. I very much like the work on Wenger on this where he discounts polarities and talks about dualities. In other words people can expect, in their learning, to experience both convergent and divergent learning styles at different stages and times in the learning process. There's a lot more than this ih his 1998 book, Communities of Practice: Learning Meaning and Identity - but I'll just make this point now.


6. I think  we are in danger of coming to conclusions before we have the evidence. We can and should of course, hypothesise, but we should guard carefully against internal bias. As yet we just don't know if there is any commonality I meant to say difference here! Sorry! between CCK08 participants' reasons for choosing to blog or moodle. There might not be. This might be what the research proves, which would be interesting given the findings of other research papers. We must be rigorous in basing the research on evidence


What are your persepctives on these points? Are we nearly ready to start composing our questions based on Matthias' most recent Cmap - or are you still working on this Matthias?

  • It is difficult without the long-wanted input of a genuine moodler advocate but I will try to refine the upper right corner once more. (Do you you know something about Roy, if he caught a cold, or lost the URL of this wiki, or whatever? Maybe you can just phone him up within the UK?) We want to tease out how the moodlers' approach is different but I keep catching myself in the biased thinking that forums are just the inferior tool for making conceptual connections.

    E. g. divergent multi-domain thinking is limited to be more superficial due to the fast pace, but convergent/ analytical thinking is hardly to be separated from reflection, and we seem to agree that reflection is a strength of blogs.

    So perhaps we need some strong arguments of someone who believes in the supremacy of forums in order to find out which type of conceptual connections are being forged there more easily.

  • Good Matthias, I agree to learn from Roy.   Hope that Roy is well.  John

I have to now go back to Part 4 Draft 4 think it all through - and do the same with the concept map and the literature. Many thanks John and Matthias for all your work on this.


Here is another Cmap, about Conceptual connections. 



Ok, this one is even more chaotic than the previous ones, and I feel really guilty having bothered Jenny with it on such a busy day (http://jennymackness.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of/  ) ! So I'll try to provide a verbal description, as well:

  • In the center, the topics from the previous Cmap have been copied, with some of them discarded or tied to more important ones;
  • The upper right corner, shows that "active" vs. "passive" is not a distinguishing criterion, despite John's plausible description of the post/ respond variations.  Many aspects such as reflection and waiting associate blogging with "passive", but others, such as the weak connection of the initial post to a distant idea somewhere on the web, are active;
  • The upper left details the undisputed properties of slowness and reflection and associates them with similar properties;
  • The lower left contrasts another distinguishing charateristic:
    • while the conceptual connections of moodlers are more implicitly present, closer in time and "space" (location), and more numerous,
    • bloggers have to explicitly draw connections between more distant concepts that are initially weak and strengthen over time, through reflection;
  • On the lower right, some styles' polarities are juxtaposed, where the moodlers' preference for numerous connections, facets, and domains can be seen as diversity but not the monopoly for diversity.

Hope this helps.

Matthias, again this is marvellous, this greatly helps.  I will study the details later.  by John 

Comments (1)

Jenny Mackness said

at 7:10 am on Mar 9, 2009

Matthias - I need some time to study your concept maps. There is so much thinking in them to grasp and understand - especially for someone like me who isn't used to working with concept maps. But just to thank you so much for all this work. I will try and contact Roy tomorrow.

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