UOC eLearn Center presentation

 

 

The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya has recently created the eLearn Center, a new office that reunites all the e-Learning related initiatives of the institution. Both research projects and diffusion activities will be now marked with the new Center anagram.

UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning will also be incorporated on the eLearn Center structure.

The new Center is being presented today at Barcelona Support Center with interventions from Imma Tubella, Rector of the University, Begoña Gros, Vice Rector of innovation and Paul Kirschner, Director of Research of Lifelong in the Professions, Netherlands Laboratory for Lifelong Learning (NeLLL), Open University of the Netherlands. Afterwards, there will be a roundtable with Ramón Capdevila (Universia), Jordi Vivancos (Education Department, Generalitat de Catalunya) and Luis Collado (Director of Google Book Search), the three of them will debate about Innovation and research networks creation.

Live notes from the eLearn Center presentation:

 

Imma Tubella (left) and Begoña Gros (right), introducing UOC eLearn CenterImma Tubella:

  • this University was born at 1994, the same year the Internet was born. Gabriel Ferrate, former Rector of UOC, used to said that nobody would have believed that an institution like UOC would success.
  • We are applying the Bolonia model for our students and graduates satisfaction, we are almost 20.000 graduates. We only have to listen and watch them to understand the success of this model, that was very similar to the bolonian model since its birth on 1994.
  • We understand innovation as a never ending process: we have very active and highly connected students. Everybody is studying the XXI century student profile: why do students on US quit attending classes because they think they are boring? We know that students demand connectivity, networks, on line activity and we have been offering it through our campus since the beginning.
  • Today we are presenting the first Spanish eLearn Center and probably one of the first European ones. As an International referent for on line education, we are offering a wide number of educational options, with research, postgraduates and PhD programs

Begoña Gros:

  • We are not inventing resarch on e-Learning but organizing and enhancing it through this new eLearn Center
  • We are working in a model that allows the networking, both internal and external.
  • We want to contribute to the e-Learn knowledge development
  • We want to enhance training on e-Learning
  • We are an interdisciplinary center that includes different knowledge areas: computer science, e-Learning, and more.
  • We are a collaborative project: this is a work in progress because we want to build a team work.

We have created with strong areas for the center: reserach and innovation, training an diffusion. We are going to work on the coordination of this three areas.

Paul Kirschner: Social Aspects of Collaborative Learning Environments

 

Kirschner, the peanut butter sandwich, the videotape player and the idea of affordance.

We cannot forget the social aspects of the learning process when you want people on a virtual university to work together on groups. I see my self as a psychologist, so I’m going to introduce some psychological important concepts that will be useful later.

  • Affordance: all action possibilities that are physically possible; a refinement to that definition describes action possibilities of which the actor is aware. (wikipedia). Some times new affordances are a problem: for example when kids think that a videotape player is the right place to introduce a peanut butter sandwich.
  • What is CSCL?:

  • Learning
  • With others (collaboration)
  • Computer Supported

Premise 1: Artefacts and our perception of them influence our behaviour:

Premise 2: Behaviour is determined by;

  • Culture
  • Material
  • Technology
  • In other words: Behaviour is context-bound

Premise 3: Education is always a combination of three aspects, technological, social and pedagogic.

Working together is more than giving people a bunch of donuts and a white board: you have to, in some way, socially, have the idea that there is someone there. We need trust, we need it in the way that we are willing to say something stupid, take a rist, a chance, and we are willing to relay on someone else. If you don’t have that kind of trust on the group, you are going to keep your mouth shut.

We need to follow the normal steps of a group development: form, storm, norm and perform (The Beatles evolution as a group is a very good example for this).

We must have the feeling of belonging to a group. On cycling, every member of a team is willing to sacrifice individual success to win the race as a team.

So, can we afford CSCL? When I use the word afford I don’t mean to pay for something, as an economist would sey, neither to put some things on the screen, as a designer would thought, I mean, let’s take a look at the word elegant:

  • For a biologist, something elegant is fractal
  • For a young lady might be a nice wedding dress
  • And for a computer programmer might be a very clean code working correctly

There is always a negotiation between individuals. It’s the negotiation of meaning. What I want to say, the way I meant it.

Note from the author: Kirschner presentation has been very visual and psychological. You might find it hard to understand through just some live notes like these. Nevertheless, we will upload Mr. Kirschner presentation pdf file as soon as possible we have uploaded Mr. Kirschner presentation to Slidashare:

 

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