Why do we teach our students how to reference? Mendeley, EndNote, Refworks, etc. all do it for you. In my experience the emphasis for students in higher education is almost always on what the citation looks like and not on the work the citation does. When it comes to learning about referencing for students, the focus is almost always on:
Plagiarism: If you don’t reference, you’re stealing.
Format: If it doesn’t conform to [insert style guide], it’s wrong.
This is problematic. The first point begins with the assumption that our students are cheats and frauds. I prefer not to go into the relationship with that as a starting frame of reference. The second point is irrelevant because style guides explain exactly how to format the citation and software formats it for us.
What matters is that students understand the underlying rationale of attribution and of building on the ideas of others. I’m way more interested in talking about ideas with my students, than on where the comma goes. Instead of talking about the importance of referencing maybe we should aim to instil in students a love of ideas. Sometimes those ideas originated from someone else (citation required) and sometimes those ideas are your own. What does the world look like when we use ideas – some our own and some from others – to think differently? That seems like a more interesting conversation to have.
…we need to apply new technologies to the primary tool of traditional certification, the diploma. We need to take what now exists as a dumb, static document and turn it into a richer, updateable, more connected record of a person’s skills, expertise, and experience. And then we need to take that record and make it part of a fully networked certification platform.
Alvesson and Sandberg take issue with the dominant mode of generating research questions – they call this gap spotting. They argue that the usual process consists of reading literatures, finding what’s been said about a particular topic and locating something that isn’t done – the gap. This gap spotting leads to an incremental approach to research, they say. While gap spotting is perfectly defensible, and will certainly garner the do-ers of gap-spotting research PhDs and even research grants, it won’t, they suggest, produce game-changing research, particularly in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Instead, gap-spotting produces work which is predictable. Gap filling adds to what is known, but doesn’t change the field.
Is It Plagiarism or Collaboration? (Jennifer Carey): If we’re trying to create learning spaces that prepare students for the “real world”, and we acknowledge that working in the real world requires collaboration with others, why don’t we develop more assessments that require students to work together?
We want students to do “group work,” to collaborate, and to discuss. However, we have very specific realms in which we want this to happen: the group assignment, the in-class discussion, studying for exams, etc. At the same time, many of us want to put up barriers and halt any collaboration at other times (during assessments, for example). When collaboration takes place during assessment, we deem it plagiarism or cheating, and technology is often identified as the instrument that tempts students into such behavior.
For one thing, the MOOC hypesters were wrong. They discovered, on the backs, or within the wallets, of their VC partners, that knowledge building is a complex integrated system with multiple facets. The linear nature of MOOC solutions to the perceived problems of higher education (better instructional software and greater numbers of learners) failed to account for knowledge building as an integrated social, economic and cultural activity of society. Suggestions of MOOCs replacing universities began to seem quaint and childlike.
Narrative means towards literacy understandings: exploring transformations within literacies and migrating identities
Last week I attended a short seminar by Dr. Catherine Hutchings from UCT, who presented some of the results of her PhD study looking at academic literacy and student identity. Here are some notes I took during the seminar.
How do students develop new means of constructing identity as they move from high school into higher education?
Repositioning identities → have personal / social / professional identities outside university, but on moving into HE can feel lost and disorientated. Participants in this study had broken formal educational journeys, no writing background. They had established social and professional identities but lowly academic identities
Their education history was transmissive, rather than constructive
Journals can be a pedagogic method, but became data capture owing to richness of reflections. The journal started as an access route into academic spaces, incorporating their experiences, attempting to promote the development of reflective and critical thinking
Students were afraid of writing
Narratives: the stories we tell about our lives changes our perspectives on them
Referencing, language, technology, the library are “pillars of the great hall of alienation”. They serve as barriers to the transition into HE
How does “agency” become apparent? How is it evident? Referencing, use of authority, engagement with readings, argument…but before HE, agency is not directly evident…it is not voiced
Through using the voice of others, we come to know our own voices
Can take a lot of discussion before students see referencing as an asset
What do I mean by presence, and why do I think that it is relevant to PLEs?
1. Presence as social richness
Communications are expected to somehow express the ‘social, symbolic, and nonverbal cues of human communication’, which is of course difficult in an online environment.
2. Presence as realism
By creating a sense of reality in the pictures they produce and create an experience that would be plausible in real life (Lombard & Ditton, 1997)
3. Presence as transportation
The idea in this form of presence is ‘the degree to which participants of a telemeeting get the impression of sharing space with interlocutors who are at a remote physical site’ (Mulbach et al, 1995, p.293)
the participant perceives to be immersed in a virtual environment
4. Presence and immersion
5. Presence as social actor within a medium
A heightened form of presence is created, where it seems that an interaction with the viewer or another person is taking place on the screen, while in reality this is not the case
6. Presence as medium as social actor
deep and meaningful learning results if three forms of presence play a role in education. They highlight cognitive presence, that ensures a certain level of depth in the educational process, which could be compared to “intensity” as highlighted by Shedroff (2009) in developing web-based experiences and “Vividness” by Lombard and Ditton (1997) in the creation of meaningful online experiences
Anderson (2008) also refers to social presence, which would be similar to the social presence described by Lombard and Ditton
in a formal educational environment that of a teacher presence
In PLE based learning the teacher presence is not there, but you could argue that there are knowledgeable others out there on the Web who might to a certain extent take on that role
The higher the number of human senses engaged in the activity, the higher the presence experienced will be
‘visual media have more social presence than verbal (audio) media, which in turn have more social presence than written media
‘The number of inputs from the user that the medium accepts and to which it responds’ could affect presence and the level of experience, while the type of input by the user, ie. through voice, video, or button clicks, and the type of response received was also seen as an influence on the level of presence (Lombard & Ditton, 1997, p.18)
So the higher the level of presence, the higher the level of involvement in the online activity and the deeper the experience. The question of how to create presence in the design of a PLE is an important one as at the heart of PLE-based learning would be a high level of engagement and depth of learning
The fruit of collective intelligence, which I (and others) have described as an emergent phenomenon, results from the linkages and connections between individuals, and not a counting of properties (such as survey results) of those individuals.
This emergent knowledge is not intended to compete with, or replace, qualitative or quantitative knowledge
Connective knowledge, in other words, does not refute or overturn existing knowledge; rather, it offers us a *new* type of knowledge, that *cannot* be confirmed or refuted by simple observation of data
why shouldn’t students’ work be available to other (future) students.
Instead of binning their work after they get their marks, why shouldn’t we be making it available to others so that they can learn from their peers, from what others have done.
He talks about this as if it were so obvious. Yet in academia we’ve always made sure to hide students’ work… ooohh the plagarism…. [it’s better to avoid plagiarism at all cost than actually educate not to plagiarise…]… in real life, we all look at what other have done to improve our work. Something isn’t right here!
Providing information is not really creating knowledge
there has always been and there will always be good pedagogy with or without technology