A series of entries related to my Masters study in education & technology (including all things theoretical). This first post will be retrospective for the unit “Instructional Design for Flexible Learning” now aptly renamed “Learning Design for Flexible Contexts”. It is my second unit in the program with University of Southern Queensland, the first, in 2007, being “Theories for Learning Futures”.

Bear with me, I haven’t yet worked out whether I can create posts on this page (as I can on the main page) so it will attempt to mimic postings through editing with additions.

Retrospective reflections FET5601 – Learning Design for Flexible Contexts, USQ

July 6, 2008

Week 1 – Introductions and Laurillard article comments.

Laurillard plays a powerful role in calling for reflection on the status quo in higher education. In basic adult education critical approaches are expected of both teachers and students, for empowerment. HE is suffering some serious lag five years on! Still, it doesn’t stop me being excited about potential. The loss of integrity we risk through corporate sponsorship might be balanced by gains, real world connections and all that.

USQ is migrating from WebCT to Moodle (open source) – it’ll be interesting.

Week 2 – Module 1

Starting out on what I know will be a mad reading vendetta to consolidate and connect to understandings. I know I’ll find a lot more literature, (like clicking web links), following leads from references in readings and those peers suggest. A choose-your-own-adventure!

Week 3

Getting through readings – I print them out to work through, highlighting, scribbling notes etc, then do a summary of those most relevant to my purposes – often looks like a concept map.

I’m pleased to see George Siemens in the list. When I first encountered him and connectivism I was totally inspired and couldn’t find anyone at work to rave madly about it! The conversations were in my head, in the SCOPE Seminar and blogs, not at work.

Appreciating the exemplars as it’s hard to interpret exactly what’s required. The first one I downloaded was our Regina’s! I wonder if she might want to talk about connectivism?

Week 4 – Module 2

Clarke has a business-like approach… involving clients/learners in the analysis is important for ‘ownership’. Training Needs Assessment includes understanding where the system fails, not just an individual component. The complexity of a simple task such as sweeping a room is amazing (I’ve done it to teach people with high support needs due to disability). Tacit knowledge was certainly highlighted! How can such knowledge best be opened up and shared in teaching and learning?

Week 5

Discussion Activity 1 due this week – analysis. This involves recognising the significance of ideas emerging in our readings and how they relate to our own situation and needs, instructional design processes and the ‘field’ in general.

Week 6 – Module 3

Re-reading much of the Modules 2 & 3 literature plus new finds through leads from Shirley’s list to prepare Discussion Activity 2, considering design. McLoughlin and Lee, and via them, Mejias, are particularly focused on participatory software and the education options it enables. JS Brown and Siemens seem to have a finger on the pulse of current trends and their implications. Good project guides – and focused on situated, social learning in communities: communication and access to a network is important. Connections. Wenger’s research also features.

Week 7

I drafted DA2 last weekend knowing I had a busy week ahead. Refining is easier than starting from scratch! Piloting a ‘course’ and designing/improving as you go with the help of feedback and experiences is like that. I guess that’s why analysis is so critical, the first ‘version’ conceived is as close to the right track as is possible.

Participated in my first live session (Wimba tools) – a much richer social interaction than the text-based discussion forums; so taken up there with getting tasks achieved there’s little extra to get a sense of community. The assessable discussion activities are like mini essays, more about rigor, less social. I’d like to engage more in some eg Brendon’s posting in TG1’s forum on Siemens, and some of the blogs shared.

Week 8 – Module 4

Design phase – a mind-boggling set of considerations and potential activities in creating the full real world project design. I chose a series of in-world events for engaging learning activities. Learning in-situ indeed! Some participants may not even know how to communicate, move, sit, stand etc – they’ll need support (including pre-activity instructions etc). Being a newbie in SL is a humbling but fascinating experience – I’ve been there and still am, lifelong learning).

Week 9

I’m struggling to reconcile conventional ID/ISD approaches to evaluation, and all design aspects, with the reality of my project. It’s the square peg/round hole dilemma – I first question my own capacities (my ‘style’). However, I’ve had a sort of epiphany (emergent learning?) reading Bruns and affirmed I need to focus on theories/approaches emerging from the ‘web 2.0’ phenomena, its technological and social affordances for education.

I am not designing a pre-determined course, but do need to demonstrate ‘knowledge in action’ for the purposes of this unit, for real world work, and my own satisfaction. I am designing the basis/space/framework? for a networked learning ecology. Like a goddess creating a world for learning and society to grow in, but with no power to dictate what, where, when, how and why it’ll happen and who does what. It’s about relinquishing some control (HE and formal educational institutions’ situation).

Week 10

When do you stop delving into new sources of enlightenment? I need to demonstrate some of the capacities Bruns outlines as the foundation of a ‘pedagogy of produsage’: being creative, collaborative, critical, combinatory and communicative. My discussion activity 3 is a mash-up. There’s so much information and associated checklists to consider, it’s raised more questions than answers.

Week 11

It’s time for really focusing on a project draft. Still exploring new readings but mainly revisiting. A time of consolidation, filtering for the most relevant and letting go previous iterations and/or alternatives I’ve had half in my head and half scribbled in crazy concept maps! That’s been the sense-making part. It’s coming together, clearer now.

It’s interesting that where I see links between some of the literature I don’t find them made in the authors’ bibliographies. Bruns, McLoughlin & Lee, Wenger and Siemens don’t always seem to have made what I see as natural connections to each other’s work. Maybe these experts have already filtered out the others as less relevant to their specific interests? Through circumstance (and interest) I’ve been thrown towards the centre of this project’s fledgling, fragmented ‘community’.

The key principles of produsage apply to my project evaluation design: open participation/ communal evaluation; a fluid hierarchy/ad hoc meritocracy; unfinished artefacts/continuing process; and common property/individual rewards. I need to work out how to best facilitate this without imposing an artificial element that inhibits the natural flow. Start something then throw it out there for feedback! How do I meld this with perhaps Guba & Lincoln’s approach? One stakeholder’s interests?

Week 12

Lost this week somewhere in taking over managing Emma’s projects, and lost the work-study-life balance with it.

Week 13

OMG! How can I express all the learnings and ideas in one paper? A perennial dilemma for me. Ambivalent about the extension as work is so full on things pile up… but I really haven’t quite got it clear how to express such a complex approach to ‘design’ when it is about evolution, allowing it to happen.

Week 14

I’ve just started to get some people engaged in learning conversations…trivia question #1.. what does heutagogy mean? My faith’s been affirmed in some meetings about Second Life… passionate people willing to extend themselves beyond basic work requirements… inspiring synergy and creativity. They actually asked if my unit could drive the professional development so that newcomers had something to go by! It’s starting to fly! Serendipity! (as John Seely Brown would declare).

Related blogs

Note: Fellow learners have been blogging their own journeys through this learnscape (a term used by Jay Cross – see his Informal Learning blog in my blogroll). You can visit their blogs:

  • Javed’s Blog – maintained by Javed Yusuf, based in Suva, Fiji, and working with moodle for the University of the South Pacific
  • Mr B’s Masterful Space – maintained by Bruce Knox – the IT Coordinator at an international school in S.E.Asia
  • SKI Blog – maintained by Irene Ostrenski who is based in Brisbane, Australia
  • Jane’s Reflections about FET 5601 – maintained by Jane Ross who has been teaching in Indonesia for many years.

I’ll post some of the discussion activities material next – again, retrospectively.

List of References encountered in working through this FET 5601 unit (not all of them…)

Boyer, N., Maher, P. & Kirkman, S. (2006) Transformative learning in online settings: The Use of self-direction, metacognition, and collaborative learning. Journal of Transformative Education Vol. 4 No. 4, October 2006 335-361. Retrieved August 16, 2007 from http://jtd.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/4/4/335

Brook, C. & Oliver, R. (2005). A case study of community development in online settings. The knowledge tree: An e-journal of learning innovation. Retrieved April 6, 2008, from http://knowledgetree.flexiblelearning.net.au/edition07/html/pra_brook_oliver.html

Brown, A. & Ryan, M. (2006). Learning networks: a first year education unit QUT. Retrieved October 23, 2007, from http://www.talss.qut.edu.au

Brown, J.S., Collins, A. & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher; v18 n1. PP 32-44, Jan-Feb. Retrieved March 19, 2008, from http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/resources/museumeducation/situated.html

Brown, J. S. (2000). Growing up digital: How the web changes work, education, and the ways people learn. Change Magazine, March/April, 11-20. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from http://www.johnseelybrown.com/Growing_up_digital.pdf

Brown, J. S. & Adler, R. P. (2008). Minds on fire: Open education, the long tail, and learning 2.0. Educause Review, vol. 43, no. 1 (January/February 2008):16–32. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE+Review/

Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, wikipedia, second life, and beyond: from production to produsage. Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York

Byers, C. (2002). Interactive assessment and course transformation using web-based tools. The Technology Source Archives. Retrieved May 15, 2008, from http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=1034

Clark, D. (2004). Instructional systems design concept map. Retrieved April 2, 2008, from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/ahold/isd.html

Cross, J. (2007). Designing a web-based learning ecology. Learning Circuits. Retrieved May 23, 2008, from http://www.learningcircuits.org/unworkshop2.htm

Downes, S. (2005). E-learning 2.0. Elearn. Retrieved March 27, 2008, from http://www.elearnmag.org/subpage.cfm?section=articles&article=29-1.

Farmer, J. (2004). Communication dynamics: Discussion boards, weblogs and the development of communities of inquiry in online learning environments. In R. Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (pp. 274-283). Perth, 5-8 December. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/farmer.html

Grosseck, G. (2007). Pedagogy 2.0 or web 2.0-based e-learning. Retrieved May 23, 2008, from http://www.scribd.com/doc/469144/Toward-a-pedagogy-2-0

Guba, E. G. & Lincoln, Y. S., (2001). Guidelines and checklist for constructivist (a.k.a. fourth generation) evaluation. Evaluation Checklists Project. Retrieved April 24, 2008, from http://www.wmich.edu/evalctr/checklists/constructivisteval.pdf

Hase, S. & Kenyon, C. (2000). From andragony to heutagogy. Retrieved May 17, 2008, from http://ultibase.rmit.edu.au//Articles/dec00/hase2.htm

House, E. R. & Howe, K. R., (2000). Deliberative democratic evaluation checklist. Evaluation Checklists Project. Retrieved April 24, 2008, from http://www.wmich.edu/evalctr/checklists

Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking teaching for the knowledge society. FET5601 Module 1 Readings, University of Southern Queensland. Retrieved February 21, 2008, from http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0201.pdf

Laurillard, D. (2004). E-learning in higher education. In Ashwin, P. (2005) (Ed) Changing Higher Education. RoutledgeFalmer, UK. Retrieved July 27, 2007, from www.adelaide.edu.au/clpd/resources/seminars/

McLoughlin, C. & Lee, M. J. W. (2007). Social software and participatory learning:Pedagogical choices with technology affordances in the Web 2.0 era. In ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2008, from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/mcloughlin.pdf

Patton, M.Q. (2003). Qualitative evaluation checklist. Evaluation Checklists Project. Retrieved May 2, 2008, from http://www.wmich.edu/evalctr/checklists/qec.pdf

Queensland University of Technology. (2004). Learning Activity Design for your Resources. Teaching and Learning Support Services. Retrieved 27 July 2007, from http://www.talss.qut.edu.au/staff/creating_resources/learningdesign/

Reushle, S. (2008). Module 4 – Evaluation of Flexible Programs. FET5601 – Instructional design for flexible learning. Retrieved April 22, 2008, from http://usqstudydesk.usq.edu.au/file.php/321/course_content/40/Module_4_Evaluation_of_Flexible_Prog.htm

Richardson, A. (2002). An ecology of learning and the role of elearning in the learning environment: A discussion paper. Global Summit 2002. Retrieved April 4, 2008, from http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/APCITY/UNPAN007791.pdf

Rowntree, D. (1992). Evaluating open learning. Retrieved May 2, 2008, from http://usqstudydesk.usq.edu.au/file.php/321/unit_resources/objects/Copyright%20Resource/12/object.pdf

Siemens, G. (2002). Instructional design in e-learning. Retrieved February 2, 2008, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/InstructionalDesign.htm

Siemens, G. (2005). Learning development cycle: bridging learning design and modern knowledge needs. Retrieved March 19, 2008, from http://instructor.aviation.ca/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=130

Siemens, G. (2005). Designing ecosystems versus designing learning. Connectivism, Retrieved April 5, 2008, from http://connectivism.ca/blog/ecosystem/

Smith, M. K. (1999). the social/situational orientation to learning. the encyclopedia of informal education, Retrieved April 3, 2008, from http://www.infed.org/biblio/learning-social.htm

Stufflebeam, D. L., (2007). IPP evaluation model checklist [second edition]. Evaluation Checklists Project. Western Michigan University Evaluation Center. Retrieved April 24, 2008 from http://www.wmich.edu/evalctr/checklists/cippchecklist_mar07.pdf

Tripp, S. D. & Bichelmeyer, B., (1990). Rapid prototyping: an alternative instructional design strategy. Educational Technology Research and Development. Vol 38. No. 1. Retrieved May 9, 2008, from http://www.springerlink.com/content/09h4203175l22150/fulltext.pdf

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity, Cambridge University Press

Wenger, E. (2006). Learning for a small planet: a research agenda Full Research Plan V2.0, viewed 16 September 2007, from http://www.ewenger.com/research/index.htm

5 Responses to “Reflective Journal”


  1. […] 6, 2008 The content of this post has been moved to the Reflective Journal Page. It includes a list of references used throughout the unit. Note: blogs I’ve linked to have […]

  2. ata lakuary Says:

    visit elearning gunadarma university
    http://elearning.gunadarma.ac.id

    Research,there are several research topics that could be your research ideas.
    http://repository.gunadarma.ac.id

    Small study,
    http://library.gunadarma.ac.id/penulisan.html

    may be usefull and Indonesia supported educational progress..
    thank you!!

  3. sandrar Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    • Janice (Breen) White Says:

      Thanks Sandra. I’ve been nomadic for quite a while and have only just gotten organised with internet access – apologies for the delayed reply.


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