About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2513-2523
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain

MAKING LEARNING VISIBLE IN THE CONTEXT OF ONLINE SOCIAL LEARNING

M. Kanaris, J. Laffey

University of Missouri (UNITED STATES)
Online learning has its supporters and detractors. Whereas it is seen as an optimal opportunity to provide anytime, anywhere learning for anyone; it is also dogged by concerns that the quality of online learning is subpar when compared to face to face learning. In general, it is challenging for educators to know when learning has taken place. Educators may ask learners if they have any questions that reveal what they understand or not, but asking questions is not sufficient because learners may not realize what they have or have not learned. Testing is another option to assess learners’ progress, but, again, may not be reflective of what actual learning is occurring. Looking for signs, such as a puzzled look or a conference between two learners, may provide visual clues as to what learning is occurring. Therefore, becoming aware of learners’ social practices and what and how learners’ are learning is challenging in a face to face context. It is even more challenging in the online context where educators and learners typically interact using text-based communication with anonymous others.
Yet, it is information about learners’ social practices and ongoing development that are essential to designing and implementing curriculum that optimizes the potential of social learning to leverage individual development. In a related research study, we have explored how trust facilitates interactions for successful social learning and, thereby, mediates online social learning outcomes. In this study, we are focusing on how trust mediates the social construction of learning in an online context. The nature of text-based communication in online learning can also be viewed as a strength and research opportunity. Specifically, the documented nature of learners’ interactions provides traces of their learning; in essence, it makes their learning visible.
This paper reports on the preliminary findings of a research study on “Making Learning Visible in the Context of Online Social Learning.” The purpose of this study is to gain insights into online learners' understandings of how trust shapes their negotiation of moments of learning. We focus on the micro-sociological level of social interaction as our unit of analysis and take a qualitative interview approach to develop thick descriptions of learners' understanding of the progression of their learning during learning negotiations. We use the research findings of previous studies of trust and Reggio-inspired learning and research. The latter provides guidance on making learning visible and visible listening. The prior research findings provide general guidelines, as sensitizing concepts, heuristic ideas, to point us in the 'directions along which to look' as we interview online social learners. The findings from this study will provide insights into the characteristics of interactions that reveal the occurrence of social learning.
@InProceedings{KANARIS2014MAK,
author = {Kanaris, M. and Laffey, J.},
title = {MAKING LEARNING VISIBLE IN THE CONTEXT OF ONLINE SOCIAL LEARNING},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {2513-2523}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Kanaris AU - J. Laffey
TI - MAKING LEARNING VISIBLE IN THE CONTEXT OF ONLINE SOCIAL LEARNING
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 2513
EP - 2523
ER -
M. Kanaris, J. Laffey (2014) MAKING LEARNING VISIBLE IN THE CONTEXT OF ONLINE SOCIAL LEARNING, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 2513-2523.
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