ICE3, day three

by Paul Maharg on 23/03/2007

Interesting summary by Axel, of Queensland University of Technology of general direction of the interactive web, suggesting amongst other things a new set of digital competences, C4C: creative, collaborative, critical, communicative.  Nothing new in one sense, as Axel pointed out, but in another sense it’s hard to make sense of Web 2.0 processes without taking seriously these four qualities.  Just before Axel’s talk Ray Land showed us Michael Wesch’s now-famous video, which was a good backdrop not just to Axel’s talk but to much of the ICE conference.

Next up, Leah Macfadyen and Anne Hewling gave a fascinating paper on difference and transformative learning in an online course on global citizenship.  Not only is the course a collaborative activity (between Universities of British Columbia, Hong Kong and Melbourne), and entirely online, but it seems to be achieving its ambitious goals of transformative learning (Mezirow, 1991, etc).  The transformation is based on three key contexts.  First, the course designers deliberately design multinational and multicultural perspectives that trigger cognitive dissonance.  Second, the designers have taken harsh raw knowledge which cannot be compartmentalized as academic content but rather impacts on all, now and daily.  Third, the ‘forced’ community is constantly developing throughout the course. 

From student feedback (18 months since the first course was started) it would appear that there is indeed transformation.  Of course, as Steve Draper observed in question time, the test is the longitudinal, eg five-year, follow-up; but given the lamentable rate of transfer of knowledge (let alone transformative experience) engendered by traditional examinations, any transformation that occurs will be a big step forward. 

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