David Wiley Conference Call

Notes from the conference call today.

I published my thoughts on the paper here.

This guy really gets it. Extremely refreshing to hear from someone else who sees through the hype, but stills sees the promise, in learning objects.

Online learning is different than traditional, conventional classroom-based learning. Not necessarily better or worse, but different, and we need to recognize that in order to do it properly. “You can’t just put a course online.” - Exactly. You can move teaching or instruction online, but it’s a different thing than just save-as-online-course.

One caller pointed out that faculty development is a key issue - until people are supported in this endeavor, they can’t be successful. We’re seeing the same thing here at the U of C, and have projects like GALILEO to hopefully start to address it.

caller: students like being passive learners, and may not be ready for online learning. DW: maybe 1 in 10 students is ready for online learning now. Role of teaching able to change into more of moderator, discussion, inquiry… It takes a couple weeks to get the students to realize they have the responsibility to contribute to their learning.

DW: Reusability is the application of external context to a learning object. Add it to a course. Add it to another resource. Etc…

DW: Our traditional use of learning objects can tend to be oppressive - kills dialogue and interaction with the learning - specific world views “handed down” in prepackaged learning objects. How to get around this?

DW: on point 3.1 in the paper, he’s talking about how learning object repositories are ignoring EXISTING learning objects - they all seem to require creation of new objects, new tagging, new formatting, etc… [DN: BUT, how do you get the information you need in order to use/reuse a learning object WITHOUT this additional metadata? standards exist for this. IMS is almost there…]

DW: on 3.2: Content Cartels are blocking the promise of the Learning Object Economy. It won’t work.

DW: On OOP metaphor for LOs: Reuse in the programming world follows an import-common-library model (import java.xml.parser…) rather than the real OOP model.

DW: If all we need is content, Universities would have never evolved from libraries. Universities add context over content, which is valuable. Social context is important and valuable.

DW: Teaching != Direct Instruction. Teaching is more than that. It’s not pouring knowledge, or training, or memorization. It’s about inquiry, discovery, research, problem solving, providing resources… Much less structured than conventionally practiced.

Caller: BUT standardized testing goes completely against this strategy - students are trained to be rote memorization learners, and rebel against anything else.
DW: They DO know how to do this - they just refuse to do that in the context - they freely go online to research tips for Grand Theft Auto or other games, but that doesn’t carry over into the classroom.

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