Ambient Pedagogies, Meaningful Learning and Social Software

Ambient Pedagogies, Meaningful Learning and Social Software

Andrew Ravenscroft (London Metropolitan University, UK), Musbah Sagar (London Metropolitan University, UK), Enzian Baur (London Metropolitan University, UK) and Peter Oriogun (American University of Nigeria, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-208-4.ch027
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Abstract

This chapter will present a new approach to designing learning interactions and experiences that reconciles relatively stable learning processes with relatively new digital practices in the context of social software and Web 2.0. It will begin with a brief position on current educational articulations of social software before offering some theoretical pointers and methodological perspectives for research and development in this area. The authors will then explain how an ongoing initiative in advanced learning design has developed notions of “ambient learning design” and “experience design” to address these issues and describe a new methodology for developing digital tools that incorporate these concepts. This approach is exemplified through ongoing work within an initiative in Digital Dialogue Games and the InterLoc tool that realises them. Finally, the implications this work has for future trends in designing for inclusive, highly communicative and engaging learning interactions and practices for the digital age are discussed.
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Abstract

This chapter will present a new approach to designing learning interactions and experiences that reconciles relatively stable learning processes with relatively new digital practices in the context of social software and Web 2.0. It will begin with a brief position on current educational articulations of social software before offering some theoretical pointers and methodological perspectives for research and development in this area. The authors will then explain how an ongoing initiative in advanced learning design has developed notions of “ambient learning design” and “experience design” to address these issues and describe a new methodology for developing digital tools that incorporate these concepts. This approach is exemplified through ongoing work within an initiative in Digital Dialogue Games and the InterLoc tool that realises them. Finally, the implications this work has for future trends in designing for inclusive, highly communicative and engaging learning interactions and practices for the digital age are discussed.

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Introduction

One of the problems with recent educational articulations of social software and Web 2.0 is the misalignment of social practices that are ostensibly oriented towards and motivated by ‘interest’ with those that are oriented towards and motivated by ‘learning’. This has been demonstrated in many ongoing projects, such as those supported by the UK JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), although there is little mature research in this area as yet. Whilst these purposes and the practices they entail are not mutually exclusive, they often involve different processes of meaning making. In learning situations there is usually a defined or identifiable context, that may be organised or emergent, which involves some management, structure or scaffolding. This operates as an ‘interaction narrative’, and is usually required to promote suitable sorts of thinking, collaborative meaning making and content assimilation and generation that corresponds to learning. In other words, whilst specific practices such as personal content creation and expression, communication, media sharing, multimodal dialogue and social networking are relevant to communities of interest and learning, these will usually be orchestrated differently in both. And furthermore, understanding these differences is important if we want to harmonise interest driven informal learning with more formal learning activities, given that all these activities are now increasingly performed within the same digital landscape. So a question we are tackling in this Chapter is: What forms of contextualisation and support are needed with more open and social software to stimulate, catalyse and realise meaning making that corresponds with attested notions of learning through social interaction and dialogue?

Based on substantial previous work emphasising the centrality of dialogue in learning (e.g. Vygotsky, 1978; Mercer, 2000; Ravenscroft, 2001, Wegerif, 2007) and particularly in the context of promoting productive conceptual change (e.g. Hartley, 1998; Ravenscroft and Pilkington, 2000) we hold that a key component in social networking and communication for learning will be the quality, educational efficacy and general value of the dialogue and media-rich interaction between digital interlocutors. Indeed, it may be the case that the degree of learning that occurs with open and social software corresponds to the quality of the multimodal dialogues that are being performed. But how can we design for these inclusive and valuable multimodal learning dialogues? Or more generally: how can we embrace and exploit the opportunities offered by open digital technologies to support contemporary approaches to dialogue, thinking and meaning making in ways that support new and relevant learning practices? When we start to unpack these questions we have to address some additional emphases that characterise contemporary digital practices, such as participation and collaboration, and the production of shared and yet more provisional knowledge representations.

Key Terms in this Chapter

and: provides specifications that can be implemented as digital tools

InterLoc: A ‘state of the art’ Web-technology that implements digital dialogue games for reasoned dialogue, collaborative inquiry and learning

Meaningful Learning: An approach to learning which emphasises the human social and cognitive processes that are in play, such as ‘thinking’, ‘meaning making’, ‘understanding’ and ‘collaborative inquiry’, and articulates the value of knowledge representations in these terms. So this term foregrounds the processes that give rise to the, usually collaborative, development of knowledge and understanding, in contrast to approaches that locate meaning and knowledge ostensibly within media and content

Investigation by Design (IBD): A methodology for investigating and modelling educational dialogue in ways that: identify and examine the dialogue features and processes that are in play

Digital Dialogue Games for Learning: A well attested approach to learning through dialogue that is organised and managed according to computer-mediated social games (such as InterLoc above) that are performed synchronously amongst small groups.

Dialectic: An approach to dialogue which holds that knowledge and understanding develops through ‘rational argument’ and ‘reasoned inquiry’, with an emphasis on the clarification of meaning

Advanced Learning Design: This is an approach to learning design which accepts that contemporary learning is becoming more personalised, social and emergent - rather than the outcome of highly structured and pre-planned institutional practices

Dialogic: An approach to dialogue which holds that knowledge and understanding develops in a dynamic and relational way, through a process that involves the continuous development of descriptions, or re-descriptions, that arise from being able to ‘adopt the perspective of another’ in a dialogue

Ambient Pedagogy: An approach to pedagogy and learning design that foregrounds the experiences that are produced through the realisation of the pedagogy, that is present but ‘behind the scenes’, in a learning situation. So this contrasts with approaches that focus on and externalise the structural complexities of the learning design. Instead, here there is a deliberate effort to render the complexities of learning designs into accessible learning practices that are performed ‘naturally’

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Jennifer Preece
Acknowledgment
Stylianos Hatzipanagos, Steven Warburton
Chapter 1
Jon Dron, Terry Anderson
Understanding the affordances, effectiveness and applicability of new media in multiple contexts is usually a slow and evolving process with many... Sample PDF
How the Crowd Can Teach
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Chapter 2
Chris Abbott, William Alder
Although social networking has been enthusiastically embraced by large numbers of children and young people, their schools and colleges have been... Sample PDF
Social Networking and Schools: Early Responses and Implications for Practice
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Chapter 3
Eleni Berki, Mikko Jäkälä
Information and communication technology gradually transform virtual communities to active meeting places for sharing information and for supporting... Sample PDF
Cyber-Identities and Social Life in Cyberspace
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Chapter 4
Werner Beuschel
Weblogs are a popular form of Social Software, supporting personal Web authoring as well as innovative forms of social interaction via internet. The... Sample PDF
Weblogs in Higher Education
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Chapter 5
Mark Bilandzic, Marcus Foth
Web services such as wikis, blogs, podcasting, file sharing and social networking are frequently referred to by the term Web 2.0. The innovation of... Sample PDF
Social Navigation and Local Folksonomies: Technical and Design Considerations for a Mobile Information System
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Chapter 6
Rakesh Biswas, Carmel M. Martin, Joachim Sturmberg, Kamalika Mukherji, Edwin Wen Huo Lee, Shashikiran Umakanth
The chapter starts from the premise that illness and healthcare are predominantly social phenomena that shape the perspectives of key stakeholders... Sample PDF
Social Cognitive Ontology and User Driven Healthcare
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Chapter 7
Jillianne R. Code, Nicholas E. Zaparyniuk
Central to research in social psychology is the means in which communities form, attract new members, and develop over time. Research has found that... Sample PDF
Social Identities, Group Formation, and the Analysis of Online Communities
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Chapter 8
Jillianne R. Code, Nicholas E. Zaparyniuk
Social and group interactions in online and virtual communities develop and evolve from expressions of human agency. The exploration of the... Sample PDF
The Emergence of Agency in Online Social Networks
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Chapter 9
A. Malizia, A. De Angeli, S. Levialdi, I. Aedo Cuevas
The User Experience (UX) is a crucial factor for designing and enhancing the user satisfaction when interacting with a computational tool or with a... Sample PDF
Exploiting Collaborative Tagging Systems to Unveil the User-Experience of Web Contents: An Operative Proposal
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Chapter 10
Utpal M. Dholakia, Richard Baraniuk
Open Education Programs provide a range of digitized educational resources freely to educators, students, and self-learners to use and reuse for... Sample PDF
The Roles of Social Networks and Communities in Open Education Programs
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Chapter 11
Sebastian Fiedler, Kai Pata
This chapter discusses how the construction of an adequate design and intervention framework for distributed learning environments might be... Sample PDF
Distributed Learning Environments and Social Software: In Search for a Framework of Design
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Chapter 12
Yoni Ryan, Robert Fitzgerald
This chapter considers the potential of social software to support learning in higher education. It outlines a current project funded by the then... Sample PDF
Exploring the Role of Social Software in Higher Education
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Chapter 13
Kathryn Gow
This chapter focuses on the identification of a range of competencies that entry level workers, and thus graduating students, will need to acquire... Sample PDF
Identifying New Virtual Competencies for the Digital Age: Essential Tools for Entry Level Workers
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Chapter 14
Jerald Hughes, Scott Robinson
This chapter examines interaction-oriented virtual religious communities online in the light of sociological theory of religious communities. The... Sample PDF
Social Structures of Online Religious Communities
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Chapter 15
Helen Keegan, Bernard Lisewski
This chapter explores emergent behaviours in the use of social software across multiple online communities of practice where informal learning... Sample PDF
Living, Working, Teaching and Learning by Social Software
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Chapter 16
Lucinda Kerawalla, Shailey Minocha, Gill Kirkup, Gráinne Conole
With a variety of asynchronous communication and collaboration tools and environments such as Wikis, blogs, and forums, it can be increasingly... Sample PDF
Supporting Student Blogging in Higher Education
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Chapter 17
Lisa Kervin, Jessica Mantei, Anthony Herrington
This chapter examines blogging as a social networking tool to engage final year preservice teachers in reflective processes. Using a developed Web... Sample PDF
Blogs as a Social Networking Tool to Build Community
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Chapter 18
Jennifer Ann Linder-VanBerschot
The objective of this chapter is to introduce a model that outlines the evolution of knowledge and sustainable innovation of community through the... Sample PDF
A Model for Knowledge and Innovation in Online Education
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Chapter 19
Petros Lameras, Iraklis Paraskakis, Philipa Levy
This chapter focuses on discussing the use of social software from a social constructivist perspective. In particular, the chapter explains how... Sample PDF
Using Social Software for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
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Chapter 20
Dimitris Bibikas, Iraklis Paraskakis, Alexandros G. Psychogios, Ana C. Vasconcelos
The aim of this chapter is to investigate the potential role of social software inside business settings in integrating knowledge exploitation and... Sample PDF
The Potential of Enterprise Social Software in Integrating Exploitative and Explorative Knowledge Strategies
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Chapter 21
M. C. Pettenati, M. E. Cigognini, E. M.C. Guerin, G. R. Mangione
In this chapter the authors identify the Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) pre-dispositions, skills and competences of the current effective... Sample PDF
Personal Knowledge Management Skills for Lifelong-Learners 2.0
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Chapter 22
Sharon Markless, David Streatfield
This chapter questions whether the shift from the Web as a vehicle for storing and transmitting information to the new Web as a series of social... Sample PDF
Reconceptualising Information Literacy for the Web 2.0 Environment?
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Chapter 23
Catherine McLoughlin, Mark J.W. Lee
Learning management systems (LMS’s) that cater for geographically dispersed learners have been widely available for a number of years, but many... Sample PDF
Pedagogical Responses to Social Software in Universities
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Chapter 24
Alexandra Okada, Simon Buckingham Shum, Michelle Bachler, Eleftheria Tomadaki, Peter Scott, Alex Little, Marc Eisenstadt
The aim of this chapter is to overview the ways in which knowledge media technologies create opportunities for social learning. The Open Content... Sample PDF
Knowledge Media Tools to Foster Social Learning
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Chapter 25
Luc Pauwels, Patricia Hellriegel
This chapter looks into YouTube as one of the most popular Social Software platforms, challenging the dominant discourse with its focus on community... Sample PDF
A Critical Cultural Reading of "YouTube"
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Chapter 26
Ismael Peña-López
The author of this chapter proposes the concept of the Personal Research Portal (PRP) – a mesh of social software applications to manage knowledge... Sample PDF
The Personal Research Portal
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Chapter 27
Andrew Ravenscroft, Musbah Sagar, Enzian Baur, Peter Oriogun
This chapter will present a new approach to designing learning interactions and experiences that reconciles relatively stable learning processes... Sample PDF
Ambient Pedagogies, Meaningful Learning and Social Software
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Chapter 28
V. Sachdev, S. Nerur, J. T.C. Teng
With the trend towards social interaction over the Internet and the mushrooming of Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube in the social... Sample PDF
Interactivity Redefined for the Social Web
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Chapter 29
Sue Thomas, Chris Joseph, Jess Laccetti, Bruce Mason, Simon Perril, Kate Pullinger
Transliteracy might provide a unifying perspective on what it means to be literate in the 21st Century. It is not a new behaviour but has been... Sample PDF
Transliteracy as a Unifying Perspective
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Chapter 30
Martin Weller, James Dalziel
This chapter looks at some of the areas of tension between the new social networking, Web 2.0 communities and the values of higher education. It... Sample PDF
Bridging the Gap Between Web 2.0 and Higher Education
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Chapter 31
Steve Wheeler
The use of group oriented software, or groupware, encourages students to generate their own content (McGill et al, 2005) and can foster supportive... Sample PDF
Destructive Creativity on the Social Web: Learning through Wikis in Higher Education
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Chapter 32
Scott Wilson
This chapter describes the mechanisms of presence in social networks and presents an ontology that frames the purpose, content, methods of... Sample PDF
Presence in Social Networks
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