User-Created Online Learning Videos: Collaborative Knowledge Construction Through Participatory Design

User-Created Online Learning Videos: Collaborative Knowledge Construction Through Participatory Design

Adesola Olulayo Ogundimu (Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2235-6.ch003
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Through digital technologies, learning has become more flexible in terms of location and mode of delivery, as well as open opportunities for inquiry, discourse, extension, and application towards the creation of new knowledge. A tendency towards a lack of uniformity in the quality of knowledge produced as well as deviation from the norms that guide content creation and sharing have been envisioned with new modes of knowledge creation and sharing in general. This chapter will synthesize research and strategies on designing high value, engaging online video content, with the aim of equipping creators within participatory, informal learning contexts with approaches for becoming more responsible and effective contributors to the digital ecosystem.
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Learning is usually regarded as an experience involving the transfer of information to produce knowledge or elicit the performance of an action or behavior. The nature of learning in the present digital society has taken a form distinct from one in which knowledge was accessed through mediums, artifacts, repositories and knowledge infrastructures that are bound by space and location. Knowledge is no longer seen as residing in the minds of a select few—usually scholars and experts who have been certified credible through an enduring system of appraisal. Channels for the dissemination of information, once administered by educational institutions, libraries and publishers are freer and more open than ever before (Edwards et al., 2013). Enabled by the mechanism of digital media, collective discovery has taken the place of traditional sources of expertise and channels of dissemination.

As information and communication technologies evolve, long-established approaches to learning are increasingly being augmented with digital, technology-driven modes of communication and knowledge sharing. This has given rise to a networked kind of knowledge, which holds much promise for a progressive, information-driven society, but also challenges established ways of understanding and handling knowledge with much uncertainty and complexity. Much of the uncertainty surrounds the difficulty in applying long-standing principles and standards that guide the intellectual value of knowledge towards these new, often networked knowledge forms. While these values and principles for establishing the worth of information and credibility of sources serve as vital gatekeepers for preserving quality and integrity, at the same time, these ideals place limitations on creativity and the true dynamic nature of knowledge.

Just as formal learning has been transformed through digital technologies and media, informal learning opportunities are also becoming increasingly abundant. Learning is even more interest-driven, socially constructed and readily accessible than ever before. Up to 70 percent of millennial users watched YouTube for learning purposes in 2017, with a thirty-eight percent growth in viewing time for learning videos focused on professional, career-related skills alone. Over one million learning videos are shared across the platform each day (YouTube, 2018). In their discourse on the influence of new knowledge forms on conventional learning approaches, Edwards et al. (2013) state that, “networked social forms permit many more participants to comment publicly on knowledge products, bypassing traditional credentialing and certification mechanisms” (p. 7).

Learning according to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology (2017), is now:

both ‘lifelong,’ happening at all stages throughout a student’s life; and ‘lifewide,’ occurring not just in an educational setting, but at multiple kinds of organizations, such as community or non-traditional providers of education, in their homes, at their places of employment, and in other settings enabled by mobile and portable technology. (p. 8)

Learning (whether formal or informal) can therefore no longer be limited to the forms, mediums and learning spaces that educational institutions and other stakeholders are familiar with and regard as ideal, authentic or safe.

As a corollary, what remains is to encourage methods and techniques for generating and managing new knowledge that support creativity and active involvement in inquiry and vibrant discourse among creators and the consumers of their content. Regarding this, Edwards et al. (2013) emphasize that the changing nature of knowledge requires a response that would “debalkanize scholarship by assembling a methodological repertoire that can match the geographic and temporal scale of emerging knowledge infrastructures” (p. 19). In the face of concerns with preserving the integrity of knowledge, it becomes imperative to help individuals develop the ability to better understand and navigate the changing landscape that new digital information modalities present.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Media Literacy: The collection of knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for engaging in ethical use of digital media for learning, creative expression and productive activity.

Participatory Culture: A culture that affords individuals dual roles as members and active contributors through opportunities to exercise creative agency.

Learning Design: A process for designing learning content and experiences that places emphasis on the needs, goals and attributes of the learner.

Networked Learning: A relational type of learning in which digital technologies not only support information exchange, but also enable social learning interactions.

Informal Learning: A form of learning in which individuals engage with content and activities outside of the context of classrooms, schools and similar educational structures.

Multimedia Learning: Learning that combines words and pictures towards the representation of meanings.

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