One of the things discussed at the Google hangout last night was the idea of learner autonomy in relation to Sian’s critique of TEL.
This is a short post to capture my notes on the hangout:
– Learnification tends to reduce learning as a market transaction, a commodity.
– Learnification talks about the role of learners but ignores the role of teachers and tutors. These two cannot be separated, nor can the power dynamics inherent in this relationship be ignored.
As I mentioned in the session, corporate training seems to value learner independence over collaboration. This can be seen in the prevalence of corporate self-paced e-learning courses. The idea of lifelong learning is sometimes misconstrued to mean that learning is the sole responsibility of the employee. The corresponding role of the organization and of managers in particular is often not discussed.
This came up as we talked about nanopills, how one day, all we’ll need is a pill, an implant or a plug to transfer learning from one container to another. While all this sounds futuristic, similar ideas already happen in different forms. Returning to corporate training, I often see (and have also been involved) in projects related to training the trainers, the goal of which is to reach a large number of trainees. Training other trainers is supposed to solve this problem through a multiplier effect.
As I write this, I realize I used to think about how introducing elearning courses helps solves this problem by providing consistent learning experiences, directly from a single source. In this sense, technology helps improve efficiency and reduces cost. The tricky part is how to make it not just efficient, but also effective: how to make corporate elearning courses sensitive to learners’ contexts and needs.