Final Assignment Topic Proposal – Tracking the Invisible Online Learner

Sian (as my tutor), I propose for my final assignment topic – “The Trouble with Online Learning – Tracking the ‘Invisible’ Learner.” This topic is inspired partly by your own Inaugural Address on the “Trouble with Digital Education” and also the MScDE Team’s “Manifesto for Teaching Online.” The previous presentations were more teacher/teaching-oriented, while my interest is more oriented towards the learners’ perspective, fore-fronting ‘invisbility’ as an area of research that I think merits more attention. By ‘invisibility,’ I mean that much online learning, actually take place off-line, ‘behind the screen.’ How can that learning be evaluated? I envision a digital video of less than 5 minutes, mirroring the “Manifesto for Teaching Online,” presented via Vimeo. I am currently experimenting with HaikuDeck Zuru as a platform for collating a presentation, while simultaneously using Pinterest to gather images. I may use footage from my recent visit to Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art on “Constellations.” I came across John Moravec’s recent work on ‘Manifesto 15′ which ironically conjures up some parallels with Lars Van Trier’s ‘Dogme Manifesto’ (in terms of the public pronouncement) which was an inspiration for my MOOC micro-ethnography. I will probably default to YouTube as a delivery platform, because I have not had much exposure to Vimeo or other digital video platforms, but I am open to suggestions and advice. I am still in the early development of this project. I doubt it will reach the level of a ‘manifesto,’ but I think that I have enough of my own ideas and also academic references, such as Michael Beaudoin’s work on ‘invisible students’ (although somewhat dated, early 2000s). I look forward to your feedback.

One thought on “Final Assignment Topic Proposal – Tracking the Invisible Online Learner”

  1. I like the sound of where you’re going with this PJ. Is it your intention to relate the idea of ‘invisibility’ to digital surveillance cultures, and the way in which availability of data leads us to expect and sometimes seek a greater visibility than in ‘pre digital’ contexts? For example, if elements of learning take place off the screen, why do we need to think in terms of ‘evalutating’ them? Are we seeing a rising expectation in education that such learning might be tracked and ‘rendered visible’ in some way?

    The following readings might help?

    Data entry: towards the critical study of digital data and education, Neil Selywn

    The politics of transparency and the calibration of knowledge in the digital age, Hans Krause Hansen

    On the format, I like the idea of video – if you wanted to extend on this to say more about the theory of your work, or to indicate references and citations, you could write a short textual ‘rationale’ which might give you more scope to be experimental in the video itself.

    I’m not quite clear how the manifesto element is going to brought in here (would it relate to the form of the piece in some way?) so would like to hear more about this at some point.

    Great to see the thoughts coming together!

Leave a Reply