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Working Definition

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 9 months ago



Our current working definition of Learner Generated Contexts


  • Learning is a social process occurring across a continuum of contexts
  • Learning must be “Fit for Context”;
  • Learner Generated Contexts are;
  • "A Coincidence of Motivations leading to Agile Configurations"


"A Learner Generated Context can be defined as a context created by people interacting together with a common, self-defined or negotiated learning goal. The key aspect of Learner Generated Contexts is that they are generated through the enterprise of those who would previously have been consumers in a context created for them."




Popular themes for funders that we should be able to tap into or cite?



  • Social justice


  • Personalisation/Learner-centred education


  • * Skills??


  • User-centred/participatory design


  • Organisational learning


  • Innovation/Creative economy/Knowledge economy


  • Digital development for citizens


  • Localities/Community empowerment/Social capital






Broader areas in which we can look to place our research?


  • Obuchenie (the critical theory bit),
  • the design, introduction and use of technology,
  • the co-construction of new forms of knowledge in new ways (inc. curriculum


  • the design and use of spaces
  • “Re-organizing Universities for the Information Age” ( - a title lifted from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/372/952 - though that is an appallingly bad paper and for me (drew) an example of all the things we should be positioning ourselves in opposition to)
  • praxis? How theory and action influence each other? (Freire - developing an understanding of, and then changing one's context through education and participation)
  • i2010
  • work-based initiatives
  • schools
  • 14-19 collaboration - diplomas
  • e-portfolios
  • teacher CPD
  • community empowerment



  • Nuffield for student projects
  • Leverhulme
  • EC
  • DIUS
  • DCSF
  • Rowntree
  • BSF
  • Community and local gov.
  • DCMS
  • Esme Fairbairn
  • Innovation Nation
  • Nesta (Alchemy)





  • qualitative
  • case study based
  • context-aware
  • observations
  • interviews
  • reflective diaries
  • grounded theory
  • triangulation
  • repetory grid (see below)




Either existing, or potential, case studies - real-world (possible) examples of an LGC which we are already working with - or who we might look to make contact with as venues for research work



  • YooDoo. (At some point they will stop doing classroom exercises and start doing some (journalism?) for themselves… What levels of control will be permitted?)


“Financial Literacy for Kids” – sharing stuff via Web 2.0 about this? (Jon Akass said – he is learning about the media from this project?)


InQBate – “ownership cascade”… How was ownership asserted over this interaction of architecture, furniture, software, skills…. different levels of “flexibility” here – architecture clearly more permanent, necessary to get it right… a more “highly frozen” set of values…


Anyone working “outside the system”… - the subversion Benson & Whitworth found – Peter Day’s experiences… more at the student perspective…



Participatory Learning Workshops (PLWs)… PD did one in Cape Town (so link to the BJET paper from Hannah Slay etc.?)



The possibility of Drew & Rose working together on the MA: Digital Technologies, Communication and Education course at Manchester: Learner-centred ecology of resources – can we actually work out what one might look like and (iteratively, with student participation of course) – set one up? (But see the research question below about ephemerality)



World of Warcraft – Seely Brown? Experiences within virtual worlds – “learning about” v. “learning to be”? Genuine collaboration in these games (see also “Battlefield” – though here a greater moral ambiguity [used for training purposes by US military?])


  • R

epertory grid – self-reflective research on behalf of the LGC executive? Denise Whitelock made an offer – did we plan to take her up on it?


http://www.radiowaves.co.uk/ ?


  • Wikiversity (through Cormac Lawler - a PhD student of Drew's)




A very high-level list of things which might be worth looking at: still very much in note form, so adaptation and polishing essential before these can be used as the basis of any project or bid: some are more developed than others, however.

  • How can we create “learner-centred, adaptive, learning organisations – not hierarchy-generating machines”… [this came from a Fred G. e-mail and is clearly a long-standing political question! Nevertheless the importance of the learning and “creativity” agenda may provide opportunities here – Drew is organising in a meeting on 4th June in Leeds re: designing a project to tap into the staff development & ICT agenda in HEIs, making link to business etc… for we can see LGC in the private sector as well, I am sure]
  • Motivation is a resource for learning – but are learners more motivated by engaging with a LGC?



Are teenagers capable of the level of cognition needed to generate their own context?1

How can LGCs happen within institutions rather than despite them? What happens when you try to turn the design <-- --> generation question from a contradiction into a connection?



The tick-lists – how can they be used to kick-start the iterative process of constructing an LGC? [Link to Action Research agenda…?]



What processes are actually gone through when learners “make learning relevant to their own worlds” – is this conscious?



How do you deal with the ephemerality of students… the point that they cannot simply be told to be engaged with the co-construction of their learning environment – what about when it gets in the way of their marks (or is perceived to)? The slowness of funding and resource allocations… they may see that they are working on behalf of next year’s students (who may then decide they want something different)? [I am currently trying to persuade a MA student to do this for her dissertation – will know by Tuesday 15th whether she will go for it]




How can validation move from an instrumental --> communicative mode? Won’t be through government or QAA! But what role are the employers (in the creative economy) playing here in saying what is valid?



What are the different strategies for releasing learner motivation in different environments/contexts? [Funding? Removing of barriers?]



“Great asymmetry”… what is role of teacher, school, etc. in modern era of more “democratic” content – erosion of traditional authority structures? Research into the changing nature and impact of “authority” in an LGC? [this inspired by Young presentation at earlier LKL event]



Science blogging v. science journalism – use by learners? (http://learnergeneratedcontexts.pbwiki.com/Non-Knowledge)


Evaluation of learner-generated and collaboratively-generated resources (although not necessarily “objective”? user-defined criteria as well as teacher-, or producer-defined)? Here see also Wikiversity?



http://www.dius.gov.uk/publications/DIUS_adu_lea_bro_an_05%208.pdf – questions embedded in here, not necessarily research topics, but may come to frame the debate in this area? – comments due by 15th May



Do a comparison of how different learners have configured their various technologies – perhaps something as simple as looking at desktops, study spaces etc. (offline and online)…

1 A comment from Judy by email on 31/10/07: “One point in particular made me wonder: "Learner ability to understand the elements that make up their environment in terms of multiple perspectives, such as physical, social and communication so that they can marshall them into symbiotic relationships". For young learners - are we expecting too much? We presumably should flesh out some details like the stages of cognitive development where this is possible, and how a teacher would support it. Dunno if I could marshall anything into a symbiotic relationship, never mind a five year old!”

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