13 April 2012

week 4 writing the paper

Now that you have a topic to write on, I would like to point out how maximally you could profit from each other while writing. There are various systems for collaborative writing, see this website for an overview, what we (or rather, I think you) need here is a tool that allows the collection and identification of comments by your course mates. So, it should be private and also free, and there's no need for a powerful editing toolset. Google docs is a tool that fulfills these demands, but so would Zoho for example. I suggest we use Google docs. < br> Second, make use of Mendeley. The web application will suggest papers that are relevant to your topic if you have filled out your profile and, it is my impression, the better the more papers you have in your collection of publications. Finally, sending out Tweets to your followers with specific questions for suggestions, also is a means to collect feedback.

week 3 picking a paper topic, some thoughts about design

In the previous two weeks we have discussed the pedagogical and technological challenges that anyone with a wish to design a networked learning environment has to face. Now I will go a bit more into the idea of what it means to design a learning environment and do some suggestions for topics of papers. Remember, the papers are to be 1000 to 1500 words (exclusive of references) and should be written using Google docs. That way, they can easily be shared and commented upon.

Design, in the abstract

I defined learning networks as online social networks designed to foster non-formal learning. Technically, this definition is a functional definition in that it tells you what a learning network should do, not how it does it (that would be a causal definition). The good thing about functional definitions is that you do not have to change them every time a new tool comes around. The bad thing of course is that it tells you nothing about what tools you may use. We further unpacked the definition though to conclude that any design that fosters learning should address the pedagogical challenge of adhering to particular pedagogical principles, such as those of self-directed (guided) learning and social learning. Second, we realized that fostering learning for personal learning environments makes different demands on tools than does fostering learning in managed learning environments. And finally, this resulted in the discussion of a number of services that the tools should provide.

There is quite a complicated story to tell about the role of design research in scientific inquiry. Some argue that it is not genuine research as it only allows you to test overall designs and thus never get to understand the exact role some factor, say group size, plays in for example learning effectiveness. Others will argue that these factors or so mutually dependent anyway that testing them one by one is silly at best as it doesn't help, misleading at worst as it suggests answers that are plain wrong. This is the argument for the contextual nature of educational theorizing. This is not to place to argue this out (but see Collins et al. 2004: Design Research, Theoretical and Methodological Issues), the game we have decided to play was not so much to get into the theoretical underpinnings of non-formal networked learning, but rather in ways to make it work. That leads automatically to a design-based approach (see Diana Laurillard's book Teaching as a Design Science, which was published just this March).

Choosing for a design-based approach does not imply that theoretical underpinnings do not matter, they do if only to tell sensible designs apart from designs that are known not to work. However, Theoretical underpinnings (almost) always underdetermine a design. That is, completing a design almost always requires knowledge, often of a practical nature, that is simply not known and not easy to come by either. In such cases, a designer needs to make decisions based on informed guesses. A design that then proves to work reinforces the believe in the correctness of the guess, a design that doesn't questions that believe. Some of this is illustrated in a presentation of mine, still work in progress though.

Concrete designs 

There still are a lot of unknowns that have to be filled in. I surmise that those can only be filled in in the context of a concrete problem, a concrete demand for a learning network to be developed. Lacking those, there is a technique, borrowed from computer science, one may use to come as close as possible to such a demand. It is called writing personas. According to Tina Calabria in her Introduction to personas and how to create them (KM Column, March 2004, see private Mendeley group): 'Personas are archetypal users [...] that represent the needs of larger groups of users, in terms of their goals and personal characteristics. They act as "stand-ins" for real users and help guide decisions about functionality and design.' The eight use-cases we discussed in Chapter 1 of Sloep et al. are not detailed enough yet to serve as personas, they do however come close to what is intended. Particularly the second set of organizational use cases don't fit the description of a persona as they are not written in terms of persons but of institutions. However, replacing them with the description of a manager tasked with setting up a learning network would do the trick. So writing one or more personas, either as archetypal users of a PLE or as archetypal managers of an MLE, should help to arrive at a concrete design.

Furthermore, the web is replete with suggestions for how to design learning networks. I will single out two recent, illuminating examples. First, this blog post by @Ignatia Webs gives a list of standard social network tools that may be employed to build a personal learning network, much in the way we try to use such tools for the present course. Second, for the more technically inclined, this post in the Google App Developers Blog shows how you can do such a thing using Google apps. Parenthetically, both are posts in a Scoop.it topic on networked learning I set up, where other, related topics can be found too.

Topics for papers

I suggest there are two kinds of papers that you can decide to write. If you have a practical nature, write a persona, if need be, inspired by the use cases of Chapter 1, and develop a design for a learning network. The design should be somewhat detailed, that is, it should be clear whether it is a PLE or an MLE, service categories should be discussed and argued for and, to the extent possible, they should be illustrated by tools, existing ones or ones that still have to be built if you can't find any. The paper should finish with a brief discussion of the extent to which you expect your design to foster non-formal, networked learning.

Alternatively, you could write a conceptual paper, if reflecting is something you feel more comfortable with. Then you should discuss any of the assumptions I made throughout the blog posts for this course (or any of the other, on online identities and pedagogical issues), whether explicitly revealed as an assumption or as one that has remained hidden and you managed to uncover. Actually, I would prefer you to tackle the latter, as this could point to flaws in my argument, things overseen or conveniently forgotten. But the choice is yours. Topics for a conceptual paper could refer to the distinction between formal and non-formal (informal), to the distinction between personal and managed learning environments, to the wisdom of using a functional (rather than a causal definition), to the sensibility of the definition anyway,to the need for personal identity management, etc.

I will evaluate your paper, whether orientated on a practical design or conceptual, purely on the strength of its arguments. Factual mistakes and oversights I find less problematic, unless they of course betray a fundamental ignorance of the topic, one that could have been easily remedied by checking only a little bit of the literature. Even if I may not like your design or the conclusion of your conceptual stance, if it is coherently and persuasively argued for, I will value it highly. If you wonder about my reasons for that, I firmly believe that facts without carefully crafted arguments around them will not advance the state of (educational) science. Being a doctoral student, it is the right time to learn how to do this. Oh yes, and connect your topic to your research topic if you can. Success!

week 2 technological challenges

In the post for week 1 and during the ensuing online conference meeting, it was discussed how formal and non-formal learning are different. Also, it was pointed out how networked learning would offer a learning environment that is suited for non-formal learning. After all, networked learning environments are designed with the express purpose to serve non-formal learners. To be sure, this is not to say that other solutions may not exist, but networked learning is a sure candidate.

Environments for networked learning (learning networks) are online social networks. For such networks to flourish and function, tools are needed, that is technological artefacts. At the very simplest level, such technologies are a website with a web address (URL) that one can go to to meet others, one's social network partners. At a more sophisticated level, such tools should foster learning. They could for example induce a network structure which is best for learning, they could allow people to get to know each other, they could help to get answers from the network on content related questions, they could provide means for assessing oneself, etc. These tools may exist already, may consist of existing tools transformed to serve educational purposes, or they could have been custom-built. What tools to use and how to use them is not an easy matter to decide on.

Of personal and managed learning networks

As described in the Design of Learning Networks from an organizational perspective - Chapter 8 from Sloep et al., to be retrieved from the private Mendeley group - one should distinguish between two kinds of learning networks. Managed Learning Networks (MLN) are created to serve some organization's goal, unlike Personal (private) Learning Networks (PLN) which only serve the intersection (average, if you like) of the various individual goals that the network participants have. MLNs are sponsored by an organization, which sets up a network, for instance because it wants its personnel to share the knowledge they individually have with each other, perhaps even use it to create new, to the company strategic bits of knowledge. Organizations exist because they are a means to work more productively or more efficiently than a collection of individuals could. Organizations are successful because its products (goods or services) are better produced by dividing the labour of their production over various people each with their own special area of expertise. It thus makes eminent sense that organizations want to optimize this process of producing through a division of labour, by making sure people learn from each other. And therefore, organizations will tend to coerce their employees into participating in the network they have set up, they will spend money on setting up the network and on making it successful, for instance by telling employees what to do in the network. The second set of use cases discussed in Chapter 1 of Sloep et al. illustrate this quite well.

PLNs are different from MLNs in many ways. First, they exist because there are people who share some broad interest, not because some management wants them to. The first set of use case of Chapter 1 of Sloep et al.  describes them best. As indicated, there is no organization with an interest of its own that can act as a sponsor of the network. There are only the users and their interests. It is they and they alone who should see benefit in networked interaction. There is no greater good, although there will be a division of labour based on the various areas of expertise that the network participants represent. But there is no grand scheme, no organizational structure that has been set up to produce some service or product more effectively or more efficiently. There are only the interests of the individual users. This of course also implies that PLNs arise from the bottom up, solely on the initiative of the users; not, as in MLNs from the top-down, on the initiative of the management. PLNs have no official management, although users may adopt managerial (admin) roles. If they do so, it happens purely because of their merits. (Note: it is quite illuminating to look at the open source software movement and how in there networks emerge; a good overview is offered by Steven Weber, 2004:  The Success of Open Source).


There is another important difference between MLNs and PLNs that should be highlighted. From the perspective of the users' motivation to actively participate in a network, PLN users do so because they themselves want to. They are predominantly if not purely intrinsically motivated. If they loose their motivation, they will no longer participate and their is nobody who will, indeed could force them to do otherwise. In MLNs however, users may be motivated intrinsically, but their main motivation will be extrinsic, 'because my boss wants me too', 'because it is part of my job'. Either kind of motivation has its own problems that one should be aware of when designing tools for a network. Intrinsic motivation is powerful, but costly. People only have so much of it to spend and are therefore economical with it. This implies that PLNs are difficult to get started as in the beginning there is so little to prove that one should be motivated to participate (a kind of cold start problem). MLNs with their organizational sponsors do not have this start up issue. They are typically launched with a bang (party, event) and, certainly in the beginning, carefully moderated to generate traffic between users. This is often accompanied by the obligation 'to go there and do things'. The obligation is either translated in incentives to participate (bonus points, a good assessment, etc.) or in punishment (negative points, a negative assessment by management). The problem with this is that the networks stops functioning when moderation is withdrawn ('the network should now function by itself'). Also, people will tend to 'play the system' to get the rewards or avoid punishment without actually contributing to its greater goal (think of people who buy 'levels' in online games to move up the respect ladder quickly without having put in the effort). This situation is inherent in the two kinds of networks, one can only be aware of it and, for a PLN, try to avoid the cold start problem and, for an MLN, strive for more intrinsically motivated participants. The right choice of tools is also critical for this.

Technologies, tools and services

There is no point in going over a long list of existing tools as these tools will come and go as well as change and evolve rapidly. However, function categories of tools are more persistent. The following list of five only covers the most obvious needs that learning network tooling should address.

  1. content service - a service that points to written resources, such as texts, papers, presentations, collections of links, etc.
  2. peer-support service - a service that connects a help seeker with a potential help provider; if networks become large (from about a hundred people up) one cannot know everyone anymore and participants have to rely on software that matches their needs to the expertise and capabilities of others in the network; peer support covers content-related questions (not the trivial who, where, when, but the non-trivial why and how questions), queries for mentoring, for moral support, etc.
  3. coalition-formation service - a service that helps participants set up teams of collaborators, to write a paper, to investigate an issue, to study a topic, etc.
  4. online identity service - a service that collects online user data and allows recommender algorithms to do their work
  5. portfolio service  - a service that allows users to collect their achievements, show case them and perhaps even have them certified. 

Such services have to be implemented in concrete tools. To name but a few examples of content services, Wikipedia is a collection of lemmas as in an encyclopedia, Merlot is a repository of in a learning objects, Mendeley and dSpace.ou.nl are collections of scientific papers, Delicious is a collection of presentations, iTunesU is a collection of usually rich lectures, etc.  Peer support could be provided through Google's Aardvark service (acquired by Google in 2010, subsequently pulled from the market; cf. for details on its functioning Horowitz & Kamvar, 2012: Searching the Village:Models and Methods for Social Search), through LinkedIn or Facebook groups. I know of no publicly available coalition formation services, but that could only betray my ignorance. However, in the course of our research we have built a dedicated peer-support tool (cf Van Rosmalen, 2008: Supporting the tutor in the design and support of adaptive e-learning; SIKS Dissertation Series No. 2008-07) and coalition formation tools are subject of active research (cf. Sie et al., 2011: What’s in it for me? Recommendation of Peers in Networked Innovation). Online identity services do not exist yet, unless one counts Google Profiles as such (They are tricky, see two of my blog posts on privacy and on the problem). Portfolio services have been around for quite some time, but they have been usurped by formal education. An interesting new development are Mozilla's Open Badges.


The present discussion and the Chapter referred to, should all act as a starting point for Friday's seminar and, later on, the paper that is to be written. The following questions may be seen as starting points for the discussion.

  1. Are there other services than the four listed in the above?
  2. May Facebook, LinkedIn or indeed Mendeley or Academia.eu be classified as learning networks?
  3. Do you know of existing, publicly available tools that could be used to provide valuable services to a learning network?
  4. If Facebook were to be used as the infrastructure for a learning network, does its goal of making money through advertisements stand in the way of its function of a learning network. 
  5. How do portfolios differ from Mozilla's open badges?
  6. Although our group is too small to count as a learning network (if anything, it is a community of learners), yet consider the tools that we have been using. Are they adequate? If not, what should be replaced, what is missing?
Note: the post has been updated, with the addition of links and a few changes in the wording

week 1 pedagogical challenges

Put succinctly, this Cross Field course is an attempt to come to an understanding of informal learning in the age of the Internet. This is quite a daunting task, something which is a key research area for many, including my own research programme on networked learning at the Open University of The Netherlands. However, even if we should not hope to achieve a final understanding, we can certainly make headway towards a better understanding of this question and suggestions for possible answers to it. We will do this by investigating the pedagogical challenges in week 1 and the technological challenges in week 2 that this kind of learning poses. 
To inventory the pedagogical challenges, I will here first discuss briefly the distinction between formal, informal and non-formal, which also touches upon lifelong learning. Then we will look into the specific demands this group of learners make and how their learning may be supported. Finally, I'll list a few questions that may be used to inspire your writing of the short paper in weeks 3 and 4.

Formal, informal, non-formal learning

Figure 1 Forms versus contexts of learning

The term 'informal' learning is problematic in that it is used in different ways by different people. Without attempting to define it once and forever, the following distinctions are useful. By formal learning, I mean the kind of learning we do at schools; learning organized mostly by an accredited institution, with a curriculum, exams, formal entrance requirements and a formal diploma if one passes the exam. Accidental learning is the very opposite of this. It happens because as a biological species we are 'wired' to learn, we cannot not learn. Learning, for example, is not only a topic in text books of psychology but also in text biology books on physiology and behaviour. The crucial  distinction between the two forms is that formal learning is intentional and accidental learning is unintentional. In formal learning, people set out to learn something, learn on purpose; in accidental learning people (and animals) just learn, willy-nilly. The intentionality is also a characteristic of non-formal learning, but the lack of exams, curricula, etc. it shares with accidental learning (even though ways may be sought to somehow give credit for what people have learnt non-formally). Informal learning is sometimes used to label accidental learning, sometimes to describe non-formal learning. This is where the confusion comes in. I will use it here as a synonym of non-formal learning only.

Next to distinguishing these forms of learning, one may distinguish two contexts: initial learning, that is meant to prepare mostly young people for the workplace and life in general, and post-intital learning, which is for people who have passed the initial phase and need to keep learning to stay abreast of new developments, specifically in our fast-paced knowledge society. The need to have the often compulsory phase of initial education followed by a further phase of post-initial education, is often indicated by saying that people need to learn throughout their entire life, that is, participate in lifelong learning. As a short hand, post-initial learners who learn non-formally are often called lifelong learners (see Figure 1). And although this is not entirely correct (if lifelong learning spans the whole lifecycle, it should also incorporate initial education), it is a common usage to which I will conform.

Now for the punch line. In my view, the methods that are used in the context of initial learning, that is a formal learning setting with lecture halls, curricula, etc., are unfit for post-initial education. They are unfit because of the specific demands post-initial learners (lifelong learners) make on learning settings. Therefore, here we will focus on designing learning environments for the lower middle cell of Figure 1, on non-formal learning for post-initial education. Indeed, it is quite possible that whatever insights a focus on this cell produces, may be used profitably to innovate the upper middle cell on non-formal learning for initial education. That would probably be most welcome, as it is something which is next to nonexistent at present. That is, universities, schools, etc. do no seek to help their students learn non-formally nor do they attempt to somehow give students credit for the non-formal learning they have done.

Demands of post-initial learners

See private Mendeley group Chapter 1 of Sloep et al. (2011), Backgrounds and Reasons, here in a quick English translation, discusses a number of use cases, situations of people who may want to engage in lifelong learning (non-formal learning for post-initial education). Generalizing from these use cases, three kinds of demands may be distinguished, which I have called logistic, content-related and methodical demands. Logistic demands are about designing your educational environment in such a way that people may learn at their individual place, time and pace. Typical classrooms are anathema to this. They force learners to come to a lecture hall, at particular class hours, and every time a particular subject is discussed. Thus place, time and pace are heavily constrained. Second, it is the teacher or rather teaching staff who determines the topics that are being taught (content). This of course is derived from the curriculum, which in turn may have to conform to national standards, etc. Nevertheless, a lifelong learner has very specific needs and demands of his or her own. Those may but need not coincide to what is on offer as part of an existing curriculum. Third, people, particularly experienced learners have their own preference for how they want to learn (method); by themselves or with others, driven by tasks set by teachers or just following an erratic trace of their, starting with some realistic problem or by assimilating theoretical backgrounds first, using a classical handbook or drawing on Internet resources, etc. Again, in formal learning it is a teacher who determines this for an entire class, which may not guarantee the best form for each and every individual, but at least something which is acceptably good. However, for lifelong learners with a lot of learning experience who follow their own interests anyway, this won't do.

Figure 2 Demands and Freedoms 

Interestingly this tripartite demands' division corresponds with the classification of eight freedoms offered by networked learning that Terry Anderson and Jon Dron discuss (see Figure 2). Location, time and pace correspond with logistic demands; subject with content demands; and sociability, approach and technology with methodical demands. That leaves delegability, which is a bit of a difficult one. What it for example refers to is the ability of networked (lifelong) learners to have a choice in what people they may choose to work with, to act as peers, etc. It goes beyond choosing in that it not only allows one to pick form a given list (of peers or content items) but to also assemble the list. 

Designing an appropriate learning environment

The upshot of the above discussion is that designing a learning environment in which lifelong learners are capable of learning non-formally is a tall order. One cannot rely on the usual ingredient of learning environments for formal learning as those stand in the way of the freedoms these learning need (demands they make on such an environment). So teachers cannot play the role of experts who determine the content to be studied, unless one is willing to give each student a personal teachers (well, a few students per teacher), and this is of course unaffordable. This not just goes for the role of teachers as experts who pick content, but also for teachers as tutors, who provide help with questions.

To cater for these kinds of situations, one often speaks of self-guided learning: it is the student who guides him or herself. That sounds interesting but really just begs the question: how should students then guide themselves? How should they pick the right content, how should they find people who can help them with hard questions, and, even, how can they overcome difficult periods of lowered motivation?

Without getting ahead of the story, it is technology that admittedly cannot answer those questions to the full, but should at least help to find those answers more easily, perhaps more adequately also. But this is the topic of week 2.


The present discussion and the papers referred to in it, should all act as starting points for Friday's seminar and, later on, the paper that is to be written. The following questions may be distilled from the above.
  1. Are the dimensions of forms and contexts of learning independent of each other (as they should in a good classification)?
  2. Are there other forms than formal, non-formal and accidental? Ditto for  initial and post-initial (exhaustiveness also is a demand of good classification).
  3. Is the classification portrayed by Figure 1 useful?
  4. Are the 8 freedoms independent, is there no overlap?
  5. Are there other freedoms that are relevant?
  6. Do these freedoms indeed cover the kinds of demands you would expect lifelong learners to have?
  7. Is is correct, productive, sensible to speak in terms of designing a learning environment for non-formal learning as I did?
  8. What is wrong with characterizes these learning as self-guided, after all, that is what they need to do?
  9. Why does it make sense to rely on technology to support self-guidedness and meet the demands for the eight kinds of freedoms? or is this a silly question?

Welcome to the Online Seminar series of the Cross Fields course Doctoral School on informal learning


Welcome all to the Online Seminar of the Cross Fields course Doctoral School on informal learning! In the weeks to come, I will share specifically with the students of this course some of my ideas about informal learning, or non-formal learning, as I prefer to call it. More about this at a later stage in the course, though. To show my cards immediately, I am convinced that informal learning stands to profit immensely from a networked approach. That is, I believe that the usual ways in which we educate and train people, using schools, curricula, exams, etc. are ill suited for non-formal learners; and this is particularly so for advanced and lifelong learners. This has always been the case, but it was difficult to act upon it due to all sorts of practical constraints. However, at present, with the advent of the Internet, the information web (1.0) and particularly the social web (2.), we have the tools at hand to create entirely different and in my view much richer and more effective learning environments, learning environments also that can cater for the needs of non-formal learners. This may to some extent be an unproven assumption, but that should not detain us from trying to build such environments and experiment with them. I call them Learning Networks and in this course we will try to come to grips with what they are, what pedagogical principles could underpin them and what technological tools could sustain them. We will be exploring these questions in a learning environment that itself in many ways resembles a Learning Network. That is, we will not just talk the talk of non-formal, networked learning, but also walk its walk, even though four weeks hardly suffice to do so!

In these four weeks we will first address the issue of the pedagogical challenges of non-formal learning (week 1), then its technological challenges (week 2). In both weeks you will be asked to read a blogpost of mine (for details, see below) and provide extensive comments on the questions/topics for discussion I identify in it. Of course, when doing so, you will identify topics and issues yourself and these should be the basis of comments too. The blog merely forms the starting for collective reflections by you, which should help you make sense of such notions as non-formal learning and networked learning. In addition to the blogpost I will recommend one or two papers for further reading. I urge you to read these as they provide a different or more elaborate angle on the topic of the blogpost. The recommended papers will sit in a private Mendeley reading list (it is recommended that you get a Mendeley account). There also is an extensive, public list on Mendeley with background materials on networked learning. Apart from commenting on the blogpost, I urge you to send out tweets, for instance when reading the blogpost or the papers, using the group hashtag #XfieldDS (requires a Twitter account, which I urge you to get). These tweets will be automatically collected and fed back to you (probably using HootSuit), so you have a sense of how the group feels and thinks about how things are going. Each week is closed off by an online seminar, in which we can discuss things in real time. The tool to be used - Flashmeeting - allows turn taking when speaking, but a chat is always available as a back channel. So even if someone speaks, all others can comment immediately. Both the audio and chat will be recorded so that they are available after the session.

Are the first two weeks mainly devoted to consumptive learning, even though admittedly commenting and tweeting are productive forms of learning, the final two weeks are devoted to productive learning mainly. That is, you will be asked to pick a topic for a short paper (week 3) and write a short essay about it (week 4). The essay should have a length of about a 1000 to 1500 words excluding references (really not so much, if you consider that the above already amounts to almost 600 words!). At the end of week 3, a Flashmeeting is scheduled, but it will be an unsupervised one. That is, you as students should organise and moderate it yourselves, I only have reserved a slot. Furthermore, you should all start writing in your individual Googledoc. document, so that others can easily read it, comment on it and also see its revision history. Also, I urge you to keep tweeting at #XfieldDS to maintain that sense of collaborative learning. Share your thoughts, questions, moments of elation and despair. The papers are due Monday, May the 21st. I will then read them and give feedback to you on them. They also form the basis of the assessment of your performance in the course, for which the executive director of the Doctoral School of course carries the final responsibility. As far as I am concerned, your grasp of the theoretical issues of non-formal and networked learning matter, but no less does your attitude of actively trying to figure out how networked learning can be made to work in an environment like the present one.

After the course's ending, when I send you my feedback, I intend to also to ask you to fill out a short questionnaire with questions about the course topic and the technical infrastructure used. Below I have summarized the course schedule for your benefit.

Course schedule

week 1: April 23-30

week 2: April 30 - May 7

week 3: May 7 - 14

  • study load: 4 hours
  • topic: picking a topic for the paper, 1000 to 1500 words excluding references; start writing using Google docs
  • reading material: blogpost at http://pbsloep.blogger.com called week 3, picking a paper topic 
  • interaction: tweets to #XfieldDS, keeping each other posted about your progress; joint Flashmeeting, in which every student should spend maximally 5 minutes to explain her/his paper topic. May 11 from 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm at  http://fm.ea-tel.eu/fm/e17a45-298http://fm.ea-tel.eu/fm/e17a45-2982525 Please note, changed starting time.
  • background material: public Mendeley group on networked learning

week 4: May 14 -21

  • study load: 5 hours 
  • topic: finishing the paper
  • reading material: blogpost at http://pbsloep.blogger.com with some trips and tricks called week 4, writing the paper 
  • interaction: none as this is work done best alone, but the usual channel of tweets to #XfieldDS is available 
  • background material: public Mendeley group on networked learning
  • paper is due Monday, May 21, at midnight

Finally, please note that not all posts have been written yet, I will do so as the course unfolds. Second, I am using my regular blog for this course, so you will also see posts in this blog that are not course bound. Ignore them, but feel free to peruse them though.

Acknowledgement This blog has been written as part of a course in the online Cross Field programme (CROSS-FertilizatIon betwEen formal and informal Learning through Digital technologies). The doctoral programme is lead by Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni (Universit√† della Svizzera italians), involves Prof. Dieter Euler (University of S. Gallen) and Prof. Pierre Dillenbourg (EPFL) and is managed by Dr. Isabella Rega, its executive director.