April 06, 2005

Some basic requirements for a system to support the student academic process

Follow-up to Argument for shifting emphasis of e–learning development work from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

My next conjecture will be that we can define an efficient and succesful independent student academic process. This concerns how students recieve, use, test, extend and create models – domain specific subject content, domain specific meta-models of modelling procedures, generic meta-models of academic processes, and meta-models of how those processes relate to the individual's personal development and plans.

  1. A student gathers experiences from a range of sources (learning inputs) into a single location, even though the experiences may not be simply structured or understood (the significance of the experiences may not even be obvious),
  2. In some cases, the student leaves the experiences relatively un-processed until some later date (just get them into a 'bucket' from which they can easily be retrieved and processed);
  3. Regular processing (or alternatively incubation) of the recorded experiences is encouraged and supported;
  4. The student processes the experiences with reference to a model received from an authoritative source or developed personally – (they have to be able to choose the appropriate model);
  5. The student’s understanding of the model is tested, assessed, and modified in relation to the experiences;
  6. The model itself is tested, assessed, and modified in relation to the experiences;
  7. The student can connect a set of models together based on experience;
  8. The student can seek or develop new models to fill the gaps where necessary;
  9. The student can consider the same and related experiences and models as recorded and processed by others.

These activities themselves are recorded in the process of carrying them out, such that the student can reflect upon the effectiveness and appropriateness of the recording and processing activities, and aim to improve them.

But most importantly, all of this must take place in a sandbox or dmz, away from assessment, away from judgement.

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