Every fortnight (two weeks) our editor sends along a few links with the most noteworthy quote from each article, a way of keeping our team abreast of what’s going on in the world around peer-learning, collective learning and knowledge sharing. We decided to share them alongside the magazine.
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My research has explored an alternative to this “watch and learn” approach. Rather than one person shouldering the burden of absorbing knowledge by passively observing others, I posit that people can more effectively learn through collaborative, two-way interactions with others at work. Through coactive vicarious learning, the person learning and the person sharing knowledge work together to construct an understanding of an experience, which better equips the learner to apply it in their own work.
Coactive vicarious learning breaks down the one-way nature of observational learning, so both parties — not just the observer — can benefit. The learner’s questions and reactions can lead the sharer to rethink an assumption or understand an experience in a new way. It can even prompt a role reversal, where the learner contributes unique experience or knowledge that might help the sharer learn.
Learning is the lifeblood of a fruitful career. And it’s available to you right now. It’s neither a personality trait nor a gift. It takes humility to admit that we have much to learn, but this realization can be a catalyst to the kind of lifelong learning that helps us improve, thrive, and contribute in a way that is deeply meaningful to ourselves and others.
Through education we agree to make a particular bet on a particular future. We may hope that some of this education will generate a spark that takes things off in a different direction, through breakthrough research, novel new theories, or sheer brute force of emphasis on STEM education or whatever the current popular majors are. What we don’t do is explicitly ask students to assess, act, and even steer that future, much less create alternatives.
As edX pivots to focus on quality and credit, it is also signaling that it wants to be more—not less—intertwined with traditional institutions of learning. This runs counter to the approach taken by Coursera and Udacity, which are distancing themselves from the higher ed’s brick and mortar system. Looking three years down the road Agarwal hopes MOOCs catalyze universities “to become more porous” so learners can take a campus course, MOOC or some other learning experience and “have them be interoperable.” The big question is how this approach will impact learners and the institutions that serve them.
What I’m doing becomes a platform for doing something new, learning something new, and becoming even better…Now, I’m looking at trajectories through life’s space, as opposed to fixed points.
The peer to peer learning by a group of Maui surfers is an especially interesting and unconventional example.
Interesting knowledge sharing project; WeFarm
WeFarm is a free peer-to-peer service that enables farmers to share information via SMS, without the internet and without having to leave their farm. Farmers can ask questions on farming and receive crowd-sourced answers from other farmers around the world in minutes.
Each floor of the new building features a STEM lab and four learning studios that share a collaborative learning commons. Flexibility is imperative for supporting multiple teaching models and allowing a project-based learning environment to thrive. Walls open, furniture rolls and collaboration are supported within classrooms, common areas and even in cozy corridor wall niches along with inspirational graphics.
conceived as ‘a library without books’, the design develops natural conditions for groups of people to interact, while offering areas for controlled and introspective study. the SLC offers students eight individually designed floors that include space to meet, study, and exchange ideas – encouraging students to interact with their physical environment.