Adventure learning. It just sounds more fun than any other name I’ve come across for learning types so far.
I think it’s great that Aaron Doering in his article, “Adventure Learning: Transformative hybrid online education” underlines the importance of having specific learning goals when designing adventure learning. I also like that adventure learning aims to remove some of the internet isolation that can happen with online learning environments. And yes, let’s bring in experts from the field. Not just teachers facilitating and sharing. I can see how students get work-force ready with experts aiding their learning process. And, it’s definitely a pressure reliever for teachers. My one concern, though, is prepping up for AL can be time consuming. And, even though the benefits are huge, the work required to set up an AL experience may deter teachers from attempting it. I see this happen in my line of work a lot. When putting together training content for the company’s products, many a times, we go with the time-saving manual rather than doing an online video or simulation. We know the latter is better, but the time and cost factor do come into play sometimes.
Another aspect of AL that I like is its focus on problem-solving. When students get to work toward formulating a solution, their question “why are we learning this again” is answered, and keeps them motivated to learn more.
I think immersionlearning.com has done a fantastic job of this type of learning. I dabbled in the “Make your Own Titanic movie” task. Not going to win any Oscars, but it was such a fun experience, and I did walk feeling I want to do more research on the Titanic.
My google search on Aaron Doering, the pioneer in AL led me to this article: http://www.mndaily.com/2012/02/16/u-researchers-study-sustainability-all-7-continents
I love how people from across the continents are involved in this project. Of course, it’s time consuming (study ends in 2014), but it just might be worth the effort.
My next stop for week 6 was “No Such Thing as Failure, Only Feedback: Designing Innovative Opportunities for E-assessment and Technology-mediated Feedback.” I find formative feedback approach to be encouraging and uplifting. And—being an instructional designer wannabe—this article served as an important reminder to not blindly ape existing practices. I had never even wondered why assessments in online learning environments are placed at the end of the module/lesson, just like in a traditional setting. My key takeaway from this read was to align feedback with the task, and to ask the “what, why, and when” of feedback. And, I find the idea of self-assessment appealing. This truly puts the learner even more in control of his/her learning—to determine whether mastery over the content has occurred or not. I know it’s not practical for all types of learning. But, for the ASL learning discussed here, I think it’s a great idea for students to record themselves when practicing it, and then compare their signs to those of experts. Of course, this means you should be keenly aware of your own body language. I am reminded of my experience with my PT, who kept correcting my posture when doing an exercise, which I thought I was doing perfectly. Then, he had me stand next to the mirror to show me the “before” and “after,” and I got it instantly.
An AL experience is definitely a tall order to construct and deliver. Affordances in educational, social, and technological aspects have to be considered. And, since it is rare to find people possessing expertise in all three, it really would take a village to educate this child.