Thursday, 30 April 2009

On the track of unknown informal learning spaces

Interesting article (Web Link) from the Academic Innovation Team, (Sheffield Hallam University), which considers the relation of learning to serendipitous meetings and the ad hoc use of those "in between" times between taught sessions, between focused study, between study and home. Basically focuses on the students’ use of informal learning spaces and how the institution might we can support these through effective provision of space, resources, and integrated online and face-to-face activities.

What’s really interesting is how they ask their test group "Where are you learning?" rather than "What are you doing?" (using Twitter that is). The intention is that the students reply offering insights into their learning patterns, activities, and environmental triggers. I might employ the same for our forthcoming conference to gain a view as to where the learning is taking place and use the data gathered to inform future events.

A really nice, short article which gets you thinking. How could I enable my students to make greater use of informal learning spaces? Provision of more coffee breaks? (seriously – more breaks to allow students to relax and exchange views in a less formalised context). But then if I do that am I not formalising informal learning…

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