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Information foraging and social networks

If educators want to move away from broadcast models of teaching, the obvious questions arises “how are we supposed to teach and how will students learn?”. One particularly valuable benefit of traditional design and teaching models is the creation of a central platform or cohesive view of knowledge in a particular domain. We need some degree of centering in order to gain coherence in a topic. We (mistakenly) assume that if the educator provides that coherence in the form of a course, students will acquire it. But coherence is a personal thing – it’s about how *we* connect information elements and how we use artifacts and narratives to share that coherence.

Instead of a broadcast model, then, we need a model that places coherence making into the hands of learners and into social networks. The information foraging model is one approach to consider – as detailed in this presentation:


  1. Matt wrote:

    Without hearing the presentation itself and just going by the slides, this does sound like an approach to consider. As I go through the content, it seems to me that maybe a small number of the more learner-centered teachers are already doing this without knowing they are even using a different model? Slide 39 would seem, to me at least, to diagram a really well-designed online course. Which very few courses look like, of course… but something I wish more would shoot for. Would it be possible to break this presentation down in a post of its own? Or maybe at least that 39th slide…. looks interesting.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink
  2. gsiemens wrote:

    Thanks Matt for your comments. Sure, I’ll try and detail the presentation in a blog post. I’ll post a link to the presentation as soon as UNISA has it available as well…

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 8:59 am | Permalink