The students in a course I’m teaching are asked to reflect on their own work and respond to the question embedded in the title to this post. What follows is mostly a test post to illustrate how it will all work, but also captures some of my views.
My own learning outside of the institution.
This is currently the primary influence. To teach I need to learn and the vast majority of my learning is enabled through various aspects of NGL. This occurs largely outside of the organisation. The better I adopt NGL practices, the better my learning, and the better my teaching.
Limited steps (and barriers) around my learning within the institution
Principles and practices from NGL are almost entirely absent from institutional approaches to staff development and teacher learning. These practices are still largely stuck in objectivist and cognitivist approaches to learning.
What attempts are made toward adopting NGL are constrained by the underlying hierarchical mindset that infects the institution. This includes the fundamental organisational structure; how technology is selected, supported, and configured; and, how learning is organised into hierarchical structures consisting of faculties, schools, programs, and courses.
The institution does have a Yammer group that appears essentially dead. Recently some of the more technically minded staff have started using Slack and that appears to be a little more active. Whether that’s the initial novelty or something more about those involved being much more familiar with the type of NGL practices Slack encourages, it’s too soon to tell.
My last post before this one outlines a “system” that I’d like to implement that I think is more likely to embed NGL principles into how teachers learn how to teach. Whether it does or not is the $64K question. It is this “system” that would form my focus for Assignment 2 in the NGL course.
My students’ learning
Students in the courses I’m involved with are required and support to engage more in NGL than almost any other course I’m aware of. This is only possible because I’ve developed software to support it; leveraged externally available tools for student learning; and, ignored institutional policy around where courses and their content may reside. And with all of that, the engagement of these students in NGL is still only scratching the surface of the possibilities.
I can see some glimmer of possibilities for the “system” outlined above for helping with this. But time will tell.