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Making Invisible Learning Visible - Join the discussion!

Making Invisible Learning Visible

A HASTAC Scholars Discussion Forum with
Randy Bass and Bret Eynon, co-Project Directors of the Visible
Knowledge
Project
Open now at www.hastac.org/scholars/forum/03-23-09Making-Invisible-Learning-Visible

How do students learn? What
types of learning take place in the
classroom? How do pedagogical and technological tools impact learning?

The Visible Knowledge Project,
a five-year
collaborative effort to study the impact of technology on learning,
began as an
effort to make visible the hidden intermediate processes students
undergo on
the path to learning. The project, co-directed by Randy Bass and Bret
Eynon, involved more than 70 faculty from 22 institutions who not only
experimented with incorporating new media technologies into their
classrooms,
but also drew on the scholarship of teaching and learning in order to
document
and reflect on their findings. Many of these insights are synthesized in the January 2009 issue of Academic
Commons
. One of the project?s key findings has been the
importance of digital media in helping instructors to make visible the
modes
and aspects of learning - intermediate learning processes, the
importance of
affective learning, the roles of community or creativity - too often
made
secondary to outputs and accountability.

We encounter questions of
digital media and learning in contexts both
prosaic and designed, from institutional policies to individual
experiments to
collaborative efforts. Teachers and learners of all varieties enter
academic contexts with different levels of technological exposure and
skill,
some of which are immediately productive and others of which need to be
nurtured in order to advance the learning process. This HASTAC
Scholars
Discussion Forum, hosted by Daniel Chamberlain and Chalet Siedel, will
focus on
the questions raised by the efforts of the Visible Knowledge Project
and the
similar projects instigated by members of the HASTAC community and
beyond:

  • How are classroom uses of new digital media transforming the nature of learning
    at your
    home institutions?
  • What
    new forms
    of evidence of student learning could we be paying more attention to?
    Do new
    forms of learning yield new kinds of readable artifacts of student work?
  • What
    kind of
    learning communities should institutions form in order to allow
    imaginative
    pedagogies to be locally shared? How can we leverage social tools to
    make
    these innovations broadly sharable?
  • How
    might we
    better link classroom learning to integrative activities outside the
    formal
    curriculum, like undergraduate research, study abroad, internships, and
    service
    learning?
  • How
    can emergent
    media technologies be used to encourage creativity in faculty and
    student
    discipline-related work?
  • How
    much of the
    challenge of incorporating digital media into the classroom is about
    technological affinity, and how much is it about the uncertainty and
    loss of
    control that accompanies learner-centered pedagogies?

Daniel Chamberlain
is a lecturer in the department of Screen Arts and
Cultures at the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Critical
Studies Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. His interests include the
intersections
of emergent media technologies and new urban spaces, media interfaces,
network
theory, and digital media and learning. He has published as a columnist for FlowTV.org, an online
journal of
television and media studies, and has essays forthcoming in the edited
collections:
FlowTV: Television in the Age of Media
Convergence (Routledge, 2009) and Television
as Digital Media (Duke, 2009).

Chalet Seidel is
completing a Ph.D in Writing History and Theory at Case Western Reserve University. Her work explores the
professionalization of American journalism amid
the rapidly changing technological and information environment of the
late 19th
century. Her work has been published
in the journal Linguistics and the Human Sciences. In Fall 2009, Chalet
will
join the faculty at Westfield State College as an Assistant Professor
of
English.

Randy Bass is the Assistant
Provost
for Teaching and Learning
Initiatives at Georgetown University, where he is also Executive Director of Georgetown's Center for New Designs in Learning and
Scholarship. Bret Eynon is the Assistant Dean for Teaching and
Learning at
LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) and the executive director of the LaGuardia Center for Teaching & Learning. Bass and
Eynon were Co-Principal
Investigators & Co-Project Directors of the Visible
Knowledge Project
and
recently co-edited a volume of Academic
Commons
titled "New Media
Technologies and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning."

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