Networked Learning for Teaching/Advising Students?

Reading: Gardner Campbell, “Networked Learning as Experiential Learning” (2016)

Networked learning has various avenues for researchers. For example, the Research Gate allows us to create a project and post our publication online. People who are interested in our projects can follow us and ask questions through this social media. As compared to the past when people need to attend conferences to obtain the latest knowledge and exchange ideas, our social networks nowadays has significantly accelerated the diffusion of knowledge. An idea that came to my mind is that I may ask my students who are doing research with me to constantly post their latest results on the web like facebook newsfeed, so that they can receive feedback right away. Also, as an advisor, I will know they are working :p. But to be honest, in my area where there are tons of math, it’s pretty difficult to post sth unless the results are plotted. Oh well… I will try to figure a way to do it..

On the other hand, I think networked learning cannot replace traditional classroom type of study, at least in the area of engineering. Though online courses websites such as MOOC and Coursera make knowledge easily accessible to everyone, interacting with teachers is still very important for students who has no self-learning ability, at least including freshman and sophomore students in my opinion.  Nevertheless, networked learning systems like Canvas used at VT is a very good learning assistance for students. They can start a discussion with their classmates and teachers. They can easily form a study group to exchange ideas and learn from each other. But it seems to me that only a few instructors at VT really use those website functions to assist their lecture.


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