Learning from discussions that go over your head

June 22, 2017 by Topi Litmanen

How often do you find yourself in the middle of a conversation which goes well beyond your comprehension? Instead of telling the geeks around you to stop, you should listen. Lay back, relax and enjoy. What follows may be more valuable than you think.

…These Bayes networks each have nodes and curves, which we can use to determine decisions made based on this algorithm.*

Whenever you allow yourself the luxury of just listening to a conversation about something you don't quite understand, you can actually come across something really important. Which concepts and topics do you know and which are unfamiliar to you? Try to grasp the limits of your current know-how by at least listening if you are not yet comfortable in participating.

We use this retrieval from backend, which in essence is a plugin with a logger framework. As a result our developers don't have to write this procedure from scratch.*

If a teacher is interested in truly engaging students in learning, leveraging the social is necessary. This has been effectively utilized in such solutions as problem based learning, inquiry learning and others. Yet more could be achieved with the support of social learning online. On social media, comments and discussions are often more interesting than actual content. If we know that this works, why don't we exploit this in online courses?

#Comments can be more engaging than the content

Imagine entering an online course. Upon login, you get suggestions about discussions taking place in different areas of the course. As you are not yet sure about whether this course is really for you, you start browsing through what other people are saying and asking. You go through the parts participants have highlighted in course materials and discussions relating to the texts. Some of them seem mundane, whereas some go over your head. You dig deeper into the topics that seem interesting, but might not be familiar to you yet.

As the discussions take place alongside the learning materials you go in deeper examining the topics the discussions are built on. As you gain knowledge and become more selfassure, you start posing questions and eventually start replying to other learners’ questions. At first, you start by giving suggestions for the easy questions and move on to the more challenging ones.

What do we know about boredom and learning? And how could we avoid that? Can we safely assume that repetition causes attention to falter, decreasing the value of repetitive sessions. As such, should our recommendations favor variety?*

In terms of engaging learners in an inspiring discussion, you should have a way of interacting and starting a discussion relating to any part of a learning material. Others should also be able to view these debates alongside the learning material. On Claned, this has been one of the main design principles, and therefore our clients have been able to engage their students into lively and active collaboration from the very beginning of the courses.

The actual methods and ways of engaging students will be addressed in detail in future blog posts.

* Inaccurate representations of everyday discussions in an educational technology startup.

Topi Litmanen

Dr Topi Litmanen works as a Chief Educational Scientist in Claned Group. He is responsible for ensuring, that the pedagogical aspects of the Claned are based on latest learning research. Topi makes sure that Claned customers get the needed support for meeting their digital learning needs.

More blog posts

October 16, 2017 by Pertti Jalasvirta

How to avoid digitalization disaster in your school

August 24, 2017 by Topi Litmanen

Analytics in the changing landscape of learning

July 25, 2017 by Tuomo and Riikka Meretniemi

Personalized Learning In A Sailboat – Amazing Results

Load more