Throwing this link in on the weekend. Think it should go here first then maybe into resources as the students already have enough to read.
Dialogue and Community in Online Learning: Lessons from Royal Roads University by Joshua D. Guilar and Alice Loring
“Subject matter is shared among partners not as an object but as a subject with its own particular perspective. Interpretation is open-ended inquiry and not a search of unalterable, objective truth.”
“In an I-thou relation, each partner listens to the other with the possibility that what the other person says may be true. Students’ roles change from being passive learners to becoming co-creators of understanding.”
“The experience of learners is central in adult education (Vella, 2002). Learners in educational programs seek to change their place in the world (LaPointe, 2006; Mezirow, 2000). They join a degree program because they want a new job, a promotion, or to take their career to a new level in the same position. These changes require changes in the perception of self, others, and life.”
Many more points of interest to me in this paper but my prime interest is in discovering how to fit and best enable as an expert while recognizing that I’m inside someone else’s story and their change process.
We don’t have defined roles as “experts” beyond (maybe for me?) experience in open courses and we aren’t tutors or teachers but we do exist for some purpose and for myself I find it compelling to develop a role as helper because A) online classes can be lonely places for students B) I would like to enhance and encourage in a genuine way without clogging up the discussion area with a display of myself as a learning object.
This all started with the 50 word limit suggestion (which might be too short) but as an operating principal forced me to think how a diverse group of talented and empathetic people could best serve the student.
As a side note, my wife did two Master’s degrees at Royal Roads University and the cohort system was enormously helpful. Can we build a literacy that involves the supportive concept cohorts that exists in a changing environment where we may meet over a project like this then break off to other projects with other people?
Should this be in the experts discussion area?