Technology-embraced informal-in-formal learning
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Interactive Media and Learning (IML)
Conference paper (Refereed)
21st Century Learning for 21st Century Skills
A. Ravencroft, S. Lindstaedt, C. Delgado Kloos, D. Hernandez-Leo
7th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2012, Saarbrücken (Germany), September 2012.
Place of publ.:
Computer support, Conative learning, Online Forum
Informal learning takes usually place outside of a formal task given by a teacher. A characteristic is that a person has an unsolved issue and starts searching for answers. To what extent can we transfer such a 'motivation to learn' into formal education? In 2002, an online, open and free, forum at a university has been launched for around 2,000 students at a computer science study program (CS). Users got the opportunity to co-construct new knowledge about issues what they want like content of courses, open issues or self-organization. Designed in that way, the online forum provides an informal learning space. What kinds of informal learning activities take place? Studying the forum from a role-based approach, one conclusion is that the iForum activates the conative level of learning. The term conation by Kolbe in 1990 refers to a concrete action; the learner does not only know but s/he really acts, s/he is willing, s/he is doing to do. This aspect of learning is often neglected in formal schooling where cognitive learning “learning what” and “textbook knowledge” is more focused. With an iForum the conation of learners can be partly re-activated.