Advertisement

Experience and Networked Learning

  • Chris Jones
Chapter
Part of the Research in Networked Learning book series (RINL)

Abstract

This chapter reviews the way experience has been understood, and the research agendas associated with that understanding, in networked learning. In the contemporary context the student ‘experience’ is part of common speech and often associated with a consumerist discourse, especially in the UK and USA. The widespread use of digital and networked technologies in education has also given rise to a decentring of the subject and an identification of actors in network settings as hybrids of humans and machines (including software and code in this category) or including machines and objects as actors within a network. With a decentred subject does it still make sense to understand learning in terms of the subject’s personal experience anymore?

This chapter explores these debates in the context of current educational discourse and in relation to prior research and theory in networked learning. Experience has a long history associated with phenomenological research and the related but distinct approach of phenomenography. It is related to central issues for education and learning, in particular the place of the ‘individual’ cognising subject. Experience can be thought of as either the essential distinguishing component of the individual human subject, or experience can be understood as the subjective component of one kind of element in a wider assemblage of humans and machines. In the later understanding of experience in assemblages human experience does not separate the human actor from other actors in a network and they are understood symmetrically.

It is a long-standing position that the human sciences have a different relationship to their objects of study than natural sciences because the human sciences can have access to interior accounts from the ‘objects’ they observe and because human subjects can behave in ways that are not predicable, replicable, and which depend on an active construction of experience in the world. For networked learning the position and role of the human subject is a central concern and human-human interaction has always been considered essential. This chapter reasserts the need for a proper understanding of experience and explores the place of the human subject in the developing research agendas found in networked learning.

The question addressed in this chapter is: In what ways can networked learning think about and incorporate the idea of experience with regard to decentred persons in the entanglements forming assemblages?

References

  1. Adams, C., Yin, Y., Vargas Madriz, L. F., & Scott Mullen, C. (2014). A phenomenology of learning large: The tutorial sphere of xMOOC video lectures. Distance Education, 35(2), 202–216.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2014.917701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Altbach, P. (2015). Knowledge and education as international commodities. International Higher Education, 28, 2–5.Google Scholar
  3. Ashwin, P., & McLean, M. (2005). Towards a reconciliation of phenomenographic and critical pedagogy perspectives in higher education through a focus on academic engagement. In C. Rust (Ed.), Improving student learning: Diversity and inclusivity (pp. 377–389). Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development.Google Scholar
  4. Bayne, S. (2016). Posthumanism and research in digital education. In C. Haythornthwaite, R. Andrews, J. Fransman, & E. M. Meyers (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of E-learning research (2nd ed., pp. 82–99). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Bayne, S. (2015). Teacherbot: Interventions in automated teaching. Teaching in Higher Education, 20(4), 455–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bayne, S., & Ross, J. (2013). Posthuman literacy in heterotopic space: A pedagogic proposal. In R. Goodfellow & M. Lea (Eds.), Literacy in the digital university: Critical perspectives on learning, scholarship, and technology (pp. 95–110). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Booth, S. (2008). Researching learning in networked learning-Phenomenography and variation theory as empirical and theoretical approaches. In V. Hodgson, C. Jones, T. Kargidis, D. McConnell, S. Retalis, D. Stamatis, & M. Zenios (Eds.), Proceedings of the sixth international conference on networked learning, Halkidiki, Greece (pp. 450–455). Lancaster: Lancaster University. Online HTTP http://networkedlearningconference.org.uk.Google Scholar
  8. Callon, M. (1991). Techno-economic networks and irreversibility. In J. Law (Ed.), A sociology of monsters: Essays on power, technology and domination (pp. 132–161). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Clayton, P., & Davies, P. (Eds.). (2006). The re-emergence of emergence: The emergentist hypothesis from science to religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Creanor, L., Gowan, D., Howells, C., & Trinder, K. (2006). The Learner’s voice: A focus on the e-learner experience. In S. Banks, V. Hodgson, C. Jones, B. Kemp, D. McConnell, & C. Smith (Eds.), Proceedings of the fifth international conference on networked learning, 10–12 April 2006. Lancaster: Lancaster University. Online HTTP http://networkedlearningconference.org.uk.Google Scholar
  11. Cutajar, M, & Zenios, M. (2012). Variations in students’ experience of networked learning in a post-compulsory pre-university context. In V. Hodgson, C. Jones, M. de Laat, D. McConnell, T. Ryberg, & P. Sloep (Eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Networked Learning, 2-4th April 2012, Maastricht, NL (pp. 41–49). Online HTTP http://networkedlearningconference.org.uk
  12. De Laat, M., & Lally, V. (2004). Complexity theory and praxis: Researching collaborative learning and tutoring processes in a networked learning community. In P. Goodyear, S. Banks, V. Hodgson, & D. McConnell (Eds.), Advances in research on networked learning (pp. 11–42). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dennett, D. C. (1995). Darwin’s dangerous idea: Evolution and the meanings of life. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  14. Dewey, J. (1916/1980). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. In J. A. Boydston (Ed.), Middle works 9. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Dohn, N. B. (2014). Implications for networked learning of the ‘practice’ side of social practice theories – a tacit-knowledge perspective. In V. E. Hodgson, M. De Laat, D. McConnell, & T. Ryberg (Eds.), The design, experience and practice of networked learning (pp. 29–49). Heidleberg/London: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dohn, N. B. (2006). Affordances- a Merleau-Pontian account. In S. Banks, V. Hodgson, C. Jones, B. Kemp, D. McConnell, & C. Smith (Eds.), Proceedings of the fifth international conference on networked learning 2006. Lancaster: Lancaster University. Online HTTP http://networkedlearningconference.org.uk.Google Scholar
  17. Elkjaer, B. (2009). Pragmatism: A learning theory for the future. In K. Illeris (Ed.), Contemporary theories of learning: Learning theorists… in their own words (pp. 74–89). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Ellis, R., & Goodyear, P. (2010). Students experiences of e-learning in higher education: The ecology of sustainable innovation. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Engeström, Y. (2009). Expansive learning: Toward an activity-theoretical reconceptualization. In K. Illeris (Ed.), Contemporary theories of learning: Learning theorists… in their own words (pp. 59–73). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Entwistle, N. J., & Ramsden, P. (1983). Understanding student learning. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  21. Fenwick, T., Edwards, R., & Sawchuk, P. (2011). Emerging approaches to educational research: Tracing the Sociomaterial. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Fenwick, T., & Edwards, R. (2010). Actor network theory in education. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Fenwick, T., & Edwards, R. (2011). Introduction: Reclaiming and renewing actor network theory for educational research. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43(S1), 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fox, S. (2000). Communities Of Practice, Foucault And Actor-Network Theory. Journal of Management Studies, 37(6), 853–868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fox, S. (2002). Studying networked learning: Some implications from socially situated learning theory and actornetwork theory. In C. Steeples & C. Jones (Eds.), Networked learning: Perspectives and issues, 77–91. London: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fox, S. (2005). An actor-network critique of community in higher education: implications for networked learning. Studies in Higher Education, 30(1), 95–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fox, S. (2009). Contexts of teaching and learning: an actor-network view of the classroom. In Biesta, G. Edwards, R. and Thorpe, M. (eds.) Rethinking Contexts for Learning and Teaching, 31–43. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Gani, A. (2016). Tuition fees ‘have led to surge in students seeking counselling’. The Guardian 13 March 2016. Online HTTP: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/mar/13/tuition-fees-have-led-to-surge-in-students-seeking-counselling
  29. Goodyear, P. (2000). Final Report, Volume 1: Networked Learning in Higher Education Project (JCALT). Online HTTP http://csalt.lancs.ac.uk/jisc/
  30. Goodyear, P., & Carvalho, L. (2014). Introduction: Networked learning and learning networks. In L. Carvalho & Goodyear (Eds.), The architecture of productive learning networks (pp. 3–22). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Goodyear, P., Carvalho, L., & Dohn, N. (2014). Design for networked learning: framing relations between participants’ activities and the physical setting. In Bayne S, Jones C, de Laat M, Ryberg T & Sinclair C (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Networked Learning 2014 (pp. 137–144). Online HTTP http://networkedlearningconference.org.uk
  32. Goodyear, P., Jones, C., Asensio, M., Hodgson, V., & Steeples, C. (2005). Networked learning in higher education: students’ expectations and experiences. Higher Education, 50(3), 473–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Haggis, T. (2009). What have we been thinking of? A critical overview of 40 years of student learning research in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 34(4), 377–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Haggis, T. (2003). Constructing images of ourselves? A critical investigation into ‘approaches to learning’ research in higher education. British Educational Research Journal, 29(1), 89–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Harman, G. (2009). Prince of networks: Bruno Latour and metaphysics. Melbourne: Re.press. Online HTTP http://re-press.org/books/prince-of-networks-bruno-latour-and-metaphysics/.Google Scholar
  36. Hasselgren, B., & Beach, D. (1997). Phenomenography-a “good-for-nothing brother” of phenomenology? Outline of an analysis. Higher Education Research & Development, 16(2), 191–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Havergal, C. (2016). Rise in UK university dropout rate ‘disappointing’. Time Higher Education 23 March 2016. Online HTTP: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/rise-uk-university-dropout-rate-disappointing
  38. Hazelkorn, E. (2015). Rankings and the reshaping of higher education: The battle for world-class excellence (2nd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hodgson, V., McConnell, D., & Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. (2012). The theory, practice and pedagogy of networked learning. In L. Dirckinck Holmfeld, V. Hodgson, & D. McConnell (Eds.), Exploring the theory, pedagogy and practice of networked learning (pp. 291–305). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Jones, C. (2015). Networked learning: An educational paradigm for the age of digital networks. Heidelberg/London: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Jones, C., & Asensio, M. (2001). Experiences of assessment: Using phenomenography for evaluation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (JCAL), 17(3), 314–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kaptelinin, V., & Nardi, B. A. (2006). Acting with technology: Activity theory and interaction design. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  43. Knox, J. K. (2014). Active algorithms: Sociomaterial spaces in the E-learning and digital cultures MOOC. Campus Virtuales, 3(1), 42–55. Online HTTP: http://uajournals.com/ojs/index.php/campusvirtuales/article/view/49.Google Scholar
  44. Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social. An introduction to actor-network theory. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Lave, J. (1991). Situating learning in communities of practice. In L. Resnick, J. Levine, & S. Teasley (Eds.), Perspectives on socially shared cognition (pp. 63–82). Washington, DC: APA.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Markauskaite, L., & Goodyear, P. (2017). Epistemic fluency and professional education: Innovation, knowledgeable action, and actionable knowledge. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Marton, F. (1994). Phenomenography. In T. Husen & T. N. Postlethwaite (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of education (2nd ed., pp. 4424–4429). Oxford: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  49. Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  50. Marton, F., Dall’Alba, G., & Beaty, E. (1993). Conceptions of learning. International Journal of Educational Research, 19, 277–300.Google Scholar
  51. Marton, F., Hounsell, D., & Entwistle, N. (1997). The experience of learning: Implications for teaching and studying in higher education. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.Google Scholar
  52. Oberg, H., & Bell, A. (2012). Exploring phenomenology for researching lived experience in Technology Enhanced Learning. In V. Hodgson, C. Jones, M. de Laat, D. McConnell, T. Ryberg, & P. Sloep (Eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Networked Learning, 2-4th April 2012, Maastricht, NL (pp 203–210). Online HTTP http://networkedlearningconference.org.uk
  53. Pickering, A. (1993). The mangle of practice: Agency and emergence in the sociology of science. The American Journal of Sociology, 99(3), 559–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ramsden, P. (2002). Learning to teach in higher education (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  55. Sabri, D. (2011). What’s wrong with ‘the student experience’? Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 32(5), 657–667.Google Scholar
  56. Sfard, A. (1998). On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one. Educational Researcher, 27(2), 4–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Shah, M., Cheng, M., & Fitzgerald, R. (2016). Closing the loop on student feedback: The case of Australian and Scottish universities. Higher Education.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-016-0032-x. Online 27 July 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Shah, M., & Richardson, J. T. E. (2016). Is the enhancement of student experience a strategic priority in Australian universities? Higher Education Research & Development, 35(2), 352–364.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2015.1087385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Thompson, T. L. (2012). Who’s taming who? Tensions between people and technologies in cyberspace communities. In L. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, V. Hodgson, & D. McConnell (Eds.), Exploring the theory, pedagogy and practice of networked learning (pp. 157–172). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Universities UK. (2016). Student experience: Measuring expectations and outcomes. London: Universities UK.Google Scholar
  61. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Williamson, B. (2016a). Digital education governance: An introduction. European Educational Research Journal 2016, 15(1), 3–13.Google Scholar
  63. Williamson, B. (2016b). Digital methodologies of education governance: Pearson plc and the remediation of methods. European Educational Research Journal, 15(1), 35–53.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, Liverpool Jon Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations