Saturday, September 20, 2008

How, When, Where, Who with and Why?


We all do it even when we think we're not doing it!

I mean Education of course.

Dave has written a post on the CCK08 project for week 2 and it got me thinking. I've only sort of been following the blogs on this project. I'm currently undertaking my own slightly more traditional studies via Online Universities Australia. It's just a pre-cursor course in Tertiary Learning Strategies, which is really a fancy way of saying "I'm learning how to write essays the way the Uni wants me to".

While the CCK08 project does leave me a little cynical as to its purpose and success, I'm also battling with cynicism and frustration by the truck-load with this current Unit I'm doing.

Right now, I'm in the throes of developing my Assignment 2 topic which is to summarise in 350 words a chapter written in typically grandiose academic parlance on the challenges of juxtaposing Human Rights and non egalitarian, traditionalist societies where community rights seem to far outstrip individual "rights", and trying to find a consensus between the two!

My particular challenge, apart from having to summarise (something I am, for obvious reasons, not very good at), is finding a study partner I can swap notes with on equal footing. This particular online uni course seems to have dug people from out of the woodwork who are terrified of the written word to such a degree they're hyper-focussed on formatting their assignment pages before they even get to skimming the texts available!

Perhaps I am being a bit harsh though. Many of my fellow students have not "studied" under any formal institutional learning regime for many years and things are very different at tertiary level now than they are/were at High School 10 to 30 years ago!

Learning for me is already instinctive. I may not necessarily follow the prescribed patterns of learning according to the topic notes and objectives etc. But I DO learn by myself quite happily at my own pace and in my own unique way. Learning for me is a process of me 1) needing to know and 2) finding out what I need to know and 3) sourcing the places/people/stuff where I can find out what I need to know.

My biggest learning hurdle with this current course I'm doing isn't going to be about researching, reading or so on - it's going to be in the area of writing in a prescribed fashion for a particular academic audience who have an expectation in that regard. That sucks but I'll deal with it and perhaps my writing may even improve as a result! It can't hurt anyway. *cough cough*

Still! I'm deeply frustrated that I can't find anyone to share this journey of discovery with (re the Human Rights and Humanitarian Intervention subject I've chosen to work my next few assignments on) even though there's about a third or so of 500 students doing the same topic!

Perhaps I've come across in the forums as a bit of a educational "snob" in the way I express stuff! Perhaps, I've been intimidating in my discussion-in-text style! Perhaps I'm not "joining in" enough in the dross and flotsam of notice-board exposition with the ubiquitous "Help me! I'm lost - how do you.....?" posts! "er...that was covered in the above 10 posts higher up in this noticeboard" etc etc. *sigh*

I simply want intelligent conversations with people who are EQUAL to me in their prior knowledge of computer communications, writing and their interest in the topic itself! THAT's what is proving to be the biggest issue for me as to my learning right now. Which of course makes Daves comments completely accurate when he says that most effective learning is done in context and through conversations with peers!

I'd have not believed him if I were not experiencing the dearth of such a thing myself right now!


doublygifted said...

Michelle, just read your blog post and am inspired to blog my own experiences and current frustrations/excitements on this shortly. I think that you may well find someone through your reaching out to comment on Dave's blog post - you found me, but I may or may not be that partner you seek given the difference in focus not to mention time zones - but having said that I'm willing to give anything a try if it will prove to be a "hands on" experience that will make these ideas come to life, good or bad. So while you sleep I'll be blogging and when Dave wakes up later today maybe he'll have more to say and we'll have at least a start to that conversation we all seek. Nice blog so far by the way. I'll be sure to add it to my list(s) - currently I have so many blog sites I don't know which one to blog on but I'll probably go back to my standard Doublygifted one which has been around the longest and has the most readers (four or five I think...).

Susan Hales in Mobile, Alabama

Michelle said...

oh wow!

What an awesome comment! Thank you so much for your encouragement and support Susan.

I'm VERY glad you "found me" :)

I'm off to check out your blog/s now.

I do enjoy meeting people from around the globe in the course of blogging. It's so gratifying and edifying to the soul - and mind - to have ones horizons expanded like this.

Thanks again and am looking forward to meeting and greeting you again.

doublygifted said...

My intention of blogging never materialized, as I found myself pulled deeper and deeper into fascinating articles, thoughts and new vistas I'd never heard of before - I will have to let my mind absorb all of it first, it seems. This is pretty amazing stuff, all things considered!

Michelle said...

ah yes :) I hear you!

I'm currently indulging a humungous knowledge glut of my own.

Absorbing interesting "stuff" from the net - especially all this interesting and tasty material regarding CCK08

AND then there's the stuff in my Uni course, which isn't even a "real" subject as such, just a taste-test of what uni will probably be like!

I'm sure to be lost to the world when I do take on a real subject to discover!

Let it seep, soak, and saturate into your synapses, Susan! It'll be worth it, I'm sure! :)