Emergent learning and interactive media artworks: parameters of interaction for novice groups

Kawka, Marta and Larkin, Kevin and Danaher, P. A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2289-7774 (2011) Emergent learning and interactive media artworks: parameters of interaction for novice groups. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12 (7). pp. 40-55.

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Emergent learning describes learning that occurs when participants interact and distribute knowledge, where learning is self-directed, and where the learning destination of the participants is largely unpredictable (Williams et al., 2011). These notions of learning arise from the topologies of social networks and can be applied to the learning that occurs in educational institutions. However, the question remains whether institutional frameworks can accommodate the opposing notion of 'cooperative systems' (Shirky, 2005) – systems that facilitate the creation of user‐generated content – particularly as first‐year education cohorts are novice groups in the sense of not yet having developed university‐level knowledge.
This paper theorizes an emergent learning assessment item (Flickr photo‐narratives) within a first year media arts undergraduate education course. It challenges the conventional models of student lecturer interaction by facilitating student directed and open‐ended learning by outlining a methodology of teaching for emergence. The paper applies a matrix with four parameters (teacher directed content/student‐directed content; non‐interactive learning task/ interactive learning framework). This matrix is used as a conceptual space to investigate how a learning task might be constructed to afford the best opportunities for emergent learning. It explores the strategies that interactive artists utilize for participant engagement (particularly the relationship between the artist and the audience in the creation of interactive artworks) and suggests how these strategies might be applied to emergent generative outcomes with first‐year education students.
We build upon Williams et al.'s framework of emergent learning, where 'content will not be delivered to learners but co‐constructed with them' (De Freitas & Conole, as cited in Williams et al., 2011, p. 40), and the notion that in constructing emergent learning environments 'considerable effort is required to ensure an effective balance between openness and constraint' (Williams et al., 2011, p. 39). We assert that, for a learning event within a Web 2.0 environment to be considered emergent, not only does there need to be an effective balance between teacher‐directed content and student‐directed content for knowledge to be open, creative and distributed by learners (Williams et al., 2011), but there also need to be multiple opportunities for interaction and communication between students within the system and that these 'drive the emergence of structures that are more complex than the mere parts of that system' (Sommerer & Mignonneau, 2002, p. 161).

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright of their work. However, a condition for publication is that the work be distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Readers are free to print, share, and distribute the work as long as they respect the retained rights of the author. IRRODL retains the exclusive right for commercial publication and distribution.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2012 04:49
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2015 00:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: educational institutions; emergent learning; interactive art; media arts; knowledge; novice learners; web 2.0
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390307 Teacher education and professional development of educators
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390101 Creative arts, media and communication curriculum and pedagogy
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390409 Learning sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/19451

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