NGL and me (learner, student and teacher)

As someone that interacts with the networked world on a daily basis via a plethora of tools that I use in my professional practice – I have been somewhat puzzled by the fact that I have struggled with this course. After all, I know, do and be NGL already. So why have I struggled? I have been thinking about this for many weeks now…

Up until this course, all of the NGL I have practiced has been informal. There were no rules, requirements, assessments – other than my own. I was able to engage as required, lurk when I felt like it and have spurts of massive productivity from time to time. No timelines or deadlines.

So what am I trying to say here?

The informality of the NGL I have experienced and practiced up until now is clashing with the formality that the current course brings to NGL. In my world of NGL there hasn’t been formality until now. And I am still getting used to it.

So in earlier posts when I talk about “getting familiar” – this is what I am talking about. All of this makes me wonder whether or not this distinction between informal and formal learning via NGL also requires that formal NGL learning be carefully designed, planned, considered and ultimately unleashed on students – that they are asked to put down their assumptions, expectations and experiences. I now realise that assumptions I made (that I already knew what I was doing in an NGL world) were possibly unhelpful. On the other hand, I think my NGL literacies have been very helpful. I have certainly picked up and used the tools very easily. Reconciling my informal understanding of NGL with the formal requirements of an NGL course is proving difficult. Mapping the relationships between the process to follow to complete the tasks and utilise the tools effectively to achieve this has also not been so easy. For example, I am still struggling with the quantitative nature of some of the assessment criteria.

Now I will qualify all of this by saying that I understand that we are the pioneering cohort for this course and that this iteration is an experiment. However, my hope is that what I say here is useful for future iterations.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tracey McGrath
    Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:47:28

    I like what you are saying about formal and informal learning.

    A further thought for me is that in EDU8117 there is an evaluative component not present elsewhere. When working online informally I know what I am seeking, how much time I am willing to give it, and when I have deemed myself successful. The process and results are self-determined. Not so with EDU8117.

    Cheers Tracey


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  4. David Jones
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 17:19:42

    Interesting point. My first reaction was to ponder whether it was a difference between formal and informal practice of NGL, or if it was more a struggle to understand my particular conceptions of NGL assessment?

    I guess that comes from my struggles in trying to marry NGL with the needs for a formal course. Not to mention the speed at which it had to be done.

    Actually, now I’m wondering whether the difference between the formal aspects of this course and other formal courses you’ve engaged with have also contributed to this difficulty? e.g. if the assessment was just two essays, much like the other courses, would you have had the same difficulty?

    I’m hoping tomorrow to get the script written so you can get a bit more of a concrete idea of how that part will work


  5. debliriges
    Aug 31, 2014 @ 15:01:46

    Interesting comments for me to ponder on as I anticipate how NGL may be incorporated into my support of online teaching and learning in higher education. Is it important that teaching staff experience this formal approach to NGL if they plan to incorporate assessable NGL style learning activities for students in their courses?
    I agree that informal NGL is ‘easier’ to do and motivated by needs other than assessment. I’m finding the learning experience achieved through this formal practice is very valuable, even though not always enjoyable – the pain of learning!


  6. Trackback: As a student, participation in NGL was useful for me | GG's Blog
  7. Trackback: As a learner, participation in NGL was useful for me. | GG's Blog

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