The Learning Contract
The best way to learn wiki skills is to work on a real wiki project, ideally related to your own working situation. The L4C Learning Contract defines your learning goals and how they will be accomplished. It is also an essential building block in establishing your reputation among your new community of WikiEducators; building a base of wiki skills; and following through on your commitment to contributing free content to the community.
We're counting on you! Please follow through on your commitments!
- 1 Planning for simulated 3-dimensional experiences in learning, with a STEM focus
- 2 Elements of our learning contract
- 3 Dynamic Apprenticeship Model
- 4 Learning Contracts and Supporting Documentation
Planning for simulated 3-dimensional experiences in learning, with a STEM focus
Three dimensional virtual platforms, such as Second Life (www.secondlife.com ) and the open source platforms, such as www.OpenSimulator.org , allow educators, programmers, artists, and organizers to develop experiences and interactions that move beyond text, geographic, or physical limitations. These simulations can have the look-and-feel of a computer game, which can bring immediate appeal to the K12 audience. This project would assemble co-collaborators would consider, share, and ponder ways to use these emerging platforms to simulate engaging and immersive experiences, particularly for the learning of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Although STEM fields would be the content focus, it is hoped that participants would come from areas including: STEM subjects, psychology, education, art, literature, gaming, programming, and communication so that rich, multi-leveled experiences can be developed. The objectives for this course would be to plan a number of three-dimensional experiences that could be visually interesting, engaging for the future learners, immersive, and “complete” (that is, include plans for inviting learners, sequencing interactions, assessing learning that occurred, and so on). During the process of working through the course, participants would contribute to the development of annotated resources and ideas that could serve as a knowledge-base for other learners who might participate in the course in later iterations. It is intended too that in the future, extended courses would be developed to move into the development and implementation of the planned experiences so that these virtual learning experiences could become a “reality.”
Elements of our learning contract
There are four key elements in a learning contract:
- Requirements or learning objectives - The objectives for"Planning for simulated 3-dimensional experiences in learning, with a STEM focus" would be to plan a number of three-dimensional experiences that could be visually interesting, engaging for the future learners, immersive, and “complete” (that is, include plans for inviting learners, sequencing interactions, assessing learning that occurred, and so on).
- Resources and strategies - For each of the 10 weeks, participants would be guided through different steps and resourses that would allow them to: learn about existing virtual experiences (such as free resources from NASA in Second Life); reflect with others in the course about types of experiences that could be extended from existing materials or could be created anew; address the way these virtual realities could be embedded in meaningful and engaging context such as within stories, games, or genuine experiences; consider the larger envelope of invitation, sequencing, and assessment that would be needed to connect such experiences to the larger learning community; work in teams to delineate a specific virtual experience (towards the end of the course). Throughout the course, materials, resources, and ideas will be gathered, reviewed, and vetted; the most-relevant resources would be saved as a knowledge base for later iterations of the course.
- Evidence of Learning - Participants would be expected to show meaningful engagement and posting in the weekly activities -- these activities will guide them through learning, brainstorming, sharing, and planning steps. During the last third of the course, participants will be expected to join one of the teams that has emerged and to work with that team to delineate and detail a plan that has come forward (so that it could be a working model for possible future development). The instructor is working on several such projects currently and would put them forth as ideas that might be considered for planning and delineation.
- Verification - Participation would be gauged by weekly postings that show involvement in the topics. For some weeks, participants will be required to post resources and links that they have gathered from other sources. In the last portion of the course, participants would choose the emerging project on which they would choose to collaborate and work with others in the course to delineate, develop, and post a possible learning experience. The course would require 2 – 3 hours of time weekly over a 10 week period.
Resources and Strategies
The WikiEducator community provides the training materials and facilitated support required to successfully complete the requirements specified in your L4C Learning Contract. These resources and support strategies include:
- Free self-study tutorials - you can work through these at your own pace
- A series of online workshops - facilitated by an experienced WikiEducator. (Note: WE will schedule at least one online workshop per calendar month.)
- Face-to-face (in-country) workshops - to be hosted by partner institutions (i.e.,as their contribution to developing and supporting open education.)
Evidence of your Learning
Observe Your Progress! WikiEducator gives you an up-to-the-minute update for community project and editing activities.'
On every WikiEducator page (in the left-hand Navigation Bar), you will see a link to a unique page called Recent Changes. This special webpage tracks every edit that you (and everyone else makes). It is based on powerful edit-tracking software that enables L4C participants to observe your progress, And, it provides direct evidence of your activities within WikiEducator itself! Check your progress frequently!
Thanks to this software, in the event that you inadvertently change someone's page., we can easily fix it.
Remember there are No Mistakes on WikiEducator. Only Opportunities for Learning!
Validating Evidence of Your Learning
Your Workshop Facilitator will validate your learning by affixing the WikiBuddy Certification on your User Page.
Dynamic Apprenticeship Model
WikiEducator's Apprenticeship Model enables your achievements to be validated by a peer WikiEducator. (WE benefit greatly from our experienced users who like to share their knowledge with newcomers who want to develop their (wiki) skills.) After you attain WikiBuddy status (approx. 8 hours of learning), you can move onto becoming a WikiMaster
Remember, there are many roles in our community - from editors to designers to wiki experts. When you welcome newcomers into our community, you are a WikiEducator Neighbour, and when you tell the world about WikiEducator, you are a WikiEducator Ambassador!!