As researchers, we need to fully understand collective learning processes, the factors that affect these, and the emergent nature of collective learning. As practitioners, we have to face the challenges around whether collective learning can be planned, structured, and managed. As learners, we have to understand the inter-relationships between individual and the collective.
My recent experiences with the EpCoP MOOC gave me a headstart in my thinking about collective learning. It is now my belief that collective learning can be planned, structured and managed. We need to have essential ingredients such as a design team willing to working collaboratively, a collective understanding of the purpose of our planning and designing and a common goal as delivery facilitators.
- We need to have a sponsored project that pushes the design and development along at a pace that enables participants to gather their enthusiasm, their committment and their follow through over a reasonable stretch of time.
- We need to employ the technology tools that enable collaboration, communication and creation and that each person is comfortable in each of those domains.
- We need a project management approach to ensure that timelines were met and deliverables and outcomes achieved on time and in budget.
- We need a cohort of learners who are eager to engage in the learning journey about the collective learning topic.
- We need plausible and meaningful measures of activity, success and outcomes and innovative methods of sourcing feedback and testimonials along with a wrap up procedure to provide closure for the experience.
- We need the stamina and ingenuity to see the project through and to ensure that we capture the experience as a reflective practice from launch to closure.
But most of all we need the collective learning of all participants to shape, change, validate, verify, engage and evaluate the total experience quite transparently and openly.
A big thank you to all of our EpCoP MOOC collective!