On Monday November 30th my co-facilitator, Mew Aeon was in charge of the 3rd Didactic Design Discussion in the MIL course. Unfortunately it was one of those nights where the technology really became an obstacle for me, since I was logged out of SL several times, but judging from what I did experience and the students’ comments they enjoyed the discussion very much.
The purpose of these discussions is to stimulate the students’ critical thinking and didactic-pedagogical imagination and Mew chose to present two different models for Didactic Design. The first one, the so called Didactic Relation Model, originally developed by Norwegian educational researchers Bjørndal & Lieberg (1978) and further developed by 2 other Norwegians Hiim & Hippe (1998), is intended as a planning tool for teachers and is widely used in Scandinavia. The Didactic Relation Model illustrates the relations between learning conditions, external factors, goals, content, learning processes and assessment. In Mew’s version he added a learning theoretical layer and included Didactic Design as explicit goal for the use of the model. For the discussion Mew had prepared the model in a 3D version:
The second model Mew presented was a revised version of Wenger’s (1998) model of Four dimensions of design for learning that shows four dualities between which one will find inherent tensions that need to be addressed in the designing process. Besides these dualities Mew had added 4 more elements (meaning, time, power and space) that he found valuable to focus on when he originally redesigned Wenger’s model as part of his Master Thesis work – the report (in Danish) can be downloaded here.
For each of the elements Mew gave examples from SL and since both Wenger’s CoP theory and the concept of Legitimate Peripheral Participation are highly popular among MIL students it seemed to promote a vibrant discussion. After the theoretical discussion Mew took us on tour to three different locations based on design ranging from very respectful remediation to radical, NpIRL remediation:
After the session Mew and I stayed a bit to discuss his impressions, since this was his first formal lecture in-world. The keywords were riotous or unmanageable compared to real life, because there were so many simultaneous things going on; the text and voice chat, activity and movement of the avatars while trying to focus on the content of the presentation, looking at notes and managing the slides and steering the 3D model. I clearly recognize these sentiments from my first in-world teaching experience, but the good news are that it gets better – and even though it was different from teaching in real life, Mew definitely got “hocked”, so despite my technical problems, I believe it was a very good night :-)