clay.fenlason at et.gatech.edu
Thu Nov 3 06:24:55 PDT 2011
One high-level remark on a dimension of the concept that seems missing.
In our environments, and despite our inclinations toward the
personalized and learner-centered, relevance is often imposed by
someone else, and not simply an outgrowth of one's groups or content.
I'm thinking of activity coming from an authority figure: the
instructor for your course is an obvious example, but others might
include academic advising, a PI on a research project, mentor, etc.
If I were to try to bundle this into a suitably broad term or concept,
I might use 'mentor' as a way to denote a special kind of asymmetric
relationship with many flavors, but which generally involves someone
in a respected position reviewing your work or activity, both formally
and informally. You'll want to pay attention to them.
And because you'll want to pay attention, this probably has a strong
bearing on our design concept of activity. It's been my inclination,
in fact, to think that this 'mentoring' concept is a key
differentiator between ourselves and other social networks out there
(which tend to be flat and symmetric). And that the OAE project hasn't
quite yet got its head around this. The move to a 'following' model
rather than a contact list might inch us there, but I'm not sure it
goes far enough.
As far as activity, here are some mentorly-like activities I might care about:
- a teaching assistant started grading the assignments
- an instructor changed the syllabus or made an announcement
- a mentor added a comment to my draft (which is more important to me
than the comments from my peers or others)
- a mentor just created a new public document
- an advisor rescheduled our appointment
- a respected professor just created a new seminar
Again, I think 'following' gets us part of the way there, and I
suppose it could be argued that a combination of groups, content and
following might cover these cases. e.g if someone I'm following makes
a comment on my document, I'll really want to sit up and take notice.
But it may also be the case that people important in this
authoritative way may not be people I choose to follow (e.g. an
assigned advisor). Relationships grounded on authority/esteem (whether
formal or not) seem to me fundamental enough that they should be
worked into our design concepts in a deep way.
2011/11/3 N. Matthijs <nicolaas.matthijs at caret.cam.ac.uk>:
> Hi everyone,
> As promised in this week's URG call, attached is a document that
> summarizes some of the thinking behind activity display.
> Kind regards,
> oae-urg mailing list
> oae-urg at collab.sakaiproject.org
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