‘blind space’ when learning in distributed spaces

October 24, 2008

I have been busy writing the descriptions of three iCamp cases and looking back of what was actually important, what we can bring at the more general level.

Previously i have not been thinking enough of the phenomenon what i would name ‘blind space’. If we start working together and integrating PLEs, the group space is somewhat inconsistent. The locus of activity is changing from time to time and people in the group can never be sure where the locus of control actually is in their team. The perception of the shared space may be very different among the team-members. Not mentioning that the shared space is not always all the space that can potentially be pulled together and monitored. Some of the shared space switches on and off and is not visible (eg. chat or VOIP) to all members. And this may be annoying to the team members and facilitator.

However, working, teaching and learning models in WEB 2.0 must integrate this challenging learning in the conditions of ‘blind spaces’ present at teams and continuous detection of what is going on in team.

Here is my own team – i tried to visualize some important type of spaces:

1. Static linked spaces
2. Dynamically changing pulled feeds (It is notable that some monitor post feeds and some comment feeds)
Here is important that not all people in team monitor each other, and some people may monitor people at other teams, and some people may be monitored by the people of other teams.
3. Mashed feeds pulled and pushed together (it is important that if some people use other blog providers this is not applicable and thus not meaningful for other members too).
4. Username and access dependent systems (sometimes some collaborative spaces require to have certain type of additional account name to be fully functional eg. for commenting in blogs or receiving info from collaborative space)
5. Some systems are invisibily switched on and off between people (eg. chat)
6. Some group systems are owned and centrally controlled by one member who made an account

Distributed course landscape

Distributed course landscape

case 3 course moodle

case 3 course moodle



  1. […] Read the original: ‘blind space’ when learning in distributed spaces […]

  2. Hello Kai,
    Very interesting course design. I also like the assessment model. I am wondering about he role of Moodle in the course – are you using it to bring all the components together (communication, etc) or is it mainly for course administration? Would be interesting to see the Moodle site, unfortunately it seems to be restricted to course members only.

    All the best,

  3. I have added the draft of the case description, i hope it gives answers to some questions. Unfortunately, moodle is closed because it is part of European Master Interactive Media curriculum management and currently even we cannot access our course :)..this is why we need other approaches for course mediums! Moodle was used to structure course content and weekly tasks and to register to the course, all other activities were performed in social spaces. Actually we could have done the Moodle part in social environment too, but it was required that EMIM ‘owns’ the course. I will see if i can find some snapshots of moodle..but there was nothing particular.

  4. thanks for the case descriptions, Kai, I get the general idea. I agree that the VLE functions could be performed in the social spaces. One reason I am interested in this is that we at the Caledonian Academy are currently designing an international Masters programme in Learning Innovation. The philosophy undepinning the course model is very similar to yours – self-regulated learning in loosely coupled social spaces. Unfortunately we are having to battle with our university, who, for accreditation purposes, requires us to use the institutional VLE.

  5. I think that in the grading and composing remote e-courses the new social systems have still some minuses.

    We have run various master courses using mainly blogs, aggregators and other social software.

    Two general models were:
    – one with the Moodle to register, keep some course structure and grades while all the rest happened in social environments
    – one with the blog as a general environment to hold the course structure and all the rest (also grading) was maintained with social systems, using aggregator widgets
    – now some similar kind of Wikiversity courses are taking place

    I see that is difficult to give grades/some evaluations publicly.

    Some examples of the course with moodle and social software to demonstrate for your administration:

    Tallinn university master course e-learning (aggregator)
    and course contents in blog

    (note that after the course some students have continued using blogs..so the feed is of other thingsnow (course was run in spring)

    With the moodle support were EMIM course eLearning
    the moodle is closed but all the rest (course blogs, facilitators’ blogs, students things) is visible

    Tartu University Open University
    currently i run a course where i use moodle and social spaces for real work
    https://moodle.e-ope.ee/course/view.php?id=820 (with access code what i can give)
    Note that we have just started, tomorrow we have a contact day and i assume after this we have more blogs to view from course participants

  6. Thanks very much for these links, I will share them with colleagues.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: