Monday, November 30, 2015

2016 EDU: A school for self-study in virtual worlds. We call that a library

A school for self-study in virtual worlds.  
We call that a library
Updated 11/28/2016
Virtual worlds offer instructional designers the opportunity to design experiences to fit their instructional objectives.  With control of the environment, the designer may be able to create an environment which meets the instructional objectives without relying on the presence of an instructor for most or all of the time.  This instruction seems well suited to meeting the needs for adult instruction.
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Self-study: Low cost, easy scale-up

Conventional (old-fashioned) methods of instruction have probably made extensive use of self-study ever since intentional instruction was invented.  Surely since instruction for pay was invented.  In the olden days, we had textbooks and class notes for self-study.
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These days, we have web pages, blogs, video tutorials, educational builds (in virtual worlds), educational games (in virtual worlds and elsewhere).  These are reproduced and delivered electronically at almost no cost per person.  
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The initial production of such materials is relatively high in time costs, if not in dollars.  But some people are willing to contribute the effort, now that creative effort has become the main production cost  The main thing an educational organization can do is help people find the instruction they want.  That has always been a function of a library.
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Self-study may not be adequate for all learners, but even those who need more help are likely to leave self-help instruction with an improved idea of what help they need.  Thus they would be better prepared to select the courses  they need to meet their goals.

What libraries can do:  The four ates 

  • Aggregate: Collect links to instructional material.
  • Evaluate:  Determine how useful the material will be for instruction.
  • Curate: Organize the material so that people can find what they need.
  • Propagate:  Publicize and provide links to the material.

Why are virtual libraries an attractive place to offer self-study content? 

  • A virtual world build is like a web page, always available for self-study.
  • You may go to a web page with a million other readers, but you are all alone.
  • In a virtual world, you are never alone unless you want to be.
  • Self-study does not mean you have to study by yourself.
  • It means you chose your own learning path.    
  • If you find other people learning what you want to learn, ask them.
  • They may know something you don't.
  • You will learn by helping someone else understand what you already grasped.
  • You will get practice in showing your capabilities. 
  • Showing your capabilities works better than showing your degrees
  • And it helps build your self-confidence--or show you what you need to study.

Self-study plan

  • Objective:  How will you know when you have finished?
  • Resources:  Google search, Libraries
  • Help: A librarian
  • Collaborators:  Library's Google community
  • Evaluation:  Check your objective

Objective (what will you be able to do when you finish)

  • Talk with confidence about the topic or skill.
  • Use the skill in your current activities
  • Write blog articles about the topic or skill.
  • Advise someone about the topic with confidence.
  • Help someone develop the skill (teach)
  • Use the skill in your current activities
  • Apply for a job where confident use of the topic is a required job skill.
Resources

  • Google search
  • Google search on site
  • Google search on page
  • Google advanced search
Help from people

  • Librarian
  • Relevant Google communities
  • Relevant forums on community bulletin boards
Collaborators

  • Family and friends
  • Co-workers
  • People from Google communities, forums, BBs
Evaluation

  • Check your objective

Related

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News and Notes

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