Learning to Learn
Sep21

Learning to Learn

Learning to Learn Pinterest board

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The MOOC environment and foundation skills
Nov30

The MOOC environment and foundation skills

The question about the use of the MOOC environment to the teaching and learning of Foundation Skills is I believe simply one of equity and access. My central contention is that our students can’t afford for practitioners like us to be left out of the e eLearning loop. Three factors have converged to lead me to that conclusion. The recent definition of Foundation Skills combining foundation and employability skills; the rise of the Massively Open Online Course (or MOOC) itself and the unequalled opportunity Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Online Games (MMORPGs) offer teachers and learners in the development of foundation skills. In the adult literacy and numeracy field, it could be considered controversial to contend that a MOOC environment could play a significant role in the development of Foundation Skills in Australian adult learners but I hope I can explore the issues with you and demonstrate that not exploring this path, further isolates already marginalized learners from current education discourse. The National Foundation Skills Strategy For Adults defines Foundation Skills as “English language, literacy and numeracy-listening, speaking, writing, digital literacy and the use of mathematical ideas and employability skills such as collaboration, problem solving, self management, learning and information and communication technology (ICT) skills required for participation in modern workplaces and contemporary life. “ The 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey showed 40% of Australian workers have low levels of document literacy. This has changed little in the ten years since the last survey. This means that the Language, Literacy and Numeracy demands of modern workplaces in terms of reading and following instructions, communicating reliably by email or interpreting graphs and charts, for example,  are beyond the skill level of 46% of Australian adults. 68% of working age Australians have problem solving skills below level 3. The key finding for educators -and you can see this in my first slide- is that the majority of Australian adults with literacy levels at 1 or 2 are already employed. The same is true for the numeracy and problem solving domains.  For these individuals it is clear that stronger foundation skills would enhance their ability to keep up with technological changes in the workplace, retrain in other areas or change careers. To come to my second main point, MOOCs. Massively Open Online Courses have been praised for achieving a democratizing and disruptive influence on traditional models of education in the higher education sphere. Sebastian Thrun, Salman Khan, Daphne Koller burst into the scene with irresistible vistas of free accessible and networked education delivered on a global level.  On my second slide you see what happened as disappointing course completion levels, and the...

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