Thursday, September 1

Learner's rights?

As usual, Ernest Adam's column in GamaSutra is spot on. In this case, it's about Player's Rights. In the article, he lists characteristics of games.

Which, of course, made me think about Learner's Rights. Some students created such a list in 1995. What would be the elearning version? I can think of several principles I'd include (and I realize most are not exclusive to elearning):

  • To be respected for what they already know.
  • To know why the learning is important to them.
  • To have the most effective and efficient learning experience possible.
  • To be expected to be a partner in the learning.
  • To have information resources when useful.
  • To have an appropriate mix of media.
  • To have the complexity of real life reflected.
  • To be supported both cognitive and emotionally through the learning experience.

What do you think?


Harold Jarche said...

Roger Schank's Student Bill of Right is not about elearning and is focused on public schooling, but I thought that it may be of interest. Here it is:

1. Testing : No student should have to take a multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank test.

2. Real-Life Skills: No student should be have to learn something that fails to relate to a skill that is likely to be required in life after school.

3. Memorization: No student should be required to memorize any information that is likely to be forgotten in six months.

4. Clarity of Goals: No student should be required to take a course, the results of which are not directly related to a goal held by the student, nor to engage in an activity without knowing what he can expect to gain from that activity.

5. Passivity: No student should be required to spend time passively watching or listening to anything unless there is a longer period of time devoted to allowing the student to participate in a corresponding active activity.

6. Arbitrary Standards: No student should be required to prepare his work in ways that are arbitrary or to jump through arbitrary hoops defined only by a particular teacher and not by the society at large.

7. Mastery: No student should be required to continue to study something he has already mastered.

8. Discovery: No student should be asked to learn anything unless there is the possibility of his being able to experiment in school with what he has learned.

9. Defined Curriculum: No student should be barred from engaging in activities that interest him within the framework of school because of breadth requirements imposed by the curriculum.

10. Freedom Of Thought: No student should be placed in a position of having to air his views on a subject if the opposing point of view is not presented and equally represented.


Godfrey Parkin said...

I'd add a few right off the top of my head:

* Adult e-learners should be treated as adults

* E-learners have the right to start and stop at any time and be able to pick up where they left off

* E-learners have the right to jump forward and back at will, and to skip content that is not relevant to them

* E-learners have the right to access instantly any data about them that is being stored electronically

* E-learners have the right to online privacy and data security, and have the right to read and accept (or reject) a policy statement which lays out those rights

* E-learners have the right to access a suitably qualified human being for guidance should the e-learning be inadequate

* E-learners have a right to communicate with and share experiences with other e-learners engaged in the same learning experience. They also have a right to access the collective shared experiences of all past learners in that learning experience.

Godfrey Parkin

Dave Lee said...

Wow! Quite the list we have going.

I have one suggested amendment to Clark's original #6 - "To have an appropriate mix of media" by adding "that they already understand and are proficient using or they are given the time to gain this knowledge."

Far too often it's assumed that learners have 'plug and play' capability with any new technology.

And while I'm on this soapbox, what about rights of instructors/facilitators regarding the introduction of elearning and other media? [steps down from his soapbox]

Clark Quinn said...

At some point in the night after posting I came up with points similar to Godfrey's great contributions. For instance, a learner has the right to know how they're doing, where they are, what they've accomplished, and where they're going.

I love most of Schank's as well, particularly memorization and real-life skills. Yes!

Anne said...

These are absolutely fantastic lists and ideas and I would like to use them as I work with teachers and students, as well as keep them on hand as I design e-learning courses. Thanks!

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