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what will we need to learn, and have evidence for?
What will we need to learn,
and have evidence for?
What this talk is about
• attempting to look which way the wind is blowing
• point out where a new direction might be productive
• think about the issues involved in this new direction
• we should be developing exercises and games that
supplement the meagre amount of collaboration that is
offered in today's world of education, training and work
Characteristics of the expected world
• the knowledge commons
• does this tally with your view – anything missed?
Some old -V- new comparisons
(to get the idea of how new this new world is)
Nature of work
• labour sold to employers for wages
• working collaboratively for the common good
– (and making a living while doing that, of course)
Controllers of work
• corporate HR, or entrepreneur employer
• consensus of individual and community
Communications about work
• portfolios displaying abilities to employers
• (a) telling others what work satisfies and fulfils you
• (b) pointing out what you see as good work
How has shaping of identity changed?
• “destiny” – context and society around us shapes us
– (traditional communities; shades of Goffman, 1959)
• what identity? we are just human resources
– alienated HR view (Taylor; Ford; ...)
– (Baxter Magolda and others, 1990s on)
• personal ethical development across contexts
– (Grant & Grant, ePortfolio 2006, Oxford)
• identity emergent from self-chosen interactions
– (co-created, echoes of Simondon)
How have new ventures arisen?
• the most traditional societies: no new ventures
• then: sole entrepreneur; gentleman scientist; DIY
• sole architect – team of people realising the one vision
– (perhaps age of great individuals ended mid 20th C
• what great individuals are still active today?)
• pairs of founders recently common in late 20th C, but:
– how can there be larger groups of initial founders?
– how can a company be run with shared leadership?
Signs of the times
• the world is too complex for any individual to grasp
sufficiently to act usefully
• aspects of a good vision, confidence, and realisation
often start in separate people
• take a classic modern entrepreneur, Tesla's Elon Musk
– reversing established practice on intellectual property
What needs to happen
• people need to collaborate, so that issues can be tackled
– open knowledge
– open source software
– open hardware
• can't be achieved simply by exhortation
• there needs to be sustainable culture of collaboration
• culture of open
What people need to be competent at
• being open in some essential way, open to:
– different approaches
– different conceptual frameworks
– different points of view
• these are more than just knowledge and skills
• but we can think about how they contribute
What people need to learn about
• resulting in knowledge and understanding, e.g.
– about collaboration and consensus
– about themselves and their own motives and needs
• and how they work in different contexts
– about how they come across to other people
– about other people and their needs
– about appropriate transparency
– about when apparent co-operation is deceptive
What people need to learn to do
• resulting in skill or practical ability, e.g.
– how to communicate openly
– how to be open about their own ideas
– how to be open to new ideas
– how to behave collaboratively
– how to promote collaborative behaviour
– how to model and lead collaboration
– how to facilitate collaborative activities
– how to participate in consensus decision making
– how to lead consensus decision making
– how to detect non-collaborative behaviour
Where is the evidence for these?
• evidence of knowledge is fairly easy to assess
– except when it comes to knowledge about oneself
• how do we assess the skills or practical abilities that are
the outcome of the learning?
• even harder, how do we assess these competences?
• (obviously) peer report and reputation
– social networks not very helpful yet (not even LinkedIn)
• portfolios, if composed collectively
• products of analysis
– of material written by individuals
– about individual and collective values
• metrics of actions taken, e.g. on wiki site?
– that's something you could look at on e.g. Wikipedia
– the “big data” approach
• assess most knowledge in the normal ways
• portfolio assessment is possible for some abilities
• generally, peer assessment may be plausible
– what about knowledge of self and others?
– what about the subtleties of social abilities?
• e.g. detection of insincere collaboration?
Assessment by practice
• as part of real live work
– in apprenticeship / internship / traineeship
– but easier to see this for traditional work than for
• live adventure-based exercises
• games – what might work?
– e.g. Co-opoly ?
• development exercises, together with learning?
• and, how much does any practice involve enculturation?
– real life leaves marks on people – ethics of this?
• newly discovered example of a collaborative
• provides stimulus and space to explore
• opens up thinking along multiple avenues, not just one
• designed for collaborative development, not assessment
• could be developed into a rich source of evidence for
– formative both of personal direction and new ideas
– formative for both parties in the conversation
• reflect on your abilities (classic development practice)
• reflect on the situations where you shine (occasional)
• think about the ventures you value (new)
• craft two “briefs” and bring them to meeting (new)
– personal brief about what you want to offer
– venture brief about what you want to see happen
• series of conversations in which each venture brief
meets each personal brief
• find a best-fitting role from each conversation
• take it forward from there in any way
• we will need to (re)learn how to collaborate and share
• “re-co-venturing” is just a first small pointer to a greatly
challenging area of collaborative exercise
• collaborative practice, undertaken for its own sake,
results in learning, and can provide evidence of learning
what is necessary for effective collaboration
• existing collaborative practices can be extended to
include exercises and games, either of which can also
produce evidence, as well as formatively pointing people
in a good future direction
Thanks: here's your sharing licence
This presentation “What will we need to learn, and have evidence for?”
by Simon Grant (asimong (gmail etc.); @asimong)
of Cetis http://www.cetis.ac.uk/ is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence