Friday, 21 March 2008

is it really that wrong to use social networking sites for independent study?

well it would seem so in some parts of Canada according to this Reuters report about "Canadian university faces off with digital generation".

A simple search of student groups for Ryerson University reveals 269 groups - are their owners/admin all to be punished? Staff as well?

I like the following quote from from a Uni of Toronto Media Studies professor:

In an interview, University of Toronto philosophy and media studies professor Megan Boler said that all universities encourage collegiality and discussion and that meeting online is actually very transparent because there are traces and records of everything discussed.

"Of course we want to ensure academic integrity, but I think academic freedom and civil right are equally important, unless we expect students to study in total isolation," she said.

Maybe the real issue is progressive pedagogy and rethinking assessment to chime with post-Fordist working practices.


Suki said...
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Suki said...

This comes back to the concept of informal learning spaces (online), critical analysis of this case in particular should not paint the picture that using such online’ spaces' for study is wrong. This kind of reaction gives the impression that the governing body wants 'control' and this reaction will only push students away - who will just find other means and spaces to discuss their work (the mobile!). If 'we’ provide such 'community' spaces for students to discuss work, students may not be so open to such a setting as they feel they are being monitored and hence yes 'the flow of creativity and a resistance to display innovation as the student wants credit (ownership) for 'their' work (ideas) will not be displayed in such an arena. To me this form of informal learning has always been going on, but now students have the opportunity to connect to a wider audience through the internet and the 'spaces' it has to offer. Yes, this does open up to threats, like cheating, but we have systems to detect this which can be deployed. Policies should be clear on the onset of using the internet for study and definitely should be by no means discouraging.