Now, the end is near

Lessons learned in topic 5

An image of a tree of knowledge from the Galway City Museum exhibition on the “Keepers of the Gael

So here we are at topic five. We met our PBL group yesterday evening, and it was an emotional farewell, to our facilitators, Alastair and David who I can’t thank enough for their time and wisdom in keeping us on course. And to my fellow participants, Elżbieta, Helene, Irshaad, Sara and Wei – it’s been a whirlwind few weeks, meeting every Tuesday and Thursday evening, and I will miss this networked connection. What an inspiring and committed group of educators, one and all. I’ve learned so much from shared conversations with you.

For us, the final framework of modes of study of Elmor’s modes of study, as described by Meilleur (2020) I’ll-fit a means of framing our ONL participation. It presents a false binaries between individual and collective, hierarchical and distributed. Our involvement was characterised as much by movements between these endpoints. Shifts that were more organic than mathematically liner. And irrespective of which quadrant might best characterise one’s learning context, the need for practices such as organisation, structure and routine transcend.  

One metaphor that might more aptly describe our engagement is Engeström (2007) concept of mycorrhiza. The term mycorrhiza describes a fungus that grows on the roots of a plant or tree in a symbiotic relationship. The idea evolved from his research groups work on negotiated knotworking and suggests another way of framing our understanding of learning in distributed networks, whereby together we create knowledge and understanding through our open collaboration in a mutually beneficial way, like mycorrhiza do, on the roots of a tree of knowledge, within a community of learners.

“Expansive swarming engagement and multi-directional pulsation refer to star-like patterns of movement where the participants disperse outward to pursue their various trails and to expand the scope of the mycorrhizae, but also return and come together in various ways to contribute to the forging of the runaway object. … Interestingly enough, mycorrhizae behave in ways somewhat similar to the social insects: when one of the filaments contacts a food supply, the entire fungal colony mobilizes and reallocates resources to exploit the new food.”

Engeström (2007)

Whilst an abstract idea, this video of the science behind mycorrhiza will illustrate how this works in nature, and may help you see some parallels with our patterns of participation on ONL.

It is this metaphor that speaks more to the mutually beneficial relationship we had within our PBL group, and the wider course members outputs, and the course organisers themselves.

I hope we can carry out some of our learnings out into the wider metaphorical soil of our own places of learning, and share the benefits and challenges that these last weeks have wrought.  

A note on benefits and challenges of engagement on ONL

To conclude, here are the overall challenges and benefits accrued.

Firstly, the use and variety of tools, and making decisions on the most appropriate to use to convey our shared outputs, was not always easy. Finding our way across the WordPress site and Google drive took some time to become accustomed to. And we used What’s app – a mobile-first approach that was immediate and direct but invisible to others in terms of our engagement on the course.

Secondly, the socio-emotional aspects of group working could be challenging, asking us to shift away from working independently as we do in our institutions, to working collectively and without hierarchy. But ultimately, this challenge turned out to be one of the major learnings and benefits.

And of course – time is always a challenge but is also a good indicator of one’s priorities in how it is allocated.

In terms of benefits accrued, the course offered an emancipatory exposure to key theories, models and frameworks. Notable were David White’s visitors and residents model (White, 2021); pedagogies of open educational practice from Maha Bali (2021);  the importance of community (Oddone, 2021); the examination of the learning design models and frameworks such as approach within the Open University as shared by Martin Weller (2021).

The course facilitated the experience of socially distributed collaboration and openness directly as a learner. We have learned so much in working together, through the structured scenarios, supported by our facilitators and the course design. The authentic, real-world scenarios drove our curiosity. The current resources led us to more in-depth reading. Being part of the process directly changed our practice – ideas were not just theoretical; we learned through living the application, and from our individual reflections and collective artefacts. Our competence in the use of digital tools, grew as we appropriated these embedded in the course activities.

In living through the course in this way, we grew larger too.

So, (for living proof that the written word is never enough), all that remains to say to the ONL212 organisers, facilitators and collaborators is …


Bali, M. (Producer). (2021). Webinar: Exploring Nuances of Open Educational Practices Retrieved from

Engeström, Y. (2007). From communities of practice to mycorrhizae. In J. Huges, N. Jewson, & L. Unwin (Eds.), Communities of Practice (pp. 14): Routledge.

Meilleur, C. (2020). Elmore’s 4 learning modes. Knowledge One. Retrieved from

Oddone, K. (Producer). (2021). ONL212 Topic 3 webinar – Learning in communities Retrieved from

ONL212. (2021). Open Networked Learning 212: A course, a community, an approach. Retrieved from

Weller, M. (Producer). (2021). #ONL212 Topic 4 webinar recording with Martin Weller. Retrieved from

White, D. (Producer). (2021). #ONL212 Topic 1 webinar with David White. Retrieved from

Final note: our advice to future participants (See full source)

Designs for Learning – an craft or science?

“robots” by jmorgan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

My primary degree is psychology, and I recall during my undergraduate years a strong emphasis on it as a scientific discipline, with all of the accompanying rigour. The mantra that we need to ensure evidence is robust, valid, reliable, reproducible, that we are a serious discipline, far from the pseudoscientific psychobabble of yester year. Fast forward some years, and the discipline is in the throes of a crisis of reproduction (Baker, 2016; Ioannidis, 2005). In what context was the evidence gathered, and can be generalised beyond experimental conditions? Did the authors fudge the data for publications and promotion? Why can’t we replicate findings? Do we know anything with certainty?

Fast forward further, into the arena of knowledge management with Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) exploring tacit and explicit knowledge, and the desire within software systems to codify the knowledge of employees. Resulting from an aggressive business process reengineering period in many organisations, companies realised that people contained a huge amount of knowledge in their heads, not documented in processes and procedures. A lesson learned as things feel apart as employees were fired or redeployed. Approaches are taken to resolve it, that can be roughly categories into two options – (1) have the computer codify the information or (2) better support the social interactions of people.

It strikes me that there are strong parallels to the learning design approaches of recent times. Two key texts include Maina, Craft, and Mor (2015) and Laurillard (2012), along with numerous publications and learning design models, notably the popular ABC Learning Design work led by UCL Young and Perović (2015). This exemplifies an approach to make thinking visible or to codify the design of an module, or programme or instructional event in some way. Typically, this can be done using cards and paper, or more recently, using a myriad of online approaches using Miro, Mural, Trello, Excel, the OU Learner Designer tool, and more. This approach can help develop a shared language around a course design, to share it with colleagues, and even use it to help students themselves by communicating the schematic output to them in understandable ways.

On the other hand, many educators work alone – teaching, improving and evolving their modules alone, with little interaction or input from colleagues, or programme teams, or library colleagues, learning designers,  academic developers, or others, save end of year student evaluations. Here, the explicit codifying of one’s learning design makes less sense, to the individual. In this context, the essence of good teaching is a craft, not a science, and learned from experience and conversations. It has a responsivity and an intuitiveness that can’t be captured or represented for others to duplicate. It is an inherently human activity.

The challenge arises with teaching more in the digital realm, where the places and resources need to be provided and more intentionally designed. The Open University carefully work a process over two years with cross-disciplinary teams to produce these structures, and produce and share scholarship on their approach (Open University, n.d.; Weller, van Ameijde, & Cross, 2018). Care needs to be taken to ensure these are also accessible (CAST), and engaging (Fiock, 2020; Mintz, 2021). Undertaking such work in a craft approach is challenging if not impossible as a ‘lone ranger’, but is too much lost when it becomes to mechanistically articulated, without a guarantee that this intentionality will be enacted by emergent practices with the students?

Can we reach a place where the art, craft and design of learning can engage with the post-digital age, where all three can flourish within our university structures and cultures; a culture where we have moved into more open and networked learning spaces? Optimistically, some universities, like the University of Sydney’s school of business are charting a new course (Blakemore, 2021; Shalavin & Huber, 2021) through models of co-design. By building places where lecturers, learning designers, students come together, and input into these practices, perhaps we can keep the positive elements of teaching as both a craft and also a science – where the human in central, and where all views and inputs are respected and valued, and where learning designs are all the better for it.


Baker, M. (2016). 1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility. Nature News, 533(7604), 452-454.

Blakemore, L. (2021). How can we bring better co-design into our Learning Design practice?  Retrieved from

CAST, I. CAST: About Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from

Fiock, H. S. (2020). Designing a Community of Inquiry in Online Courses. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 21(1), 134-152. Retrieved from <Go to ISI>://WOS:000506867500009

Ioannidis, J. P. (2005). Why most published research findings are false. PLoS medicine, 2(8), e124. Retrieved from

Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. London: Routledge.

Maina, M., Craft, B., & Mor, Y. (2015). The art & science of learning design: Springer.

Mintz, S. (Producer). (2021). How to Design a Course for Maximum Student Engagement: Seven Innovative Approaches. Webinar presentation (60 min) Retrieved from

Nonaka, I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The Knowledge Creating Company. New York: Oxford University Press.

Open University. (n.d.). Learning Design Blog.  Retrieved from

Shalavin, C., & Huber, E. (2021). Sustainable learning design in large transformational teaching and learning initiatives Paper presented at the ASCILITE ‘21.  Proceedings ASCILITE 2021, Armidale, Australia.

Weller, M., van Ameijde, J., & Cross, S. (2018). Learning design for student retention. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 6(2).

Young, C., & Perović, N. (2015). ACB Learning Design. Retrieved from

Meitheal – a note on collaboration in postdigital times

In times past, for hard cultivation work – planting, growing, ploughing and harvesting- you needed your neighbours. Saving hay, turf cutting, crops or any complex labour-intensive farming work relied on a community response to be successfully completed. This collective response is known in Irish as a meitheal. Neighbours reciprocated to one other’s social need, and in this way survived over seasons ar scath a chéile (in each others shadow). If you helped your neighbour, you could count on support with it came time for the heavy lifting and seasonal labour associated with your own farm. This cooperative labour system represented the coming together of individuals in a community to help each other when in need.

In formal educational contexts, we attempt to reconstruct or design for social learning in various ways. Group work is widely employed to higher education for project based or problem based tasks. We set up an assignment, and expect a meitheal of learners to spring together to each other’s aid to solve it through reciprocated actions. We complain about how unsuccessful we are at collaborating with one another as educators, due in no small part due to the structure of our systems- our job titles, promotional structure and workload divisions. Similarly with our students, our task design results in practices very far from the traditional meitheal response of the band of workers who would lend their hands towards intensive, back-breaking work to store up fuel for the winter. We optimise with group sizes, denote roles, and deliberate on grading through individual or group mark allocations to buffer against social loafing, and deal with socio-emotional conversations where groups where working relationships have become untenable. Nor is this too far from our own work contexts where similar challenges can arise, often for similar structural reasons.  

Advice abounds to encourage us to make groups work through consideration of pedagogic approach and technological supports (Brindley, Blaschke, & Walti, 2009; Dron & Anderson, 2014; Linnaeus University, n.d.; University of Waterloo, n.d.; Zanuttini, 2021). Technology in particular is often touted as a panacea. Others warn against this naïve understanding of the role of online spaces, arguing that these replicate traditional offline structures and networks of social capital (Sajuria, 2015). Others caution that for online learners, frustrations in collaborative work may even be exacerbated (Capdeferro & Romero, 2012).

Research by Hernández-Sellés, Muñoz-Carril, and González-Sanmamed (2020) has further explored where problems arise by breaking it down into the design, implementation and assessment phases of work, through their research of five online modules at a Spanish university. Their findings that well-structured collaboration implies recognising cognitive, social and organisational interactions and supporting these throughout. So it is insufficient only to focus on supporting the cognitive aspects of the task, as we sometimes assume.

How we define the success of a group also can further aggravate matters. Some research suggests grading itself can work against collaboration in very destructive ways (DeFeo, Tran, & Gerken, 2021). “Grades encourage competitiveness over collaboration. And supposed kindnesses, like grading on a curve or norming, actually increase competitiveness by pitting students (and sometimes teachers) against one another” (Stommel, 2020). Alternatives are advocated by others such contract or peer review (Davidson, 2010; Katopodis & Davidson, 2020).

Faced with complex and heavy global challenges such as climate change, and the COVID pandemic, a meitheal response is needed more than ever. Are we and our education systems ready? Have we done all we can to give students opportunities to work together in collaborative ways, and show them the benefits? One exemplar lies in plain sight- open networked learning approaches, and ONL212. Voices such as Kay Oddone (2016) give testimony. Here we see publicly funded, non-commercial, institutionally- supported collaboratories of learners and facilitators. It illustrates how, when that we as learners are given autonomy, balanced with careful problem setting and facilitation that collaboration accrues; from our diverse participant origins, we can share yields trust and respect; from ungraded outputs, we can gain outcomes of mastery, renewed self-direction and purpose. To all involved and participating – take a bow. Let’s carry the corn, and enjoy the harvest.


Brindley, J., Blaschke, L. M., & Walti, C. (2009). Creating Effective Collaborative Learning Groups in an Online Environment. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(3). doi:10.19173/irrodl.v10i3.675

Capdeferro, N., & Romero, M. (2012). Are online learners frustrated with collaborative learning experiences? The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(2), 26. doi:10.19173/irrodl.v13i2.1127

Davidson, C. N. (2010). Twenty-First Century Literacies: Course Description.  Retrieved from

DeFeo, D. J., Tran, T. C., & Gerken, S. (2021). Mediating Students’ Fixation with Grades in an Inquiry-Based Undergraduate Biology Course. Science & Education, 30(1), 81-102. doi:10.1007/s11191-020-00161-3

Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2014). Teaching crowds: Learning and social media: Athabasca University Press.

Hernández-Sellés, N., Muñoz-Carril, P.-C., & González-Sanmamed, M. (2020). Interaction in computer supported collaborative learning: an analysis of the implementation phase. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s41239-020-00202-5

Katopodis, C., & Davidson, C. N. (2020). Contract Grading and Peer Review. In S. D. Blum & A. Kohn (Eds.), Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) (pp. 105-122): West Virginia University Press.

Linnaeus University. (n.d.). Smarter collaboration. Retrieved from

Oddone, K. (2016). PLE or PLN or LMS or OLN? .  Retrieved from

Sajuria, J. (2015). The online world replicates traditional offline structures and networks of social capital.  Retrieved from

Stommel, J. (2020). How to Ungrade. In S. D. Blum & A. Kohn (Eds.), Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) (pp. 25-41): West Virginia University Press.

University of Waterloo. (n.d.). Methods for assessing groupwork. Retrieved from

Zanuttini, J. Z. (2021). Supporting Online Group Work.  Retrieved from

The easy slamming of a door and the difficulty of openings

With the pandemic, issues around access to digital textbooks, course content, and associated learning resources, became immediately apparent. Whilst those universities with considerable experience in online and distance education warned that their programmes are developed with teams of learning designers, subject matter experts, and quality reviewers over a period often of up to a year in advance, highlighting the workload and resources that would be needed (Batty & Hall, 2020). Pivoting at immediate notice – often even over a weekend – during the initial lockdown, prompted many to quickly pronounce that this was not typical quality distance online education, but rather a situation of emergency remote instruction, to differentiate between the respective teaching experiences.

Access to educational content and resources become critical, after the initial flurry of work on supporting access to appropriate devices, and stable internet connections, through funding provisions. Some academic programmes turned to the purchasing electronic textbooks from commercial providers with their accompanying ease of access to test banks of quiz questions.  LinkedInLearning also is a major reseller to the university sector, along with lab simulation tools, for simulating access to experimental equipment. Others began repurposing and authoring materials themselves, using tools, like H5P (both the freely available .org and commercial .com versions), self-hosted domains of their own, and commercial authoring tools or the plethora of online video creation tools. In many cases, the hurried and time pressurised move to teaching online left little time for the careful design of materials of a standard seen in other distance educational programmes. The resultant impact was an over-reliance on live synchronous sessions and Zoom fatigue (Stewart, 2021).

All the while, another opportunity lay in plain sight, often unseen by educators looking for solutions. Since 2001, the OER movement has gained apace (Bliss & Smith, 2017). Open. A complex and multifaceted term, often understood in various ways. What is open – open for whom, and by whom? Open as free, open as unrestricted, open as open access, open door, transparent, open as the five r’s of retain, reuse, revise, remix, redistribute. Open as creative commons attribution licensed. Open education, open practices, open pedagogy, open scholarship, open access journals, open courseware, streaming videos, digital learning objects, open networks, open culture, open photos, graphics, some MOOCs, open assessments, renewable assignments, open textbooks, open syllabus, open collaborative annotation, Wikipedia editing, open platforms, open source software, networked participation, open teaching practices, and a plethora of process or content oriented activities that encircle and intertwine the term.

Seminal works and collections exist to help us understand this better (Bali, Cronin, Czerniewicz, DeRosa, & Jhangiani, 2020; Bates, 2018; Blessinger & Bliss, 2016; Havemann, 2020; Hurley, 2020; Iiyoshi & Kumar, 2010; Jhangiani & Biswas-Diener, 2017), along with numerous conferences and networks (Bali, 2017; Equity Unbound, Undated; “GN OER Network,” ; Jhangiani & DeRosa, 2018; “OE Global,” ; Unbounded; Wiley) and key resources for the Irish context (Farrell et al., 2021; National Forum, 2019a, 2019b), along with a short overview of how it surfaced during the pandemic where pockets of practices were mutually shared (Concannon, Farrelly, Costello, & Welsh, 2021).

But openness is not easy. What remains the most useful and important paper is that of Catherine Cronin, which is a most essential read. She notes, “The use of OEP by educators is complex, personal, and contextual; it is also continually negotiated.”(Cronin, 2017). She asks us whether we will share openly, who will we share with, who will we share as, and will we share this, as prompts to guide us in making good choices.  

With all these apparent complexities in openness, it can be overwhelming to grapple with how to find a way in. Mahi Bali (2021) cited an Egyptian educator and author Taha Hussein, saying “Knowledge is like water and air”, prompting responses from our ONL participants that were so diverse and rich, it reaffirmed for me both the value of the ONL network, open educators like Maha, and why for me openness is so important noun, verb and adjective (after (Lalonde, 2012) for us all. It can seem like the harder path, but who said living and learning would be easy, and let us be all the richer for it.

Word cloud of reactions to openness from participants on ONL212 webinar on the 20th of October 2021, within the Zoom chat.


Bali, M. (2017). What is open pedagogy anyway? Year of open. Retrieved from

Bali, M. (2021, 20 October). Webinar: Exploring Nuances of Open Educational Practices Webinar with Maha Bali (Cairo American University) and Kiruthika Ragupatha (National University of Singapore). Part of Open Network Learning, ONL212, topic 2, openness in education. Retrieved from

Bali, M., Cronin, C., Czerniewicz, L., DeRosa, R., & Jhangiani, R. (Eds.). (2020). Open at the Margins: Critical Perspectives in Open Education: Pressbooks.

Bates, A. T. (2018). Open Educational Resources (OER)Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Retrieved from

Batty, D., & Hall, R. (2020, April 25). No campus lectures and shut student bars: UK universities’ £1bn struggle to move online. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Blessinger, P., & Bliss, T. (Eds.). (2016). Open education: International perspectives in higher education. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers.

Bliss, T. J., & Smith, M. (2017). A brief history of open educational resources. In R. S. Jhangiani & R. Biswas-Diener (Eds.), Open: The Philosophy and practices that are revolutionizing education and science. London: Ubiquity Press.

Concannon, F., Farrelly, T., Costello, E., & Welsh, S. (2021). Editorial: Ireland’s Online Learning Call. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 5(1), 1-6. doi:10.22554/ijtel.v5i1.93

Cronin, C. (2017). Openness and Praxis: Exploring the Use of Open Educational Practices in Higher Education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(5). doi:10.19173/irrodl.v18i5.3096

Equity Unbound. (Undated). About. Retrieved from

Farrell, O., Breen, E., Brunton, J., Cox, R., Costello, E., Delaney, L., . . . Smyth, V. (2021). Go open: A beginners guide to open education. Retrieved from Dublin:

GN OER Network. Retrieved from

Havemann, L. (2020). Open in the Evening: Openings and Closures in an Ecology of Practices. In D. Conrad & P. Prinsloo (Eds.), Open(ing) Education: Theory and Practice. doi:

Hurley, T. A. (Ed.) (2020). Inclusive Access and Open Educational Resources E-text Programs in Higher Education: Springer.

Iiyoshi, T., & Kumar, M. S. V. (Eds.). (2010). Opening up education: The collective advancement of education through open technology, open content, and open knowledge. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Jhangiani, R. S., & Biswas-Diener, R. (Eds.). (2017). Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science. London: Ubiquity Press.

Jhangiani, R. S., & DeRosa, R. (2018). Welcome to the open pedagogy notebook. Retrieved from

Lalonde, C. (2012). Open is a noun, verb, adjective…and an attitude.  Retrieved from

National Forum. (2019a). The National Forum Open Licensing Toolkit. Retrieved from Dublin:

National Forum. (2019b). Supporting Open Education in Irish Higher Education. Retrieved from Dublin:

OE Global. Retrieved from

Stewart, W. H. (2021). A global crash-course in teaching and learning online: A thematic review of empirical Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) studies in higher education during Year 1 of COVID-19. Open Praxis, 13(1). doi:

Unbounded, O. E. Community Building Resources. Retrieved from

Wiley, D. Defining the “Open” in Open Content and Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from

Grappling with the metaphor and the metaverse…

Oh the things you can find, if you don’t stay behind.

Dr. Seuss

In topic 1 on ONL212, we’ve been looking at online participation and digital literacies, informed by the work of David White, and Doug Belshaw. One of the most salient aspects of this work is how technological prowess is neither linked with age (or lack thereof), nor access and the resultant technical ability to use shiny new things, but is more closely intertwined with context. Most usefully, David White points out the whole Prenksy construct is based on a metaphor. A metaphor of language – being either native or immigrant. And that being sensitive to one’s purpose (as a resident or visitor) and context (professional or personal) are two key aspects that offer the possibility to better inform why and how digital technologies are used. Doug Belshaw’s work is also build on similar language metaphor – that again of literacy. The essential elements are cultural, cognitive, constructive, communicative, confident, creative, critical and civic, so digital literacy isn’t a singular construct, but one that is defined in broader terms by actions in a wider sphere of action. Later work by Buckingham (2015) extends this out to media literacy and multimodal literacies, adding further complexity to the term.

The EU DigCompEdu framework has extended this into a new term – that of “competency” (Redecker, 2017), tied closely to various teaching contexts and activities, from creating content, to assessing or empowering learners, and beyond.

Both are doing a good job at competing for prevalence, with arguably at a European policy level, digital competencies becoming the more defined game in town.

Google Ngram Viewer is a tool that graphs the frequency of word or phrase usage over time, allowing you to examine changes in convention

But is the metaphor itself the problem?

Metaphors help us frame our reality, but by their nature are also a distortion, or at least an accentuation of some salient dimension of it. Some have called out the possibility that we are basing our understanding of how we engage and become proficient with technology on a flawed metaphor. Is relying on literacy helpful, as a way of seeing our use and development in context, as we seek to enhance aspects of our lives mediated by these tools?

If there is anything that the last 40 years of edtech have taught us – there is yet another technology coming around the corner that will lay claim to another revolution to redefine us. Are we ready to extend or bend our metaphors to cope? Can we look back on some core concepts and theory to help us understand avoid the ensuing panic that we don’t know how to click all the buttons yet.

See you in the metaverse, folks! Just don’t mislay your (conceptual) towel.


Belshaw, D. (2012). What is ‘digital literacy’? A Pragmatic investigation. (Doctoral). Durham University, Available from

Buckingham, D. (2015). Defining Digital Literacy: What do Young People Need to Know About Digital Media? In C. Lankshear & M. Knobel (Eds.), Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and Practices.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1 – 10748120110424816. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-16. Retrieved from

Mason, L. E., Krutka, D. G., & Heath, M. K. (2020). Editorial: The Metaphor Is the Message: Limitations of the Media Literacy Metaphor for Social Studies. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 21(3). Retrieved from

Redecker, C. (2017). European framework for the digital competence of educators: DigCompEdu. Retrieved from (Seville site):

White, D. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). Retrieved from

Food, glorious food…

It’s been a refreshing start to ONL212. Meeting new people, and getting familiar with how things work. It will be a challenge to find time to participate given other demands, but I am brought right back to the type of collaborative and open networks that were such a feature of my learning over fifteen years ago, during my PhD. Through the informal, and networked conversations, we’ll deepen our understandings. How inspirational!

For our first task of presenting ourselves to the group, the concept of our diverse backgrounds, and the shared experience of making or eating food emerged. Alistair deftly swung this common starting place, and introduced us to the idea of cooking as a useful metaphor for learning. Others have also found this idea useful (Digital Pedagogy Cookbook, 2020; Lane, 2010; Stevens & Vaudrey, 2016; Wright, 2014), noting that the ingredients (our context), the recipe (our learning intentions and pedagogic design approach), the method (enacting this in practice), and later reflections are not entirely dissimilar to the cooking of a meal.

So what will our open networked meal look like? Tune in Sunday to find out.


Digital Pedagogy Cookbook. (2020, September 18). Why using a recipe metaphor? Retrieved from

Lane, L. M. (2010, 1 March 2010). Chef as metaphor.  Retrieved from

Stevens, J., & Vaudrey, M. (2016). The Classroom Chef: Sharpen Your Lessons, Season Your Classes, Make Math Meaningful: ‎ Dave Burgess Consulting, Incorporated

Wright, N. (2014). Using an extended food metaphor to explain concepts about pedagogy. Curriculum Matters, 10. doi: