The purpose of this dissertation is to show how aesthetic experiences and nontrivial conversations are at the heart of learning and can be designed for and practiced online. Aesthetic experiences are moments of acute attention, imbued with meaning (Parrish, 2009). Nontrivial conversations are conversations that increase possibilities for learning and generating knowledge (Pask, 1972; Sharples, 2005). Together they form a complementarity, meaning that in relationship they describe a phenomenon, in this case knowing or meaning making. Fostering nontrivial conversations and triggering aesthetic experiences is a non-dogmatic way of orienting education towards student-centered constructivist learning.
Higher education is in the midst of large-scale transition, both conceptually and technologically, in response to global, social, economic, political, technological, and learning research trends. This transition has been slow and partial, but is accelerating. Conceptually, if not in practice, education is shifting from a model of knowledge transmission to collaborative knowledge construction. Technologically, online education has become largely accepted. The rapid expansion of online education does not contradict that it remains in many ways a wild frontier, a place where possibilities for increasing learning by methods unique to the online environment are being newly discovered and explored (Laurillard, 2005). This expansive 'place of possibilities' is where this inquiry is located, expressly directed at facilitating learning.
|Commitee:||Pangaro, Paul, Ray, Wendel|
|School:||California Institute of Integral Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Aesthetic experience, Conversation, Cybernetics, Formative assessment, Learning, Online education|
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