Monday 9 December 2019

#Learning monitoring in Belgium - based on #LearningDoctrine #synchronous

Just this morning I got a link to a video representing a new learning technology used at IMEC. As I looking into synchronous learning technology, this is of interest. But as I was watching the video, I felt a bit uneasy. This synchronous learning solution WeConnect is offered by Barco and is implemented at IMEC (which is connected to KULeuven, which will in the years become the major university in Belgium, as it is good in gaining and keeping established power).

Monitor the learner to push them into good followers
In this synchronous learning solution, online learners attending the synchronous classroom are monitored (facial expressions), psychophysiological data is captured (using wearables), engagement is measured (based on body movements) and interventions (quizzes, polls) are embedded in the lecture in order to keep the attention of learners. But again, this is leading the biggest batch of learners, the 'normal' learners, those who have an attention span lasting a full lecture. And it is aimed at lecture-based content (university content mainly), with of-course a teacher dashboard indicating engagement of the overall student population.

It is not about instruction, it is about stimulating creative thinking on subject areas of interest
I can see the benefits of this system, but it just annoys me intensely that it is again about instruction (absorbing information), not about actual learning (creating). For instance, if you use challenge-driven education and learners are working on their own projects.... surely the engagement and learning will skyrocket through the roof?

Adults learners need a digital shepherd?
When a child is young (even up to 18 years old), I can imagine you want to learn how to learn, how to stay attentive and what it can provide you with... but once you are an adult, surely you will know your own way forward? Surely, there should be more ways for any intelligent young adult to open their own world and live it the way they feel fit?
Why are technologists so scared a learner wouldn't be attentive, stare outside, have something on their mind... and then zoom in again on the subject that is given? To me, if a learner is not interested enough in the lecture... so what? If a teacher cannot grab your attention, what of it? Should we pressure learners into learning patterns they

Learning comes naturally
When you consider MOOCs, learners learn them and take them in their spare time. There is no 'optimization of learner posture'. People learn because they like the content because they are intrinsically motivated because they have a personal goal. I would think that tailoring content and delivery to nurture intrinsic motivation and personal goals is more useful, more fulfilling from the learner's point of view? Learning is in our genes, which makes all of learning unique yet natural in its uniqueness. With all of these technologies, I would think that human satisfaction would become more interesting as a subject for innovative technologies, then creating humans that learn alike, do alike, and follow digital indicators?

Can a learner - using this system - decline being monitored? While still following the course or the lecture? Surely this should be the case? I would immediately ask to be non-monitored. But then this could be me.

Quantum supremacy surely makes 'proper old-school learners' obsolete?
I would be very surprised if the future would be all about the best learners (which human society has never been about either), but for those who can actually fill their spare time with actions that make them feel confident, useful, creative and ... happy. Subtracting new knowledge from data can become a processing-power based activity done by e.g. computers having the sycamore chip though granted, it will still take some years before it becomes fully functional for day-to-day actions. But still.... shouldn't we focus on getting humans more actively involved in a less-school-like higher education?

What do you think? Below is the link to the movie that sparked my sighed-based eye roll resulting in this blogpost. I will try to get my hands on using it for innovative learning.

LECTURE+ from imec on Vimeo.