Sometimes simple questions become a lot more complicated when one starts thinking about them. And these simple questions will start to reproduce like bacteria in a lab test when one thinks any longer. Colin Milligan did ask if I had been able to achieve my goal with this MOOC. And what was that goal. This question kept coming back in my mind again and again. (I am not in any way criticizing Colin Milligan’s research)
How could one possibly formulate a goal before one is learning something? One could say I want to learn X, but one only will know what that means after one has learned X.
“Going on an Expotition?” said Pooh eagerly. “I don’t think I’ve ever been on one of those. Where are we going to on this Expotition?”
“Expedition, silly old Bear. It’s got an ‘x’ in it.”
“Oh!” said Pooh. “I know.” But he didn’t really.
“We’re going to discover the North Pole.”
“Oh!” said Pooh again. “What is the North Pole?” he asked.
“It’s just a thing you discover,” said Christopher Robin carelessly, not being quite sure himself.
I think any learning goal formulated before a course starts will have been changed when the course is going on. Most learning goals will almost only cover the formal learning part of learning. which is only 5% of all occurring learning.
When the #Change11 MOOC did start we were asked to write down goals. I did not, because for me the MOOC was a kind of expedition into an unknown country. The only goal I had was: Start and go on until it is over. So there is a problem. No no goal, pre-test. How could we possibly measure my learning progress in this course in the right way prescribed by some educational scientists?
“For the bureaucrat (simple domain) all failures are a failure of process”. Dave Cormier. Testing is a (teacher) instrument to observe the progression of a student, and when bureaucrats lay their hands on that fragile instrument they change it. Then testing becomes a means to solve complex problems in a simple way. Bureaucratic testing goes with simple goals and simple tests, where observing the progress of a student needs complex (fuzzy) goals and measurements. We need to know the narrative of the student to be able to observe change. Lisa Lane calls it ‘Guiding forces‘ “Bureaucrats” with simple testing will change education into simple teaching.