User-generated curriculum & competencies?

I like jogging (ok, more like plodding), as it’s a time I can queue up some questions to think about and then take them on the road to get some insights.  In addition to some great thoughts on my presentation for the Innovations in eLearning Symposium, and my workshop at the mLearn Conference, I thought about LMS and social media.

I was reflecting on what I liked about Q2Learning’s model for system support, where a variety of things can be aggregated to achieve a competency: a course, a meeting, a project, etc.  It occurred to me to think that if someone can decide what goes together to create a course, why shouldn’t the community itself decide?

It goes further: I got to design my own undergraduate major. I took a bunch of things I’d done, and some things I thought augmented those activities to create a coherent body of study on what was then termed Computer-Based Education (UCSD didn’t have a program in it back then), and submitted it as a proposal.  The Provost vetted it, and I was on my way. Isn’t that a model that could be replicated?  Can’t we have folks propose their course of study?

I started thinking about having networks start moving to becoming communities by defining component skills and proposed paths for achieving those skills, and also supporting proposals for other paths.  Really, it’s about the community deciding how to help individuals move to the center, but with some explicit steps rather than implicit.

The learning organization role would be then one of facilitating this process of developing roles, competencies and curricula. It would certainly  be a way of addressing the decreasing half-life of knowledge, by having it continually updated by the community in which those roles and skills made sense.

In this way, a community would co-create it’s learning paths in a dynamic interchange between the goals and tasks.  And an LMS would then be a networking tool with the ability to manage the discussions, resources, and paths to competency as well as a learner’s record.  It would be more organic and coupled in a robust feedback loop, not externalized, abstracted, filtered, and returned in ways that may diminish the value.

The learning organization would be dispersed as members of the constituent communities, helping develop the components of the competency path in concert with the members, adding in their value and nurturing development.

The thinking hasn’t yet gone far beyond this yet, but I have to say that it seems to approach an appropriate blend between the value of bringing in a real understanding of knowledge (the role of a learning organization) with the dynamic co-development of understanding that characterizes a community.  Does this make sense to you?

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