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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Learning Commons Approach #EDCMOOC why MOOC discussion forums are a pot of gold

Reading the forum discussions of my Blended Learning: Personalizing Education for Students Mooc, I encountered one thread that mentioned the "learning commons approach" and referencing it to a link about learning commons (http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7071.pdf)

What came in my mind was our new university library in our new Henry Sy Building.


An additional building in our university that made our school even more classy and world class. They relocated our library into this new Henry Sy building (obviously donated by Henry Sy), and renamed the library into "The Learning Commons". Our library now had cool couches, lots of private rooms, very spacey, consisted of 3 (or more) floors, lots of computers, gadgets, couches, study desks, study rooms, meeting rooms, I haven't even fully explored it yet but it looked awesome. I thought the name change was just for the sake of making our library sound cool as it looks.

 "The [DLSU] Learning Commons occupies part of the 5th floor, as well as the 6th to the 13th floors of the building. It showcases its indoor gardens, outdoor reading areas, lounges, discussion rooms, meeting/conference rooms, and multipurpose halls and wide-open spaces." - ( quoted from related article: DLSU Library, Now the Learning Commons )

The article merely described what our new library now looks like and the ways we can maximize the "new library", but it did not mention anything why it is now "the learning commons".

Coming across the thread in my MOOC, I discovered that the "learning commons" is a kind of educational approach after all (good to know the rationale about this). The description in the pdf I've linked above is exactly what our new "library" looks like.

All I could think of is WOW. I wouldn't know about this not unless I didn't enroll in MOOCs, moreso, if I did not interact with my MOOC classmates. There is indeed a lot of things you can learn in the discussion forum in MOOCs.

I have finished the requirements of my MOOCs and I have actually allotted this time to browse the discussion forums  (which I never had time before because I was too busy trying to catch up with the mooc deadlines and requirements)

Discovering what the Learning Commons approach is very overwhelming to me because its a kind of information that's not much needed, but good to know. It's more of like a trivia to me.

And I quickly shared it with my graduate school classmates and asked them if they ever wondered why our library was now called the learning commons.

Here are some pictures of our new library i.e. The Learning Commons. (Pictures taken from the DLSU article )



















I have really learned a lot of things in my MOOCs that I wouldn't learn in my graduate school classes. And I'm glad that I enrolled myself in these things (even if I did over-enroll in too many moocs).

Like for example, I had a educational technology class in my graduate school program early of 2013 and that was the first time I was introduced in the Blended Learning concept. But I learned more about blended learning by enrolling in this current MOOC. It helps that there is still sort of structure in learning things, rather than just googling for information and you don't even know where to start. My MOOCs help me get some structure for independent learning and provides scaffolds on what kind of new things I wanna learn about.

Plus, the interaction of other people who are interested in the same field or topics that you are also interested in makes the learning even more substantial and the experience is overwhelming. MOOCs are really a very promising innovation and suits well for independent learners like me.

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