Ultralab online orthodoxies


As a relatively new Ultralab employee (5 years as opposed to 15) I still struggle with some of the accepted orthodoxies/doctrines/mantras/certainties of Ultralab. I recognize that many of these have come from past research projects and conversations over many years. In this Blog I will start by making a list. Over time I will unpick each of the points I have identifies and challenge the ones I believe are now ill founded, suggest developments, and explain my own understanding based on my current experiences.

NB – Below is an editable document

  • the importance of a sense of audience
  • communities need facilitation
  • empowerment through control of technology – you can too!
  • closed communities are a prerequisite of ‘significant’ disclosure
  • learning should be delightful
  • importance of redundancy of media
  • drill and fill is drill and kill
  • importance of discourse framing and presentation
  • constructivist philosophy should inform pedagogy
  • process not content is not ‘king’
  • importance of identity
  • primacy of asynchronous communications
  • archiving the past for understanding the future
  • 5 thoughts on “Ultralab online orthodoxies

    1. Andy

      What an interesting project to start up, I can’t wait for all the arguments and discussions likely to be provoked. Will it all take place here or elsewhere i wonder? Reading the list of mantras, i think i would challenge about half of them to a greater or lesser extent, and more or less accept the others as they stand.
      Can’t disagree with number one for instance, the importance of audience. You may be able to point out the odd person who happily writes away in some obscure forum knowing that practically no one will ever read it, but the strong tendency is for people to continue sending their writing only to places where they get some kind of feedback to reassure them that at least it has been read. Even a totally secret diary would have an intended audience of the future self, if not, why not destroy the words as soon as they are written. The sense of audience, whether real or imagined, surely affects the writing style and attention to detail as well. It could be noted that where people have kept a daily diary of a journey, a holiday, or some other trip away, usually because they want to hold on to the memories, and then when they get home they start dumping it into a blog for posterity, ( I have come across a small number of these ) it just doesn’t read the same, because the sense of audience wasn’t there at the time when the obligation to keep the diary up to date was fulfilled.

    2. Stephen

      Yes, hope so Andy. I will try and address them at a rate of about one per week. I hope that by doing it this way it will help me to structure my reflections both on particular topics but also within a lose time frame.

    3. Nancy White

      I’m looking forward to tracking them too. For each orthodoxy (many of which I can notice is my rut here) I can think of exceptions. The more I do this work, the more I realize how little we really know. Especially when we expand to new contexts and cultures.

    4. Glen Turnbull

      A test.
      Is this still an active area that one (1) can expect some form of response from, in regards to a question?
      If yes.
      How can I get in touch with Michael Anderson?
      His e-mail doesn’t seem to work. (Michael.Anderson@ultralab.net)
      Yours in blogginess!


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