NOTE: this is a two-part writing on the Hybrid Institutional-Personal Learning Environment (HIPLE). You might thus be interested in reading part I: Introducing the Hybrid Institutional-Personal Learning Environment (HIPLE).
In Introducing the Hybrid Institutional-Personal Learning Environment (HIPLE) I dealt with the different profiles, behaviours and needs that concur in online education (or online enhanced education). I also asked for a way to be able to give a satisfactory answer to all the problems that arouse with that concurrence while being able to swim and keep one’s clothes dry at the same time (as we say in Catalan).
Let us put it into practice with a totally applied example using Twitter.
The typical situation
The context is an online course on e-Government. There is a character (ONcampus) which is a student that, for unspecified reasons, just wants to access the virtual campus to study and that everything that happens on the campus remains unknown for the outer world. There is a second character (ictlogist) that is also a student and uses several Web 2.0 tools for learning (call it a Personal Learning Environment or PLE), amongst them Twitter, and just does not want to use two nanoblogging tools, one on-campus and another one off-campus. A third character (OFFcampus) is a professional working on eGovernment and, as such, uses Twitter to interact with other people on the field.
What you usually would have is two conversations:
- Inside the campus, a closed conversation that neither benefits from “outside” conversations nor contributes to them. Including the student remaining unknown to other people on the field.
- Outside campus, an open but not-permeating-the-campus conversation and that forces some people to attend two conversations on the same field mostly with different people but similar purposes.
The HIPLE to the rescue
Imagine a nanobloging tool (e.g. StatusNet) installed inside the virtual campus classroom. Everything that happens in there is invisible to the outside world. But everything you tag with #uoc_egov (the “official” hashtag for the course) is published on Twitter.
In fact, everything you publish on Twitter with the #uoc_egov hashtag is imported onto the nanobloggin tool installed in the virtual campus, so everyone can see it. Thus allowing people to participate in the closed classroom from outside of the campus.
In fact, messages from other people alien to the closed classroom can also be seen inside the classroom, provided that (a) they add the #uoc_egov hashtag and (b) we have not added a filter to the closed nanoblogging tool that not only filters by hashtag but also by user (in this case, students could participate from their Twitter accounts but the classroom would only be participated by enrolled students).
The Hybrid Institutional-Personal Learning Environment (HIPLE) into practice:
an example with Twitter [click to enlarge]
- Students can opt to participate only in the classroom and be invisible to off-campus users.
- Students can opt to participate from outside the classroom and with their own tools. In the limit, they will only participate from their own
PLEs and not from the virtual campus.
- Off-campus students engage in real conversations with “real” professionals and experts in the field. Exposure is likely to be good.
- Faculty and managers can, if thus desired, use the closed environment to “contain” what is to be monitored or assessed, and without the need to wander around “chasing” spontaneous and ubiquitous contributions from their students.
The increase of open APIs shouldn’t make these kind of developments very difficult. Of course there are thousands of applications and one will always have to choose which ones to “bridge”. But (a) there are not many really popular applications and, in fact, (b) that is what standards are for.
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2010) “The Hybrid Institutional-Personal Learning Environment (HIPLE) into practice: an example with Twitter” In ICTlogy,
#81, June 2010. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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