[p2pu-dev] Lernanta architecture

Stian Håklev shaklev at gmail.com
Sun Mar 13 13:14:30 UTC 2011

Hi Zuzel,

it's an interesting split between "tool to support peer learning" and "tool
to support research about peer learning", but I am not sure I agree. Now,
obviously you could argue that I am biased - I'm in a PhD program, and plan
to do research on peer-learning, and indeed would like to do that research
on P2PU (although I am not tied to it). However, I believe that from the
beginning when we created P2PU, our idea was not just to create a very
successful product (although that would be great!), but to push the field of
open education forwards - by innovating, experimenting, learning, and
sharing everything we did.

The point is that nobody today knows how to do peer learning well. There are
examples out there - David Wiley's courses inspired us at first, the MOOCs
are interesting, and now we have lot's of case studies from P2PU. We can
also learn a lot from social interactions that are not directly similar -
collaborative communities like Wikipedia, OSQA, etc. But we're really just
beginning to understand what makes one P2PU course successful, and another

And this research cannot really be separated from practice - there are too
many variables. So the best we can do is to keep running courses, document
how we do it and the decisions we make, gather as much data as possible to
evaluate how it went, experiment systematically and creatively, and iterate.
And in addition to all the internal research we do - invite in external
researchers who can both add new theoretical perspectives and rigour, and
also get our name into peer-reviewed journals etc (we're already working
with several).

Our recent Hewlett application (which we should find out about in a few days
- very exciting!) has a very heavy research focus, looking at measuring
success at a number of levels.

So I see this data collection as crucial to improve the main purpose of
P2PU, which is to enable more people to learn. But I am looking forward to
discussing this further.


On Sun, Mar 13, 2011 at 08:52, zuzel.vp <zuzel.vp at gmail.com> wrote:

> I just read it and I will add a ticket (or maybe more to split the
> ideas) to lighthouse. We will probably talk about this early this week
> when we meet in person. A few things that crossed my mind after
> reading that wiki page.
> Lernanta can be seen from different angles (e.g., a tool to support
> peer learning, a tool to support research about peer learning).
> Depending in how we want to use Lernanta the design could be
> different. Independently of how you use Lernanta we will probably
> interact with many external services (as Etherpad, wiki, chat, Big
> Blue Button, blogs, ...), but the interaction with this services will
> vary if the objective is to support peer learning or support research
> about peer learning. In order to support peer learning having a course
> with links and the necessary status updates (so people visit this
> links only when necessary) could be sufficient for many of the
> external services. However, from a research perspective having all the
> data (or as much data as possible) in the same place is highly useful.
> One thing I will like to know is how much weight to put (in terms of
> priorities) to this two use cases.
> --
> Thanks,
>     Zuzel
> On Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 10:45 PM, Stian Håklev <shaklev at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi guys, I just posted some ideas about the lernanta architecture that
> I've
> > been thinking about for quite a while,
> > here:
> https://github.com/p2pu/lernanta/wiki/Stian's-ideas-about-lernanta-functionality
> > The main thrust is extendibility - because we have to recognize that we
> > simply do not know what an effective learning environment looks like. (We
> > know a little bit more today than a year and a half ago, but we're still
> in
> > the very beginning). And of course, different course organizers will need
> > different tools. It should be very clean, easy to manage, and provide the
> > basic tools well documented - but it should also be easy to experiment
> with
> > adding new ways of interacting.
> > And interaction with external services is really key - both for the
> > experience of taking the course, and getting data on learner interaction,
> so
> > that we can do research on learning at P2PU.
> > I believe these two aspects will make the P2PU platform very compelling
> for
> > course organizers, students and researchers.
> > Looking forward to discuss these ideas further.
> > Stian
> >
> > --
> > http://reganmian.net/blog -- Random Stuff that Matters
> >
> >
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> >
> >
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http://reganmian.net/blog -- Random Stuff that Matters
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