This week’s topic in the MOOC #change11 is about the digital scholar, a concept thoroughly researched by one of my colleagues in the OlNet team, Martin Weller. He just published a book with the same title which can be accessed here. I found the parallels between Open Education and the music or newspaper industry interesting and helpful to engage other people in discussions.
However, when we consider digital scholarship from an individual perspective, I think that the abilities to manage your own digital learning process (which then leads to scholarship) are different from the abilities for traditional learning. Rita Kop has published a paper in IRRODL which elaborates a little bit on that with regard to MOOC.
Last year and before even knowing about MOOC, I published an article, coincidently also in IRRODL, that describes the concept of volition as a helpful theory to provide a new dimension to explain learning in informal settings. My perspective at this time was Distance Education with its long tradition of using innovative media to bridge the gap between teacher and learner. However, the more „innovative“ or complex these media are, the more challenging are the tasks learner have to do. I have focused primarily on motivation as a key for goal-directed learning and have provided some cases that can endanger motivation when learning at a distance. Then I have introduced the concept of volition that can compensate decreased motivation, for instance with specific action control strategies. These strategies are crucial for self-regulated learning which put a lot of pressure on the learner (e.g., control of attention when facing distractions, monitoring your learning progress).
It seems reasonable to assume that volition is also of importance for learning in open learning networks such as the MOOC #change11. I will follow my line of research as outlined in the aforementioned paper.