Are you designing with Flow in mind

In my opinion the concept of flow is very powerful and can reap great rewards for both learning practitioner and learner.

So what is flow ? According to Csikszentmihalyi, 1990 flow is:

An activity that may lead to an optimal experience must be done for the satisfaction of the activity itself; the person must be motivated intrinsically to do the activity, or autotelic, literally meaning self-goal (Csikszentmihalyi 1990). In addition to being autotelic, the activity must challenge and require skill, merge action and awareness, provide feedback, and require full concentration on the task at hand. The person experiencing flow will have clear goals, exercise control, lose their self consciousness, and experience a distortion of time (Csikszentmihalyi 1990, Cited in Finneran & Zhang, 2002).

I first found this concept while reading for an MA in marketing management, at the time my focus was on digital marketing I am now looking at the application of this idea in learning, particularly in computer mediated environments.

There are often times I’ve experienced this flow, as a learner and a teacher but the question is how do I recreate it and generate it for others at will in a consistent way.

From now on my goal is to create this flow in my learning but there are many challenges, time, resources, organisational culture are some of the issues.

Are you designing with flow in mind, what results are you experiencing?

Snowflake Effect and Learning

In this short article Duval outlines the Snowflake Effect and proposes how it may be used in learning, here is an excerpt.

This effect will be realized through a hybrid approach with push and pull techniques, in which information is actively requested or searched by the user, but also more and more subtly integrated in his work and learning environment. In this way, a learning environment can be created that is geared to the individual needs of the teacher or student.  (Duval, 2008)

However he points out some of the downsides of this approach.

There are obvious questions about privacy and unauthorized use of personal data. But it is highly preferable to actually have that discussion and make possible the use of such data, rather than to continue the current situation where google is probably better informed of what a student does, knows and can than the educational institution that grants the student a diploma! (Duval, 2008) 

 

Snowflaked learning and it’s application

 

This is an amazing little article from Duval, it’s got me thinking about practical applications, on further reflection it seems I have been using aspects of this approach for some years in my face to face teaching practice but not online.

In the same way that all snowflakes in a snowstorm are unique, each user has her specific characteristics, restrictions and interests. That is why we speak of a “snowflake effect”, to indicate that, more and more, the aforementioned facilities will be relied upon to realize far-reaching forms of personalization and “mass customization”. This effect will be realized through a hybrid approach with push and pull techniques, in which information is actively requested or searched by the user, but also more and more subtly integrated in his work and learning environment. In this way, a learning environment can be created that is geared to the individual needs of the teacher or student. (Duval, 2008)

The question is how can I apply this online? not just apply it but in a way that reaps real rewards for my learners.  What will it cost in terms of resources, time, money, emotional and physical expenditure?

No idea, I will have to think about it some more, test out some ideas and see if it works or not.