Czerkawski, B. C. (2016). Blending Formal and Informal Learning Networks for Online Learning . International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 138-157.
This article focuses on learning networks that come out of online learning. The author focuses both on informal and formal networks. The author studies graduate students and their use of formal and informal means to network for learning. The author is trying to understand how both formal and informal learning networks are used and the impact they have on the students if any. The author does state that ” the findings showed that students and professors use both environments often, to optimize learning but online course design is usually not designed to consider informal experiences of the students” (Czerkawski, 2016). What the author was able to discover was the utmost importance of instructional design in creating the best online learning experience for a student.
This article is organized superbly. From the onset the author lays out the problem and what her findings were. The reader is then given a comprehensive background regarding learning networks. The author then presents the literature review and all the empirical evidence regarding the hypothesis. At the end of the literature review the author very clearly presents the 3 questions that she hopes to answer with the study. This is very much appreciated as a reader. Finally the study of graduate students is presented. Within the study the author explains the research design which was a mixed-method study.The results are presented next and the author presents the conclusion and discussion of further study.
Czerkawski, Betül C. “Blending Formal and Informal Learning Networks for Online Learning .” International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (2016): 138-157.
This article was interesting and relevant because I think the main struggle of an online teacher and/or instructor is to get away from the idea that an online class can be presented like a traditional face-to-face class. Instructional design is tantamount and has been a recurring theme. This article brought home the point that designing a well rounded well thought out online class can not only help with online learning, but learning networks and that informal learning networks are invaluable opportunities that are not being utilized to their fullest potential.