Participation is the heart of #DigPINS. Yes there is content, but the learning community does not function without participation.
Heutagogy: Self-Directed Learning
#DigPINS is rooted in heutagogy, an adult learning theory in which learners are autonomous and self-directed. Heutagogy is an interesting way to frame the kind of learning that we hope will take place as part of #DigPINS.
“A heutagogical approach recognizes the need to be flexible in the learning where the teacher provides resources but the learner designs the actual course he or she might take by negotiating the learning. Thus, learners might read around critical issues or questions and determine what is of interest and relevance to them and then negotiate further reading and assessment tasks,” (Hase, S. & Kenyon, C. 2000).
While #DigPINS is not a “course,” we are a cohort group of adults who are learning together outside of a traditional course or classroom. As a learning community for faculty and staff in higher education, the expectation in #DigPINS is not one of teaching novices, but of learning together in community around some shared resources. Various digital tools afford us with the opportunity to connect as a community in multiple ways around these shared resources.
Synchronous to Asynchronous Participation
Your time spent on participation will be spent on asynchronous communications (compose, post, wait, get responses) like blogging and commenting as well as occasional synchronous activities (real-time) such as video calls.
Synchronous online activities are scheduled through a poll of participant availability. Inevitably, finding a time that works for everyone is difficult but multiple meetings are offered to try to give everyone both synchronous and asynchronous experiences. When a synchronous meeting time does not work for a participant, facilitators encourage them to be creative with other digital tools to find asynchronous ways to engage the community in the topic.
Open vs. Private Participation
#DigPINS blends the range of contexts in which participants work over public and more closed spaces. This simply means that some online environments will be more open and public than others. For example, publishing a blog post to this site is an open and public space that can be viewed by anyone with the URL, while communications in Slack can only be viewed by invited participants. Each school will have their own private backchannel. Additionally, Slack provides a place for direct messages, or one to one communication between individuals.