DBR R/v Request

The use of mesoMoocs to encourage innovation through networked learning in internships.

Statement of problem and context:

The context: In today’s education system, for those students on internships, there is a lot of emphasis on students applying skills learned in class to problems encountered in the workplace. In essence, the internship becomes a place to practice these skills. Secondly, the placement itself is touted as an opportunity to gain networks for future employment prospects.

The problem: However, there seems to be a lost opportunity occurring as there is little mention of use of these internships as opportunities to practice problem solving through application of NGL. This becomes a problem as these days, a lot of learning is done informally through the workplace and knowledge is regarded as a basic requirement for innovation and profit making in companies. As a result this proposal intends to explore ways NGL can be implemented in internships using connectivist practices that support innovation.

The description of the research questions:

  • How could a networked internship which supports innovation be implemented?
  • What are some of the benefits of implementing networked learning in internships?
  • What are some of the challenges involved in implementing NGL in internships?

The literature review:

I will explain:

  • why innovation is so important in the work place
  • how networked learning can assist in innovation through:
    • getting students to enrol in moocs while on placement. In this, I will also explain how a Mooc works with the SAMR Model and modifies and redefines internships – as technology is used to evolve networking and problem solving (and hence innovation) to a new level.
    • digital literacy. In this I will explain how digital literacy will assist networking and promote ethical work processes
  • what are some challenges in implementing networked learning

Description of the proposed intervention:

Students will be on an internship and while on the placement, they will have to join a mesoMooc (definition to be provided in DBR) to engage in problem solving activities in a networked manner. The mesomooc will address the “Protection of business innovations through copyright”. In this way students are forced to engage in the following design principles:

  • Engage in networked learning by identifying information nodes (both human and inanimate) to engage problem solving and communication.
  • Use digital literacy practices which help in problem solving and sharing of of solutions processes
  • Engage in innovative pedagogy and innovative practices as a result of engaging in networked learning.


Plan of the proposed intervention:

  • Teachers to explain:
    1. Networked learning and how it’s important to identify nodes that allow the ability to find information (and not necessarily the need to know all the information beforehand)
    2. Digital literacy and ethics and that it helps with network creation, group problem solving, regional and global development, digital literacy skills and ethical considerations
  • Prevent students from feeling overwhelmed by having teachers support students with technology e.g.
    1. Show how to access a mooc
    2. Have the mentors show students how to use technology used by moocs through videos
      1. as increased technical ability is proportional to increased motivation
  • Prevent students from feeling overwhelmed by having teachers support students with the mooc itself. To do this:
    1. Assure students they don’t need to do all of the stuff in the Mooc
    2. Get teaching assistants, the lecturer and internship mentors to join the mooc as well. (These “assistants” don’t have to complete the projects, but should guide students who are assigned to them through the mooc)
    3. Pair groups of students with students who’ve done moocs before or with teaching assistants and internship mentors.


  • Promote NGL and communication by having students communicate actively on a mooc discussion board. The professional is to guide and introduce students to other useful students enrolled in the mooc and promote engagement n discussion and encourage students to find websites.
  • R/v students by getting them to main a reflective diary for markers to assess. Students’ feelings can be assessed on usefulness, digital literacy skills gained, networking development skills gained and the challenges they experienced.

I do have a question though. I plan to introduce innovation being important to companies, and then networked learning and digital literacy in the literature review.  However, in the plan for implementation, I appear to be introducing innovation pedagogy out of the blue. Is this too much information? Will it become unmanageable?


Many thanks in advance to those of you who provide advice.  – Sam

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