The main assignment for LRNT526 – Inquiry into Contemporary Issues in Learning Technologies at Royal Roads University is split into four parts and is a combination of individual and team-based work.
The team that I am working with, The DeeGees, decided to conduct a critical inquiry into Lynda.com (a curated video library) and specifically a course entitled Photography Foundations: Composition. By no means am I a photographer but I am interested in learning about a key subject in the world of photography and seeing what information I could glean from using Lynda.com.
Within this modality and instance, my personal curiosity was piqued in terms of what made Lynda.com the “right” format for learning about photography composition especially when there are so many choices, both online and in-person, to learn and experience this same learning instance. Martin Weller (2011) points out that access to content in the digital age has grown exponentially with the introduction of blogs, video services, podcasts, forums, and social networking platforms to the point that the amount of choice can be overwhelming.
Granted this abundance of content allows for a learner to find a method that fits their learning style and budget, yet it causes me to consider a number of questions such as:
- Why would someone pay for a Lynda.com subscription when they can watch free photography composition lessons on YouTube? Is there enough of a differentiator in those platforms to make a noticeable difference in the learning outcome?
- For an amateur, would they get the same learning results from a curated video library as having a one-on-one or group photography session?
- Could photography forums provide enough detail and discussion to encourage a learner to go out and understand photography composition? Could the same be said for photo-sharing services that enable “learners” to view examples, upload their own pictures, and engage in dialogue with “experts” that assist in the learning process?
Going forward, I will be exploring the implications of abundant content as it pertains to Lynda.com and the photography course that my team is evaluating. I look forward to sharing with you my findings and who knows, maybe a photo or two. 😉
Weller, Martin (2011). A pedagogy of abundance. Spanish Journal of Pedagogy, 249 pp. 223-236