Last week I foolishly went to one of our PC clusters between 530 and 730pm. It was unproductive as there was lots of noise in the lead up to exams (I should have stayed at my desk and risked setting the alarm.)
The Fell cluster now has interesting geometric patterns of computers in groups of 6, meaning that my neighbour could easily talk diagonally across me to a long suffering mate and discuss the finer points of anatomy as he frantically re-ran recorded lectures.
Social learning spaces is what they are called, they work! I have been pondering why I was so frustrated by our Compendium LD exercise:
Too many pathways offered for learning
No worked example to look at
No one on hand to pester
Now sit 4 people together in a social learning space like my revising medics and presto, a joint competence would have been reached in a quarter of the time (unless of course it was an exercise for the tv show apprentice).
My other thought is that open ended strategies for learning software tools are a bit fraught. There’s something nice about a structured walk-through, an exercise to try, then something to experiment with.