Construction and/or Creation of Online Content

Construction and/or Creation of Online Content

Over the past couple of years I’ve worked with colleagues to help extend research in online reading comprehension to include other elements of literacy that I think are missing from the model. Through various initiatives we’ve developed elements of online collaborative inquiry, and online content construction to help expand the work students are involved in as they use online information sources to research and develop media skills.

What does it mean to create/construct online content?

Online reading comprehension (ORC) has elements of “communication” identified as the last of the five skills students need. In order to fill the void I would see concerning the creativity, composition, and design skills students need…we have been developing online content construction (OCC). OCC was first identified in my dissertation and the proposal for this work. I first had the idea years ago while working on an annotated bibliography under the guidance of Rick Beach to try and consolidate the great work in visual, digital, and multimodal content construction…while making it easy & flexible enough for teachers to make this work happen in their classrooms.

I currently have a piece further developing this theory coming out in the CT Reading Association Journal…and have to write a chapter about it soon. The chapter is out…and available here. You can also review the chapter embedded below.

How is communication in ORC different from creation, or even construction in OCC?

The ideas and concepts in all of this work does overlap sometimes…and students and teachers should feel empowered to move in, out, and between all of the concepts. Working online is a fluid experience which calls for flexible learners.

I would view communication in the traditional understanding of ORC to include basic elements of communication as taught in our high schools and universities. During the ORC process students learn during an inquiry process and then send this message out to others using a text or tool of their choosing.

In terms of the creation vs. construction debate, most of the thinking up to this point has been on creation of online content. The origin of OCC was originally structured around the idea of content creation as defined by Sonia Livingstone in her theoretical definition of media literacy (2004). She identified that in order to “identify, in textual terms, how the Internet mediates the representation of knowledge, the framing of entertainment, and the conduct of communication”, our understanding of construction and creation needs to be broad enough to allow for change in the future. I believe that viewing the work as construction and more expansive that just creation allows for this eventuality.

How is online creation different than online construction?

In thinking about this question, I may be splitting hairs, but I believe that the word choice involved in identifying construction as opposed to creation is also of the utmost importance. Creation can be viewed simply as the act of producing, or causing to exist.  Construction is the building or assembling of an infrastructure. Construction is equal parts inspiration and perspiration. Construction calls on creativity as well as persistence, flexibility, and revision. Construction asks our students and teachers to focus on the power and patience employed during work process…and not just the final resultant work product.

Construction also brings in the role of groups of learners in the process of learning and as a result includes elements of social and cognitive constructivism. Learners are encouraged to be creative as they build and revise content. They should look to see if it meets their needs and how representative it is to other elements of online information. But, most importantly, they are to use the expertise of other students and the teacher in the classroom. I would also suggest including elements of abstracted replay, or viewing the work of experts as they revise and edit their own work process and product.

It may be a small designation to make, but I see a great deal of difference between the act of creation, and the sustained, informed, evaluative elements embedded in construction.

8 Comments Construction and/or Creation of Online Content

  1. Joan Robinson

    Ian, I see the difference between creation vs. construction and appreciate your formula of …construction = inspiration + perspiration (such a math perspective) I might argue however, that it is not always equal parts!!!

    1. wiobyrne

      Hi Joan. I appreciate your math formula about including aspects of inspiration + perspiration equaling construction. Awesome…thanks again.

  2. Gail

    I see creating as a process too. Often times during creating there is transformation, changes in mode or medium. Such a in choreographing a dance, directing a play, composing music; But I see a great tie in using construction..related to constructivist theories, and the highest order of thinking in Blooms Taxonomy.

    1. wiobyrne

      Hi Gail, I love your thinking about “transformation.” This is one of the elements that I had an “a-ha” moment about at the 2013 MA NLI. It’s a challenge to help these “tiny tykes” transform the ideas they have in their heads to print or the pixel.

  3. wiobyrne

    Welcome to week ten of the Online Research and Media Skills (ORMS) Mentored Open Online Community (MOOC). The ORMS MOOC has existed in different iterations over the last two years. This current version is developed as an open learning experience for students in ED 6671 (syllabus here). ED 6671 examines opportunities for the use of instructional technologies in an educational context.
    In week ten of the ORMS MOOC we’re completing our work in Module 4 of the ORMS Model. Once again, you can learn more about the MOOC here…and access the actual MOOC here.
    flickr photo shared by Fractal Ken under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license
    Online Content Construction
    As detailed in the post last week, in this module we’ll be looking at Online Content Construction. Online content construction has a special place in my heart. I view it as the composing, creating, making, or writing side of digital content. You can read much more about my thinking on this in the post about creation as opposed to the construction of digital content.
    At this point in the module, you should have already read/viewed all (and then some) of the materials I shared. You should have shared your reflection out on a blog post and reviewed the work of others.
    flickr photo shared by Fractal Ken under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license
    To obtain the badge and complete this module, you’ll need to think about possible ways to integrate online content construction into your classroom. You’re the expert of your content area…your grade level…your students. If you want your students to engage in this activity…how would you do it?
    Make this happen in your classroom
    For the Online Content Construction badge, develop a lesson plan, supplemental materials, handouts, videos, etc. Develop any & all materials that you would use with your students that teach this in your classroom. Embed all of this content on your blog or website. Build and share everything in a manner or format that would make sense to use as a teaching material. This means that you’re writing it for your students. Build this as if you would actually use it in your lessons.
    After you have built it up, please share it out online. Share it out on your various social networks and in our Google+ Community. After you’ve completed up to this step…go ahead and submit it in our Google Group to earn the badge for this module.

    flickr photo shared by Fractal Ken under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license
    I’ll leave in below the specific details that I share in the metadata for the badge. If you’re thoroughly confused…please ask a question in the comments/questions below. Ask questions in the various social networks. Also, take a look at the work already shared by your colleagues.
    Specifics shared in the badge metadata for the Module 4 badge
    To receive the badge you must complete the following:
    Read and review all materials in Module Four of the ORMS MOOC.
    Respond to the “Biggest Takeaway” and the Reflection question for the module in the Google+ Community.
    Develop a learning example of online content construction as defined in the module and share in the appropriate area of the Google Group.
    Submit your project for your badge in the Google Group. Your work will be reviewed in your thread and if approved, you will be awarded the badge. Make sure you include the email you want the badge sent to in your Google Group thread.
    Project materials submitted to receive a badge in the ORMS MOOC cannot be used to apply for another badge in the ORMS MOOC.
    Cover photo by glasseyes view shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
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    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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