Knowledge Redefined: Consensus Sapientia in the Digital Era and Reframing the Modalities of Teaching and Learning
Tatjana Chorney (Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada) [BIO]
One aspect of the change in the production and definition of knowledge powered by digital technologies involves the ‘mass amateurization’ of knowledge: the emergence and increasing availability of ‘collective wisdom’ and user-generated online content. A variety of facts and relevant opinions, previously in the possession of experts/ teachers traditionally seen as sources of knowledge, can be accessed almost instantly by anyone with an Internet connection.
The new forms of collective intelligence compel us to redefine knowledge, traditionally associated with mastery of facts and other content, to align it more explicitly with process and method. The changing nature of knowledge has evident consequences for pedagogy, as the goal of learning can no longer be understood in terms of mastery and transmission of facts, “however broad, however privileged” (Levine, 2006), but rather in terms of participation in processes and the learning of methodologies.
Drawing on the conclusions of The New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Report (2007), and the Report of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (2002) geared to articulate the changing nature of higher education in the global world, I will propose that the new modalities of teaching and learning based on a changing definition of knowledge can be conceptualized in terms of the scholarship of engagement and problem-based learning. The outcomes of this practice include the “ability to arrive at informed judgments,” define problems effectively, “gather and evaluate information related to those problems and develop solutions,” as well as to use those solutions to “address specific problems in complex, real-world” contexts (Duch, Groh and Allen, 2001).