Real Time Learning – an investigation

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Real Time Learning – an investigation

Contact: Marco Masoni (

Hosts: Einztein 

Status: confirmed


Help define real time learning, while developing a set of working guidelines and a toolkit for producing real time courseware. Audience: Anyone interested in bridging the real time web with online education.

What do you want to achieve? (goal)

• We will investigate what a real time course looks like and start problem solving how to build one.

• We seek to gather a group of committed individuals/organizations who are interested in continuing the investigation and development process beyond Drumbeat.

• We will test “BrainWave,” a real time learning tool developed by Einztein and evaluate other tools for inclusion in a real time courseware toolkit.

• We are extremely interested in exploring ways in which real time learning might complement other platforms, such as P2PU and OCW’s open courseware, among others.

Who should come? How many? For how long?

• Anyone interested in bridging the real time web and online education.

• Course designers, content curators, developers with a passion for social media, open courseware enthusiasts. • Students and instructors who can bring their experiences, needs and vision to the discussion.

• We would hope for 35-45 participants over the course of two sessions.

• Each session lasts no more than 60-75 minutes. The first session is dedicated to developing guidelines as to what constitutes a “real time course.” The second would begin the process of building a toolkit for creating real time courseware.

What will they do when they get there? (activities)

• Session 1: Development of Guidelines for Real Time Courses. Participants split into small groups tasked with developing core guidelines as to what constitutes a real time course.

• Session 2: Build Real Time Courseware Toolkit. Participants will present and test real time learning tools that will go into the toolkit. We will also discuss what the toolkit should look like, where it should reside, etc.

• Both Sessions: Definition of Real Time Learning. We will continually refine and revisit the definition of real time learning to ensure that our dialogue is based on an agreed vocabulary and a common set of assumptions.

• Both Sessions: Working Group for Real Time Learning. All participating individuals and organizations will discuss ways to continue the discussion and development process beyond Drumbeat.

What will you / they have at the end? (outputs)

• Definition of real time learning.

• Guidelines for the design of real time courses.

• A toolkit for building real time courseware.

• Working group to further elaborate real time learning concept and investigate ways to integrate real time learning into new and existing platforms.

Additional background and context

Einztein is a proponent of “real time learning,” as we believe that it’s vital for people to collaborate in exploring ways to create online courses that go beyond today’s norm, which tends to be characterized by generic, static and asynchronous learning modules.

“Real time learning” is a term that we use to describe courses that are conceived to be both timely and topical by tapping into the real time web using social media tools, etc., to transform current news, information, insights and research into relevant learning chunks that further specific educational objectives (there’s an important element of pedagogical curation for “quality” control purposes that needs to be problem solved, here).

Einztein is developing a social knowledge networking tool (“BrainWave”) that is aimed at facilitating this kind of learning. However, we also recognize that there are many other tools and approaches that can help in the design, development and distribution of real time courses.

The point of Einztein’s activitiy would be to focus on an investigation (and critique!) of how to create and curate the sort of “next generation” courses that will BEGIN to reflect the web in all of its dimensions, rather than serving as digital approximations of what one might experience offline. It’s heady, exciting stuff and it’s largely new territory (not entirely new, of course). For this reason, we don’t pretend to be “the” experts but we’d like to help serve as catalysts for discussing and workshopping this theme.

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