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JIT Learning

By Murray Bourne, 04 Dec 2004

Some of the forums on the Web are awesome - the community of learners/helpers out there is really interesting to observe. [I have been looking at javascript coding forums to try to solve a problem I came up with - it is easy to spend a lot of time going through unrelated problems and their solutions - the learning value is immense.] The Just In Time learning trend is well and truly entrenched.

Here we have people that have an immediate real learning need and have the opportunity to get help from some volunteer authority on the Web.

What do the volunteers get out of it? Probably:

  • a 'warm inner glow' from having helped someone out
  • a learning experience (you often only really understand something when you have to explain it to someone else)
  • a problem solving experience, which hones their skills
  • [a cynical one maybe] an ego boost (I know more than you)
  • a fleeting moment of social intercourse in their Coke- and pizza-filled often-solitary existence

What are the implications for learning in the future? Will we move towards a more problem-based approach where students go out to get help with real problems they are having - rather than just learn a lot of 'content' by rote to pass some exam? Will it mean more use of chat by educators - usually in the hours of 10:00 pm to midnight when most students are trying to figure things out?

I have to mention that I have noticed a lot of laziness, with people posting things like...

Please help
Does anyone got code to fade image using CSS?

Oh brother...

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HTML: You can use simple tags like <b>, <a href="...">, etc.

To enter math, you can can either:

  1. Use simple calculator-like input in the following format (surround your math in backticks, or qq on tablet or phone):
    `a^2 = sqrt(b^2 + c^2)`
    (See more on ASCIIMath syntax); or
  2. Use simple LaTeX in the following format. Surround your math with \( and \).
    \( \int g dx = \sqrt{\frac{a}{b}} \)
    (This is standard simple LaTeX.)

NOTE: You can mix both types of math entry in your comment.


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