How do experts/expertise look like in the Web 2.0 definition of “knowledge as collective agreement about a description that may combine facts with other dimensions of human experience, such as opinions, values, and spiritual beliefs”?
I think the collective brains in Web 2.0 knowledge definition are people with some knowledge or special skill in a particular field, but who may not have yet achieved a certain rank or authority in that topic. The expertise is developed through peer-review of the published content. I agree with Dede that the validation of expertise may draw on the “education, experience, rhetorical fluency, reputation, or perceived spiritual authority in articulating beliefs, values, and precepts” of the contributors. Additionally, the accuracy of the collective voice would be validated by references to prior or existing research.
Dede rightly suggest that “the contrasts between Classical knowledge and Web 2.0 knowledge are continua rather than dichotomies” because I think that ongoing research usually serves to ratify past research and are conducted by groups of people who collectively negotiate knowledge base on research findings.
Formal education with better assessment methods, I believe will continue to serve its purpose in preparing people for the workforce, until there is an acceptable way to assess/confirm knowledge gained through informal education. There are different types and levels of work that education prepares people for. In manpower planning for a (small) country, there has to be a projection of needs, e.g. number of engineers and engineering technicians, doctors and nurses, etc. National curriculum is planned to support that manpower planning. Within K-12 levels, students are streamed according to their aptitude and academic capability. This does not mean that a student who is directed to a vocational curriculum at grade 10 cannot continue learning to post-graduate level. It is possible and it has happened, depending on the motivation of the learner. Conversely, it is possible that some academically strong students may be incompetent in real work situation. Would curriculum redesign help rectify the shortfall? Example, incorporate more problem based learning projects and making it part of the summative assessment?
The connectivist approach to learning is interesting, a good one for self directed learners and those seeking that learning path. With regards to the MOOC phenomenon, we should know that there are two types: xMOOC and cMOOC. In Coursera, Pedagogy, And The Two Faces Of MOOCs, the blogger shows how the Coursera pedagogy for xMOOC is still an instructivist approach, i.e. a classic “sage on the stage” approach but which is one-to-very-many. According to the author, cMOOC is based on the connectivism-inspired approach, and focus on knowledge creation and generation whereas xMOOCs focus on knowledge duplication.
It is difficult to imagine what education and assessment will look like in the next 10-20 years but we can be sure that key assessment groups (e.g. Cambridge) are looking at how people are learning with Web 2.0 and mobile technologies.