Read about the 70/20/10 model. Basically, learning time breaks down into an ideal of 10% training (formally learning what you're supposed to do), 20% mentoring (observing and working with role models), and 70% practice.

Now, the average college class is supposed to take up 12 hours a week of a student's time, both in and out of class. If we apply the 10% training, 20% mentoring, 70% practice ratios, we get...

  • 1.2 hours training
  • 2.4 hours mentoring
  • 8.4 hours practice

A few questions from my end, mostly wondering out loud:

  1. Is class time training, mentoring, or some strange mix of both? Is lab time mentoring or practice?
  2. How does this compare to the way students are "supposed" to spend their time for a class according to the syllabi? (N hours in-class, Y hours homework, Z hours in the lab)
  3. How can initiatives like Fedora Classroom and POSSE Modules assist more deliberately and effectively with the "training" portion? What about the creation of well-designed learning materials for open source participation? If they are "training" content, should we be putting instructions on how to find "mentoring" time immediately afterwards. For instance, should a 1.2 hour module on IRC usage include instructions on how to find and join and lurk in channels for 2.4 hours of observation and question-asking, followed by 8.4 hours of actually working on IRC?
  4. Can open source communities take up some of the load for "mentoring," particularly for large standard lecture classes whose focus is on training? I'm assuming the answer is "yes," but how do we scaffold and structure this in a useful way so that we're reassured students will have a good learning experience?

Nothing too rigorous here, but... musing. I'd love to read some good writing on this stuff so I can learn to think more rigorously about it -- I feel my mental muscles getting all lax and lazy and want to whip them into better critical-thinking shape.