In Level One of the Higher Ed Game, learning is located and scheduled for us. We get located by where the learning is located. We have no say in the matter. We're told which building, floor, wing, side of the hall and room to show up in for everything scheduled. When Level One feels like Higher Ed Hell, those locations have the effect of seeming mislocated on campus, dislocating us from our path and relocating our plans. This mismatch means that we may miss out on showing up, submitting on time, taking tests when they're administered and keeping appointments when they're scheduled.The best we can do is to imagine that learning happens by showing up.
In Level Two of the Game, we do better than "getting located" as if we're powerless pawns in some monstrous machine. We get where events are located and when they are scheduled. We organize our schedule and own locations to get ourselves to those locations at the right times. We think learning happens by investing hard work in how much we learn. The more we put in, the more we get out of what's offered. We take responsibility for making the effort require as if we're playing a Power Game inside the bigger game of Higher Ed. Rather than keeping learning to a minimum, we may take notes, diagram a mind map, outline the key points, or create and use flashcards. We may do some supplemental reading to get more perspective, reread the assignment to get more insights, or write out our own understanding to reveal flaws in our comprehension. We've got a lot more going on besides showing up. Almost all of the learning is located in the work we're doing, not in the information we're being given. We've begun to relocate learning away from the courses and into other resources.
In Level Three of the Higher Ed Game, we locate learning inside ourselves. We realize the learning happens when we do the constructing, construing, connecting and relating to what we take in. Learning depends on our internalizing what's outside of us by reflecting on it, playing around with it, comparing it to what we already know and testing it's validity against our prior comprehension. Those who claim to be in control of our learning located outside ourselves appear to be misleading and manipulating us. We've effectively unlocked the location readout in our inner dashboard. We're monitoring the location of learning as it unfolds within ourselves. We get to say where learning occurs and look after the processes that support its emergence within this internal location.
In Level Four of the Game, we change the location of learning one more time. We realize that it occurs in the spaces between things, not in things themselves. We observe our learning from the contrasting juxtaposition of two things, the comparable intersection of two things, and the distance or proximity in the space between two things. We transcend the prior levels in a way that now includes all of them. Every level of play in the Higher Ed Game offers spaces between an instructor and learner, idea and it's opposite, a question and possible answers, an assignment and its completion, or a challenge and a response. There's no place that learning does not happen. Sometimes we learn from bad examples and misleading frameworks to play at a higher level. Other times we learn from what comes to mind to join what came into our awareness on the outside. We've located ourselves to be instructive to others and learn from sharing, caring, responding and reciprocating. Teaching isn't just for teachers anymore. We've joined the democratization of the obsolete, authoritarian governance of higher educations.