Learnt that E is working on researching the ‘note taking’ function for MOOC learners, I responded – ‘That will be very useful for Chinese learners. One of the reasons is that we take courses for skill upgrade and career advancement, not for fun. ‘
E came back with two questions: (1) Why learning associated with skill upgrade and career advance can NOT be fun. (2) Why note taking is particularly useful for this type of learning?
I loved E for her questions as our different cultural backgrounds made us perceive the same subject/concept very differently. While we were talking, we reminded each other the importance of always challenging our assumptions.
For me, subconsciously, learning for career is not the same as learning for fun. Many times they sit on the opposite sides of the spectrum. Also for me, note taking means transcribing words, taking down what the instructor says on the paper word by word.
For her, learning for career can be fun, if one is doing the work he/she is passionate about. These two can overlap. For her, note taking means more, it also means forming a mind map and locating what is being taught in the right place, it means extending what is be taught and seeing its application in real life.
I shall not take any assumption for granted. That is my lesson learnt from this nice coffee. (Actually I drank mint tea with honey, yummy!)