This is a mapping chart which describes, briefly, each cluster and each of the critical factors for learning and design. These factors map out the dynamic relationships between emergence and prescription within emergent learning, installations, events, and even emergent curricula ..

If you want to draw your own footprints, you can download the mapping chart and print it out, from here:

[WIP: Each factor or cluster will be linked to a new page (see any underlined factor or cluster), where we will elaborate, discuss, and explore examples of what this factor or cluster means in practice, see for example, Risk). Please add examples of your own.

Footprints of Emergence


...Introduction to each factor

On Palette

...Range of Factors, from prescriptive to emergent


Open / Structure:
The creative tension between openness and structure.

What is the balance between Openness and Structure?

Highly structured process and content < ... > very open with light touch support
Factors ...

A jump over the horizon2.jpg
How safe, or how hazardous is the learning?
Fail-safe < ... > Safe-to-fail < ... > High-risk

Liminal space
Is there: no space/a lot of space/too much space for exploring and creating new roles and capabilities?
Conservative, fixed roles < ... > Personal Growth < … > Transformation and creating new roles

How tightly defined, or open is the meaning and
application of the learning?
Closely defined meaning < ... > Negotiated meaning < ... >Open to several, simultaneous meanings

Unpredictable Outcomes
How fixed or unpredictable are the learning outcomes?
Fixed, micro-managed outcomes < ... > Derivative (new) outcomes < … > Surprising, serendipitous, unpredictable outcomes

How challenging or comfortable is the learning?
Comfort, familiarity < ... > Unsettling < … > Challenging, provocative

Is the course / event self-correcting (e.g. wikipedia),
or does it require ongoing, centralised control?
Hierarchical control < ... > Learner input < … > Self-correcting systems

Is there only one learning pathway, or are many
pathways possible?
Single one pathway < ... > Limited variance < … > Multiple, open, options

Interactive environment:
The way openness / structure is realised in practice
How is the learning design implemented?

Predetermined < ... > Open and emergent
Factors ...
Is the course designed around a few, key texts and
people, or a wide and open range?
Standardised resources and experts < ... > Alternatives
< … > Open-ended range of resources and people

How abstract and theoretical, or contextualised and
practical is the learning?
Objective, abstract < ... > Scenarios < … > Embodied, immersed, practice-based learning

Is the course fixed, or responsive to new ideas,
outcomes and process?
Fixed < ... > Amendments considered < ... > Responsive to innovative, creative change

Is the course independent of learner initiative, or does
it grow and adapt with the learners?
Fixed, hierarchical relationships < ... > Mutual adaptation and growth

Interaction / Networking
Is the learning space confined to a particular instituion/s,
or does it connect easily to other learning spaces?
Bounded ('walled garden') learning space < ... > Informal networking < … > Open, diverse networked learning incorporated in process and outcomes

Is mutual tolerance and support criticial to learning,
or is learning entirely individual?
Competitive self-interest < ... > Mutual respect, support and growth

Theory of Mind
Is it critical for learners to anticipate what other people
(or interfaces) are 'thinking', or not?
Interacting with fixed texts < ... > Mutual conversations < … > Anticipating with what other 'minds' are thinking (e.g. making the next Chess move)

Developing your capability, on your own terms.
Do learners develop their own capacity for action, or just compliance with given roles?

Compliance < ...> independent initiative and personal development
Factors ...
Cross- and multi-modal
Does the learning occur within a single mode (e.g. text,
audio, visualisation), or across many different modes?
Mono-modal, abstract interaction < ... > Different modes used < … > Embodied, holistic interaction; progression across more and more modes/ levels of abstraction

Open affordances
Is the creation of new outcomes and goals encouraged,
or only pre-determined compliance?
Predetermined inter/action < ... > Room for exploration < … > Creative, innovative engagement

Does the learning include the creation and organization
of the learners' own processes, resources and networks?
Hierarchical, fixed processes < ... > Limited choices for personalisation
< … > Creative self-organization / self-motivation inherent in course design.

How much choice do learners have to create their own
learning paths?
Working to given agendas and frameworks < ... > Creating your own agenda and goals.

Negotiated outcomes
Are the outcomes fixed or negotiable?
Externally determined success factors < ... > Mutually determined success factors.

Is the development of new (or expanded) roles and
capabilities part of the learning, or only fixed roles?
Complying with fixed roles < ... > Creating and developing your own roles, affordances and capabilities

Presence / Writing
Exploring, articulating and networking yourself, your
ideas,and your feelings
What traces do you make and leave behind you?

From chance, momentary traces to lasting images and impressions
Factors ...
Solitude & Contemplation
Is the course schedule very busy and interactive, or
does it incorporate space for quiet reflection?
Crowded inter/activity < ... > Personal space for exploring, reflecting on and developing ideas, aspirations and values.

Casual Serendipitous Encounters
Is all interaction formal and micro-managed, or is
space also provided for casual encounters and conversations?
Highly formalised interaction < ... > Chance, serendipitous encounters

Networking, encounters, engagement
Does the learning include collaboration / cooperation
in networks, in & beyond the course?
Formalised, fixed groups < ... > Initiating, creating, engaging with new contacts and groups.

Hybrid modes of interaction
Is the ability to work in, and abstract from, several
modes (text, visual, face-2-face) integral to the course?
Mono-media, mono-modal, abstract interaction < ... > Diversity, choice, and creativity in the use of media is encouraged.

In/formal writing & inscription
Is a range of forms of interaction, to develop ideas and perspectives, integral to the learning?
Engagement confined to formal, ritualised interacation and writing < ... > A range of writing, interacting and assessment artefacts and practices