Distance education, on-campus learning, and e-learning convergences: an Australian exploration.The use of web-based resources and internet communications for online teaching and learning is seen by many to provide a 'flexible' and 'blended' learning' focus for extending on-campus learning as well as commercial training in terms of distance education methods (e.g. Daniel 1996; Rosenberg, 2001). This paper argues that various concepts of e-learning convergence between different modes and contexts need to be understood and explained in terms of a distinction between mere 'add-on' and more integrated models of learning with and through new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). In contrast to traditional 'transmission' models of teaching, learning technologies are often characterized as student-centered or constructivist con·struc·tiv·ism
A movement in modern art originating in Moscow in 1920 and characterized by the use of industrial materials such as glass, sheet metal, and plastic to create nonrepresentational, often geometric objects. in educational implication (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996) Yet, e-learning is often referred to as educational 'delivery' and thus more likely to be practiced in terms of a traditional 'transmission' view of learning. A distinction between mere 'add-on' and more integrated approache s to e-learning will be discussed here in relation to an Australian educational context which has a strong tradition of both distance education and progressive models of student-centered learning. The two case studies will provide a focus for discussing the challenges and possibilities involved when attempting to develop both distance education and on-cam pus pus, thick white or yellowish fluid that forms in areas of infection such as wounds and abscesses. It is constituted of decomposed body tissue, bacteria (or other micro-organisms that cause the infection), and certain white blood cells. 'online courses' in a more integrated way.
As a term for electronic learning making particular use of the Internet or online computer networking
Computer networking is the engineering discipline concerned with communication between computer systems or devices. as well as the methods of distance education, 'e-learning' is contested in terms of two distinct but overlapping contexts: (a) corporate (especially commercial) imperatives of online training and 'knowledge management' (Rosenberg, 2001); and (b) new models or 'generations' of a more academic tradition of distance education which emphasize the 'delivery' of educational content by one or more assisting technologies in terms of learning "removed from the teacher in both time and space" (Bates Bates , Katherine Lee 1859-1929.
American educator and writer best known for her poem "America the Beautiful," written in 1893 and revised in 1904 and 1911. , 1995; Daniel, 1996). In contrast to this, post-industrial projections about how the Internet revolution in information and communication is transforming education varies widely. It ranges from the formal delivery strategy of telelearning (Betty Collis) and the electronic platforms of cyber-schools or virtual classrooms (Starr Roxeanne Hiltz), to the ubiquitous mixture of informal and commercial possibilities outside the cl assroom--referred to by Lewis Perelman as hyperlearning.
E-learning in the commercial sector is associated with both formal and informal learning mediated me·di·ate
v. me·di·at·ed, me·di·at·ing, me·di·ates
1. To resolve or settle (differences) by working with all the conflicting parties: by customized websites, incorporating resource links, procedural tutorials and associated communication programs (Horton, 2001). In the academic community, the term is increasingly synonymous with synonymous with
adjective equivalent to, the same as, identical to, similar to, identified with, equal to, tantamount to, interchangeable with, one and the same as the use of commercial programs such as Blackboard (1) See Blackboard Learning System.
(2) The traditional classroom presentation board that is written on with chalk and erased with a felt pad. Although originally black, "white" boards and colored chalks are also used. and WebCT. In this way, various aspects of 'online learning' are incorporated into a convergent 'platform' or 'portal' (Freeman, 1997; Paloff & Pratt, 2001). Both the commercial (Jones, 1998; European E-learning Summit 2001) and the academic (Hazemi, Hailes & Wilbur, 1998; Farrell, 2001) models of e-learning are thus interested in the Internet in terms of: (a) information access and resource provision, b) the challenge of course design for a new medium; and c) the use of Internet communications to promote effective learning, critical discourse and learning communities.
Cutting across this commercial-academic tension is a more fundamental conflict. It is between those who see education primarily as a teacher-centered or 'transmission' process of providing access to authoritative information on one hand. On the other hand there are those who take a more student-centered or 'constructivist' view of the learner as an active agent of knowledge. Common to both the third-generation distance education model and the contemporary challenge of integrating ICTs in conventional 'classroom' or 'on-campus' education are the related questions: a) is the detachment detachment /de·tach·ment/ (de-tach´ment) the condition of being separated or disconnected.
detachment of retina , retinal detachment of the teacher from the learner in time and space--and the packaging of educational content or information--necessarily an arbitrary and permanent 'substitution' for face-to-face teaching and learning (Keegan 1986; Paloff & Pratt, 2001)? And, b) are the various communication possibilities of the Internet and related hypermedia hypermedia: see hypertext.
The use of hyperlinks, regular text, graphics, audio and video to provide an interactive, multimedia presentation. All the various elements are linked, enabling the user to move from one to another. sufficient to compensate for the challenges and limitations of mediated learning? In short, a distinctio n must be made between what may be referred to as an add-on model of e-learning and a more integrated approach which goes beyond a mere transmission or delivery of content to promote more interactive and effective learning.
Australia has an extensive, innovative and de-centered tradition in distance education and an associated use of 'learning technologies' (Castro, Livingstone & Northcott, 1985, p. 2). Regional open learning-cum-ICT centers have provided a focus in recent decades for higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. provision in country towns and rural areas. This follows the model of how children in the outback have long connected to a regional school of the air by radio as well as by conventional correspondence. Regional Australian universities--such as the University of Southern Queensland USQ has a substantial campus in Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast Campus) to the north of Brisbane, and has recently established a new campus at Springfield in Brisbane's outer suburbs (2006). Another major campus of University of Southern Queensland has been set up in Auckland, New Zealand. , University of New England The University of New England can refer to:
The models of student-centered, lifelong and flexible learning often used to justify, theorize the·o·rize
v. the·o·rized, the·o·riz·ing, the·o·riz·es
To formulate theories or a theory; speculate.
To propose a theory about. and prescribe pre·scribe
To give directions, either orally or in writing, for the preparation and administration of a remedy to be used in the treatment of a disease. the integration of ICT (1) (Information and Communications Technology) An umbrella term for the information technology field. See IT.
(2) (International Computers and Tabulators) See ICL.
1. (testing) ICT - In Circuit Test. in education have been influential in an Australian context. This is perhaps because they resonate res·o·nate
v. res·o·nat·ed, res·o·nat·ing, res·o·nates
1. To exhibit or produce resonance or resonant effects.
2. with progressive and critical theories of learning, long embraced in theory if not in practice in the local context (Walshe, 1984). If many Australian teachers and educators initially took the lead in the 1970s from innovative English and American models of personal growth, creative expression, and collaborative learning Collaborative learning is an umbrella term for a variety of approaches in education that involve joint intellectual effort by students or students and teachers. Collaborative learning refers to methodologies and environments in which learners engage in a common task in which each , they arguably ar·gu·a·ble
1. Open to argument: an arguable question, still unresolved.
2. That can be argued plausibly; defensible in argument: three arguable points of law. embraced the principles of such models or approaches on a wider and more comprehensive basis. This is especially the case in states like Queensland, where the school systems moved away from the concept of a fixed curriculum and a definitive final examination. Likewise, many Australian teachers and educators in the 1980s embraced critical theories of reading, knowledge and pedagogy on one hand, and across the curriculum principles of generic learning s kills, core or basic competencies and information literacy Several conceptions and definitions of information literacy have become prevalent. For example, one conception defines information literacy in terms of a set of competencies that an informed citizen of an information society ought to possess to participate intelligently and on the other (Education Queensland, 1999). Such movements--or 'fads,' as many teachers saw them,--mainly took place in schools. However, there was a significant connection with higher education theory and practice to the extent that it encouraged critical dialogue and focus in Australian higher education, as well as schools in many other countries.
The two e-learning case studies discussed here represent the imperatives of a conducive con·du·cive
Tending to cause or bring about; contributive: working conditions not conducive to productivity. See Synonyms at favorable. Australian educational context. They also reflect particular action research inquiries into convergent notions and possibilities for e-learning within both on-campus and distance education modes of higher educational courses. Both studies involve courses coordinated and developed by the author--with assistance from designated teaching teams--from 1996 to 2000 in the Queensland University of Technology's Faculty of Education. The first study focuses on a distance education course which was developed to make extensive use of online access and interaction - LAN (Local Area Network) A communications network that serves users within a confined geographical area. The "clients" are the user's workstations typically running Windows, although Mac and Linux clients are also used. 625: New Literacies and Technologies. The second study reflects on the reconstruction of a foundation undergraduate course to include partial online interaction as well as on-campus lectures, tutorials and workshops LAB341: Language, Technology and Education. The first study will focus on the transitional dilemmas of going from print to online distance education modes, with particular reference to the question of what constitutes an online learning community. The second study emphasizes the challenge of integrating online activities in large on-campus foundation courses. It makes particular reference to constructivist theories of learning emphasize hands-on activity and reflective practice, rather than the mere transmission of information or skills as a key to effective learning.
CASE STUDY #1: THE RELEVANCE OF A CORE LEARNING COMMUNITY (AND THE EFFECTIVE DESIGN OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS OR CONTEXTS) IN ONLINE DISTANCE EDUCATION
At the center of debates about new and changing models of distance education in the Internet Age (Lockwood, 1995), there is a fundamental conflict of perspectives. Some use the term to refer to an institutional packaging of content or information for delivery on one hand (Hawkridge, 1995; Rosenberg, 2001). Others strive to retain an educational design connection to some notion of a pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.
2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner. process behind this or a constructivist model of learning on the other (Moore, 1993a; Daniel, 1996). Similarly, some people interpret the educational implications of the Internet in terms of its informational functions as a potentially infinite database. Others focus on its communicative com·mu·ni·ca·tive
1. Inclined to communicate readily; talkative.
2. Of or relating to communication.
com·mu potential for new modes of interaction and community.
The main challenge faced in developing the LAN625 course as a distance education mode course was that a correspondence version, in print format, was required to be developed and mailed to participants. There was a transitional dilemma of going from a print to online mode of provision. The initial version of this unit followed the typical correspondence model of providing sets of notes about the relevant course topics. Although there was some effort to direct and engage participants with focus questions and activities, these exercises were not directly assessed. The assignment requirements, initially, were two large essays that needed to relate to two of the topics covered in the four modules of this unit. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , participants were expected to interact with presented course content and related concepts, and on this basis, demonstrate knowledge in a written essay of understanding and application. The course was typically undertaken part-time by full-time teachers, and also by other educators wanting to upgrade themselves professionally. Half the participants lived locally, though they preferred distance education mode, for various reasons. The others came from regional areas, inter-state and overseas.
As the course was about the educational implications of new technologies and literacies--with modules on Internet communication, hypermedia, information literacy and digital literacy--we felt that this model did not encourage the kind of basic ICT literacy and hands-on application required to effectively connect theory and practice. So over several years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time unit was further developed as a functional website or online location and as a set of resources, on one hand. On the other, it was developed as a series of activities, related topic reflections and online discussions built into the assessment in terms of the requirement of a web-page portfolio final assignment. In addition, students were required to write one short essay to explore a chosen topic in more depth. The activities and associated exercises ranged from being based around initial familiarization fa·mil·iar·ize
tr.v. fa·mil·iar·ized, fa·mil·iar·iz·ing, fa·mil·iar·iz·es
1. To make known, recognized, or familiar.
2. To make acquainted with. exercises in generic ICT skills--electronic information literacy, hypermedia design and Internet communications-- to reflections, responses and discussi on about selected critical issue topics--such as debates about the relevance of ICT in education or the various meanings of technological literacy Technological literacy is the ability to understand and evaluate technology. It complements technological competency, which is the ability to create, repair, or operate specific technologies, commonly computers. . Course activities also included the crucial assessment criterion of critical reflection (as a graded course), as well as requiring a more hands-on use of ICTs as part of the process of learning and assessment. This approach assured that participants engaged with the main topics of the course and linked this with the required demonstration of a basic practical ICT literacy as distinct from a discrete set of skills learned in a vacuum.
There are various aspects of the experimentation, development and refinement of this course over a number of years as web-based teaching and learning that might be discussed in more depth. However, for our purposes, the focus will be on how the course functioned as a virtual classroom and learning community attempting to promote an educational process of dialogue and support effective learning. The original version of the unit adopted a modular approach--a team of lecturers were involved in writing up the initial versions of separate modules--as well as a correspondence model of delivery In other words, students could read the notes of any module in whatever sequence and whenever they liked, as long as they came up with two long essays by the end of the semester se·mes·ter
One of two divisions of 15 to 18 weeks each of an academic year.
[German, from Latin (cursus) s . In attempting to encourage hands-on connections with the content of the course, several points soon became clear. There needed to be some kind of progressive sequence to the course in terms of teacher-learner and learner-learner dialogues as well as the progression of activities. The four modules lent themselves to further reconstruction along these lines. Yet, a degree of flexibility and personal or self-pace customization was needed about this. It became clear that very few of the participants could sustain a regular weekly online interaction. Thus, we developed a core schedule which needed to be followed but ultimately allowed participants a convergent range of options about the regularity, extent and even the mode of their participation and completion of required activities and reflections.
In this way, the course developed a core learning community in which most participants interacted and contributed on a regular basis, with opportunities for both teacher-learner and learner-learner interaction. In addition to the regular use of a course e-mail list for information purposes and the use of webforums for reflections and discussions, there were two general options that helped to promote this. In the first week of the semester, participants had the option of attending an on-campus workshop that would give them grounding in ICT skills relevant to the course and the online mode of interactions. Those who could not attend this workshop could negotiate a time for an individual session with the coordinator. The other option was a regular, weekly, synchronous Refers to events that are synchronized, or coordinated, in time. For example, the interval between transmitting A and B is the same as between B and C, and completing the current operation before the next one is started are considered synchronous operations. Contrast with asynchronous. session in the online course chat room at a negotiated time. This was initiated as a programmed online debate activity in the early part of the course. Most participants attended this session, and those who could not were able to do an alternative activity.
The weekly chat sessions helped promote a core learning community, especially in terms of how the social function of these sessions overlapped with educational (and other) purposes. Initially, I would use these sessions to provide an overview of upcoming topics or modules and field any questions about those or the course requirements in general. Those who could not attend could read an archived copy of the discussion normally posted the next day. I would email the group to inform them which weeks I would introduce new modules in the course, discuss new topics, or be available to answer queries. After these semi-formal information sessions--and also in the weeks when I was not present--course participants would continue the discussion informally. In particular, the informal sessions when I was absent were not just social events, but also a focus for peer discussion, support and information-sharing about relevant topics of the course by nearly half the course participants. As I discovered in follow-up feedback at the end of the course, most students participated in these sessions from time to time, in addition to a core group of regulars. One informal incident provided insight into the potential power of informal and social purposes to promote the development of an online learning community. I unexpectedly dropped into my office to pick up some material for a Monday lecture late Saturday night, switched on my computer and found five of the LAN 625 course participants chatting with the program ICQ--one of the options promoted in the course.
From both the corporate and academic spheres, much focus has been made of how learners undertaking e-learning or distance education courses without face-to-face interaction with teachers and other learners often struggle to stay motivated and avoid dropping-out (Henri & Kaye, 1993; Osberg, 2001). Yet, other research has shown how online interaction can encourage the involvement of those typically intimidated in·tim·i·date
tr.v. in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing, in·tim·i·dates
1. To make timid; fill with fear.
2. To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats. in face-to-face contexts of learning (Pemberton & Zenhausern, 1995). The concept of an online community has preoccupied many educators interested in e-learning or the social implications of the Internet (Hazemi, Hailes, & Wilbur, 1998). Indeed, as Jones (1995) and others have discussed, the concept of a virtual community--generated out of online interaction--is meaningful as an emergent emergent /emer·gent/ (e-mer´jent)
1. coming out from a cavity or other part.
2. pertaining to an emergency.
1. coming out from a cavity or other part.
2. coming on suddenly. process and focus of shared dialogue, as distinct from a merely abstract and idealized i·de·al·ize
v. i·de·al·ized, i·de·al·iz·ing, i·de·al·iz·es
1. To regard as ideal.
2. To make or envision as ideal.
1. focus of identification or organization.
As Moore (1993b) has identified, the essential distance education elements of structure, learner autonomy Learner autonomy has been a buzz word in foreign language education in the past decades, especially when talking about life-long learning skills. It has transformed old practices in the language classroom and has given origin to self_access_language_learning_centers around the and dialogue represent a potential triangle of interaction that might be promoted by an online medium. As the example of LAN625 demonstrates in terms that correspond with Moore's model, performative per·for·ma·tive
Relating to or being an utterance that peforms an act or creates a state of affairs by the fact of its being uttered under appropriate or conventional circumstances, as a justice of the peace uttering activity and participation in a community of practice (Barab, 2000) may be a convergent and complementary relation. This runs counter to the depictions by both psychological and sociological models of constructivist learning (Richards, 2001b) that performative activity and participation in a community of practice is an oppositional relation. Just as stages of dialogue represent the emergence of social knowledge linked to learning community contexts, so too corresponding and related stages of individual reflective practice inform more effective learning interactions with the implicit pedagogical designs of structured content. The concept of social knowledge presupposes a distinction between the dissemination dissemination Medtalk The spread of a pernicious process–eg, CA, acute infection Oncology Metastasis, see there of ideas as mere talk and the participatory context of a community of practice. Similarly, a related distinction between meaningful performative action and the ad hoc For this purpose. Meaning "to this" in Latin, it refers to dealing with special situations as they occur rather than functions that are repeated on a regular basis. See ad hoc query and ad hoc mode. purposes of either "doing without thinking" or "thinking without doing" is made in terms of reflective practice grounded in individual performance (Schon, 1987). My own experiences with LAN625 support the notion that the promotion and encouragement of an online learning community helps also to establish social contexts or environments for more effective learning in terms of individual performance as well as a process of shared knowledge.
CASE STUDY #2: THE DESIGN OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN ON-CAMPUS E-LEARNING
The focus of on-campus e-learning tends to be about the issue of ICT integration in teaching and learning (Daniel 1996; Knapp & Glenn, 1996). Underlying this is a continuum ranging from a fully online delivery to a supplementary use of the Web as an information resource and asynchronous communications For other uses, see Asynchrony.
In telecommunications, Asynchronous communication is transmission of data without the use of an external clock signal. Any timing required to recover data from the communication symbols is encoded within the symbols. for discussion or reflection purposes. A key challenge for on-campus e-learning is to harness the educational potential of the Web's vast information resources (1) The data and information assets of an organization, department or unit. See data administration.
(2) Another name for the Information Systems (IS) or Information Technology (IT) department. See IT. (Cunningham & Rivett, 2000) through effective learning activities that supplement rather than substitute for classroom and face-to-face interaction.
Where the underlying transmission model of Industrial Age education emphasized the teacher as authority and transmitter A device that generates signals. Contrast with receiver. of knowledge, the knowledge worker model of electronicage learners (G. Jones, 1995, p. xxi) as active seekers, transformers and constructors of information into knowledge has been more problematic. The obvious relevance of constructivist theory for integrating ICT in education does not necessarily translate in practice. In other words, without some kind of hands-on connection, constructivism constructivism, Russian art movement founded c.1913 by Vladimir Tatlin, related to the movement known as suprematism. After 1916 the brothers Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner gave new impetus to Tatlin's art of purely abstract (although politically intended) may remain mere theory, social talk or even a kind of learning relativism relativism
Any view that maintains that the truth or falsity of statements of a certain class depends on the person making the statement or upon his circumstances or society. Historically the most prevalent form of relativism has been See also ethical relativism. (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996). Also, just as the Internet and ICT offer facility for plagiarism Using ideas, plots, text and other intellectual property developed by someone else while claiming it is your original work. and other kinds of electronic cheating, sophisticated templates and advanced programs provide paths to polished finished products that do not necessarily demonstrate and promote effective learning or knowledge. Learning activities and environments that encourage constructive processes of knowledge work provide an antidote antidote
Remedy to counteract the effects of a poison or toxin. Administered by mouth, intravenously, or sometimes on the skin, it may work by directly neutralizing the poison; causing an opposite effect in the body; binding to the poison to prevent its absorption, to these temptatio ns. Yet, ICT tools and processes for learning must somehow be grounded in the strategy of assessment also to avoid being a mere add-on. Thus, the foundation course LAB341 was progressively reconstructed re·con·struct
tr.v. re·con·struct·ed, re·con·struct·ing, re·con·structs
1. To construct again; rebuild.
2. in terms of a progressive and interdependent in·ter·de·pen·dent
Mutually dependent: "Today, the mission of one institution can be accomplished only by recognizing that it lives in an interdependent world with conflicts and overlapping interests" relation between resources, pedagogy and curriculum, and learning and assessment (Richards & Nason, 1999). This reconstruction was performed to overcome traditional binaries such as theory vs. practice, content vs. process, and formative formative /for·ma·tive/ (for´mah-tiv) concerned in the origination and development of an organism, part, or tissue. vs. summative assessment Summative assessment (or Summative evaluation) refers to the assessment of the learning and summarises the development of learners at a particular time. After a period of work, e.g. .
As an existing course shared with two other departments, LAB341's reconstruction process did not take place overnight or without resistance. Previous versions of this course involved some basic learning of ICT skills such as e-mailing, but this was not extensive nor directly connected to the assessment program. The main assessment item was a research project that had to be about--but did not need to involve--the use of new technologies in education. At the initial stage of reconstruction--when taking over as coordinator--suggestions were made that the course might aim to do away with tutorials and workshops and focus mainly on mass lecture provision supplemented with online resource access and asynchronous Refers to events that are not synchronized, or coordinated, in time. The following are considered asynchronous operations. The interval between transmitting A and B is not the same as between B and C. The ability to initiate a transmission at either end. online interaction. This was resisted because of the foundational nature of the course. Moreover, a plan was developed in the opposite direction to take a more hands-on and dialogical di·a·log·ic also di·a·log·i·cal
Of, relating to, or written in dialogue.
dia·log approach, with weekly tutorials and computer laboratory workshops. Likewise, lectures were programmed when relevant, with an emphasis on introductions to new topics, overall course connections and practical demonstrations--rather than the mere presentation of content. Online resources and Internet communications supplemented these face-to-face interactions where appropriate. Requirements to share reflections on e-mail lists and contribute to online discussion forums were also designed to support and reinforce face-to-face tutorial and seminar discussions. In addition to a process focus that dominated the first two-thirds of the course, the last part of this course unit consisted of tutorial discussion seminars. They concentrated on critical issues about ICT in education, and the practical challenge of achieving a balanced perspective about this.
A crucial objective of this course was to introduce and promote educational technology in a teacher-training context. Thus, we faced a dilemma: enrolled students--typically about 500 students every second semester--ranged from having few ICT skills or awareness through to those who specialized in computer education, as well as others who were ICT-savvy. In other words, the course had to function, to some extent, as an introductory ICT skills course, but also had to cater to those who were already ICT competent. Also, we had to contend with how students were generally ambivalent am·biv·a·lent
Exhibiting or feeling ambivalence.
Adj. 1. about ICT in education--reflecting on how public and academic debates tend to be polarized A one-way direction of a signal or the molecules within a material pointing in one direction. between naive enthusiasm and cynical resistance. Just as naive enthusiasm could lead to failure and disillusionment Disillusionment
loses innocence through WWI experience. [Am. Lit.: “The Killers”]
Angry Young Men
disillusioned postwar writers of Britain, such as Osborne and Amis. [Br. Lit. , so too was cynical resistance often a self-fulfilling prophecy self-fulfilling prophecy, a concept developed by Robert K. Merton to explain how a belief or expectation, whether correct or not, affects the outcome of a situation or the way a person (or group) will behave. of learner techno techno
electronic dance music that first appeared in the U.S. in the 1980s and became globally popular in the 1990s. It originated with Detroit deejay-producers who, inspired by European electro-pop, underlaid dreamy synthesizer melodies with rapid electronic rhythms. phobia phobia: see neurosis.
Extreme and irrational fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation. A phobia is classified as a type of anxiety disorder (a neurosis), since anxiety is its chief symptom. (Richards, 2001a). To complicate com·pli·cate
tr. & intr.v. com·pli·cat·ed, com·pli·cat·ing, com·pli·cates
1. To make or become complex or perplexing.
2. To twist or become twisted together.
1. matters, the course was meant to somehow be a literacy foundation as well as an ICT in education foundation.
A cornerstone of the efforts to reconstruct re·con·struct
tr.v. re·con·struct·ed, re·con·struct·ing, re·con·structs
1. To construct again; rebuild.
2. the unit was the knowledge that effective learning with new information and communication technology is initially and inherently frustrating frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: . Like the mastering of a new skill and program, or the overcoming of any minor technical problem, the achievement of basic ICT literacy requires the overcoming of a provisional threshold of frustration. Otherwise, no further progress is possible, and techno phobia remains (Richards & Bhattacharya, 2001). In other words, we observed that, unlike content subjects--where some new information is acquired--courses that specialize in or attempt to integrate ICT effectively can be counter-productive and traumatize trau·ma·tize
tr.v. trau·ma·tized, trau·ma·tiz·ing, trau·ma·tiz·es
1. To wound or injure (a tissue), as in a surgical operation.
2. To subject to psychological trauma.
Verb 1. some students if not done well. In short, an environment of support was critical to the reconstruction of this unit. We came up with an integrated strategy of extra help sessions, modeling by tutors and workshop handouts. In particular, the help sessions and additional personal guarantee that assistance was provided for the technophobic See technophobe. students to suspend their fears.
It became our strategy to view these previously described dilemmas as an opportunity to focus on the across-the-curriculum challenge of new processes of literacy in the Internet Age. The focus of learning revolved re·volve
v. re·volved, re·volv·ing, re·volves
1. To orbit a central point.
2. To turn on an axis; rotate. See Synonyms at turn.
3. around familiarization activities that introduced a range of ICT skills in useful contexts of application, as well as a focus for reflecting on related issues and making relevant theoretical connections. For instance, we taught a range of information literacy skills around the requirement that students develop the online education resource of a set of annotated links about a selected topic. Such skills that students learned were: making bookmark A stored location for quick retrieval at a later date. Web browsers provide bookmarks that contain the addresses (URLs) of favorite sites. Most electronic references, large text databases and help systems provide bookmarks that mark a location users want to revisit in the future. folders, using search engines, developing search strategies for the Internet, and evaluating quality information.
The course interpreted the learning stages of ICT knowledge acquisition as an activity-reflection cycle. This leads to cognitive connections between thinking and doing and transformative jumps to overcome the 'missing links' between theory and practice--as well as other top-down and bottom-up imperatives. Such an interpretation contrasts with a traditional, linear conception of skill acquisition and a hierarchical one of information acquisition. The progression of the course and the design of weekly workshop activities were built around the concept that the most effective way to learn ICT skills as applied knowledge was in the context of a three-fold process: initial familiarization (naive/activity phase); procedural or theoretical explanation (critical! reflective phase); and specific application (dialogical/transformative phase). The course's pivotal assessment exercise was the students' design of their own web-based learning activity in relation to a selected topic and target audience. In the manner of the model above, students engaged with and analyzed an·a·lyze
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
3. examples such as the Webquest model (http://edweb.sdsu.edu/webquest/webquest.html) before devising their own application.
The learning and assessment activities that comprised the course functioned as a guided but open-ended 'journey' to engage and overcome the initial and inherent thresholds of temporary frustration. The transformative stages further imply a theory of activity that lends itself to ICT integration as well as more effective learning links between content and process, thinking and doing, and formal education and social context.
The notion of learning activity conceived here avoids an oppositional view of the relation between social knowledge and individual performance in terms of: (a) reflecting a dialogical process and set of learning stages concretely and initially grounded in time rather than a notion abstractly conceived in either physical or symbolic space; (b) a specific and grounded methodology, and not just a vague prescription or general approach; and (c) as a link between the intToductory purposes of initial interests, the developing skills and knowledge of 'hands-on' processes and tasks, and the 'authentic' contexts of specific application. It thus contrasts with the constructivist model of activity theory (Jonassen, 2000) and the concept of rich tasks (Education Queensland, 1999), which also strive to overcome the gap between theory or content and actual contexts of practice in terms of a focus on ICT integration. In short, learning activities represent ideas which function as a convergent hub or focus for skill and info rmation acquisition or applications, a continuum of learning stages and elements, and reflective practice in general.
The organizing learning and assessment strategy developed to frame the course learning activities and associated reflection exercises was a web-based portfolio--an activity-reflection e-portfolio (Richards, 2002). It also functioned as a project-based learning Project-based learning, or PBL (often "PjBL" to avoid confusion with "Problem-based Learning"), is a constructivist pedagogy that intends to bring about deep learning by allowing learners to use an inquiry based approach to engage with issues and questions that are rich, real and imperative and context, to the extent that such a portfolio was required to represent an overall educational resource in relation to a chosen topic. It provided the framework for the guided journey towards the courses aim of promoting applied ICT literacy for teacher educators, as well as a repository for progressive activities and reflections. In this way, the course emphasized that the process of learning is just as important as the product or outcome. One way it served this function was to reconcile the competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
2. and higher-order or applied elements of ICT literacy. Many of the ICT familiarization exercises, such as web-page design, were open to questions of subjective taste, as well as promoting a general competency or literacy. However, the assess ment framework could fairly recognize and reward innovation, effort and quality by being linked to associated reflection exercises or developed as applications and rubrics that could be graded in terms of the given criteria.
The course involved a particular focus on integrating ICT as a literacy and not just a discrete set of skills or information. Because of this, it provided an exemplary context for further exploring the possibilities of online learning in both distance mode and for other courses across the curriculum in partial e-learning mode. Indeed, this course was eventually required to run in dual mode and adapted to a fully online mode in 2000, reflecting similar imperatives in many universities. Perhaps such a course should have retained an on-campus mode of face-to-face interaction because of its particular purposes or objectives. Nonetheless, the activity-reflection learning approach of the on-campus version still translated reasonably well into the distance education version. In this way, the constructivist possibilities and potentials of ICT for education were harnessed and framed. This was so in terms of: a) further accounting for how learning with technology involves missing links and transformative or cognitive j umps; and b) reflecting effective connections between practice and theory, doing and thinking, and various top-down and bottom-up imperatives.
TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED RATHER THAN AN ADD-ON MODEL OF E-LEARNING CONVERGENCE.
Similar to related distance-education print models, an add-on model of e-learning views the Internet as a technological means of delivering content or information, with a token use of Internet communications for educational purposes. The distinction between web courses (any course with a web presence), web-enhanced courses (on-campus with online aspects) and web-centric' or fully online courses with an interactive focus (Paloff & Pratt 2001, p.67) may be interpreted to represent increasing degrees of online integration. However, it also represents a tension between mere transmission and interactive or dialogical approaches to learning. An integrated model of e-learning is perhaps one which supplements rather than substitutes for either face-to-face learning or distance education, as indicated in the case studies. This is so in terms of the transformative interplay in·ter·play
Reciprocal action and reaction; interaction.
intr.v. in·ter·played, in·ter·play·ing, in·ter·plays
To act or react on each other; interact. of an effectively designed learning environment--which may include a sense of learning community--and activities which promote a dialogical notion of knowledge based on or connected to a practical understanding, as well as reflective explanation.
Recent academic models of e-learning often refer to both commercial examples and corporate contexts on one hand, and the concepts of constructivist theory on the other, such as collaborative and independent or student-centred learning Student-centred learning or student-centered learning is an approach to education focusing on the needs of the students, rather than those of others involved in the educational process, such as teachers and administrators. (Rosenberg, 2001; Horton 2001). Rosenberg (2001, pp. 117-148), for instance, discusses the common learning architecture which applies to both the academic and corporate models of online distance education and web-based learning. In this way, he outlines a general imperative of blended e-learning. Rosenberg's further distinction between e-learning as online training and knowledge management' reinforces a view of learning as a transmission of skills or delivery of information. His related concept of e-learning objects thus refers to reducible and discrete 'chunks' of instruction and information (p. 170). It ignores or underestimates the inherently transformational way in which the elements of course 'design' are ever constructed in relation to different contexts of application, in terpretation and knowledge or performance--even in online modes. This is similar to how some hypermedia theorists merely reduce the graphic user interface See GUI. to a textual play of discrete signs. They tend to ignore or underestimate the possibilities and implications of human-computer interaction Human-computer interaction
An interdisciplinary field focused on the interactions between human users and computer systems, including the user interface and the underlying processes which produce the interactions. as a transformational convergence of visual and verbal literacies (Kress, 1997).
A 'lower order' notion of learning is extended to include or rationalize ra·tion·al·ize
1. To make rational.
2. To devise self-satisfying but false or inconsistent reasons for one's behavior, especially as an unconscious defense mechanism through which irrational acts or feelings are made to appear higher-order theorizing independently of specific contexts of meaning and relevance. This is similar to the use of the instructional design Instructional design is the practice of arranging media (communication technology) and content to help learners and teachers transfer knowledge most effectively. The process consists broadly of determining the current state of learner understanding, defining the end goal of paradigm as a defining model of educational technology (Lee & Owens, 2000). In contrast, an integrated approach reconciles practical and conceptual notions of knowledge in terms of complementary stages of applied and dialogical contexts of learning.
Another convergent term for distance education and on-campus use of Internet as a media or resource for learning--flexible learning--epitomizes a third phase. It goes beyond an initial stage of distance education and a second stage of open learning, with its focus on providing greater access to higher education (Tapsell & Ryan, 1999). At issue here is how to interpret and distinguish different understandings of the e-learning catch-cry of anytime, anywhere learning and related notions of just-in-time education and flexible delivery. This imperative is often governed by institutional pressures for more access, less cost in mass higher education, as Daniel (1996, p. 61) points out. At the same time, e-learning is bureaucratically bu·reau·crat
1. An official of a bureaucracy.
2. An official who is rigidly devoted to the details of administrative procedure.
bu and often uncritically lauded as more effective (Van Dusen, 2000, p.87)--rather than carefully discriminating dis·crim·i·nat·ing
a. Able to recognize or draw fine distinctions; perceptive.
b. Showing careful judgment or fine taste: how and when various aspects of online provision might enhance student learning. On a similar basis, asynchronous collaborative learning systems on the Web have been proposed a s a means of reinventing universities in terms of a management rather than teaching imperative of new learning (Hazemi, Hailes, & Wilbur, 1998). Likewise, the kind of worldwide education revolution of online learning envisaged by Jones (1995, p. 45) tends to be projected in terms of convenience, access and entrepreneurial initiative. It reduces learning to a matter of delivering education to the living room. Such administrative and commercial imperatives are sometimes justified in terms of student-centered, progressive and constructivist notions of learning. Yet, perhaps they still reinforce an Industrial Age model of learning when assuming that knowledge can be wholly objectified, then merely transmitted and delivered.
Keegan's (1986) influential assumption that the institution can and does replace the teacher in distance education also seems to inform many academic and commercial models of e-learning. As Paloff and Pratt (2001, p. 94) discuss in online courses taught by those who did not develop them, "The focus is on content rather than on pedagogical process." Thus, the push for converting on-campus courses into a fully online or e-learning mode is typically undertaken by teams with discrete roles but little sense of a convergent pedagogical purpose. Queensland University of Technology, for instance, has flying squads flying squad
n. Chiefly British
A small mobile unit, especially of motorized police, capable of moving quickly into action, as during an emergency. designated to assist academics in going online (Ryan, 2001). This is typically done in terms of simply converting course content into a web-based format--generally with little negotiation about pedagogical possibilities appropriate to that content. Orthodox distance education theory goes further and assumes that content becomes autonomous 'didactic materials' that are administered to learners by institution s (Henri & Kaye, 1993, p. 29).
Moore's theory of transactional distance in distance education challenges this assumption by implicitly retaining the function of dialogue in distance education. This is so despite the fact that an instructor who developed course materials may not be directly involved in the process. Thus, it exemplifies a communicative view of learning that includes learner-content interaction and learner-learner interaction as well as instructor-learner interaction (Moore, 1993b). In this way, Moore developed a model that recognizes that notions of dialogue, structure and autonomy may be implicit in Adj. 1. implicit in - in the nature of something though not readily apparent; "shortcomings inherent in our approach"; "an underlying meaning"
underlying, inherent the design of 'content' for distance education.
As Marland and Store (1993, p. 137) state so well, course designers as teachers in distance education are or should be "concerned with indirect methods of interacting with learners." Such a model reflects the assumptions of a dialogical model of textual reception. Take, for example, the model developed by Paul Ricoeur Paul Ricœur (February 27, 1913 Valence France – May 20, 2005 Chatenay Malabry France) was a French philosopher best known for combining phenomenological description with hermeneutic interpretation. and Hans Jauss. The author of a book--which corresponds here to a designer of online learning activities, environments, and courses generally--is treated as a rhetorical rhe·tor·i·cal
1. Of or relating to rhetoric.
2. Characterized by overelaborate or bombastic rhetoric.
3. Used for persuasive effect: a speech punctuated by rhetorical pauses. or 'virtual' presence. A reader or a learner engages him as a process of provisional rather than arbitrary distancing.
Reflecting a hermeneutic her·me·neu·tic also her·me·neu·ti·cal
[Greek herm arch between acts of appropriation and distanciation, the interactive process of reading or learning provides a connection between a mediated content and the immediate contexts of reception. This, in turn, initiates an open-ended and related dialogue between the social knowledge of the text and the individual performance (or cognitive transformation) of the reader or learner (Ricocur, 1991). This dialogical view of the process of mediated learning, thus, has particular application for recognizing a convergent relation between: (a) fully online distance education modes of e-learning; and (b) the supplementary use of web-based resources and Internet communication in partial e-learning modes integrated into on-campus contexts of formal education. Such a convergent relation provides a basis for distinguishing between add-on and a more integrated approach to e-learning.
The Internet represents a unique convergence between immediate and mediated interaction in the history of human communications (Levinson, 1990). Theorists such as Jay Bolter bolt·er 1
1. A horse given to bolting.
2. One who gives up membership in or withdraws support from a political party. refer to this as hypermediacy. While speaking writing, asynchronous interaction conversely con·verse 1
intr.v. con·versed, con·vers·ing, con·vers·es
1. To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk. See Synonyms at speak.
2. precedes synchronous interaction in Internet communications. By attempting to reproduce the elements of face-to-face immediacy im·me·di·a·cy
n. pl. im·me·di·a·cies
1. The condition or quality of being immediate.
2. Lack of an intervening or mediating agency; directness: the immediacy of live television coverage. and print mediacy me·di·a·cy
The state or quality of being mediate.
Noun 1. mediacy - the quality of being mediate
indirectness - having the characteristic of lacking a true course toward a goal - as Daniel (1996, p. 60) suggests - both the asynchronous and synchronous traditions of distance education, and now e-learning, fall to harness the convergent interactive possibilities of the new 'knowledge media' represented by the internet (i.e. remain 'add-on' strategies). Likewise, communications technology Noun 1. communications technology - the activity of designing and constructing and maintaining communication systems
engineering, technology - the practical application of science to commerce or industry may be used to promote the kind of two-way communication Two-way communication is a form of transmission in which both parties involved transmit information. Common forms of two-way communication are:
The hypermedia interface of the Internet has been influentially criticized for lacking learning depth (Sven Birkits), for encouraging a tendency for infomania (Michael Heim This article is not about Michael Henry Heim, UCLA Professor of Slavic Studies and Literatures.
Michael R. ) and as a means of inevitably superficial communications (Clifford Stoll Clifford Stoll (or Cliff Stoll) is a U.S. astronomer, computer systems administrator, and author. He received his Ph.D. from University of Arizona in 1980. During the 1960s and '70s, Stoll was assistant chief engineer  at WBFO, a public radio station in Buffalo, ). Such criticisms may be appropriate for add-on uses that reflect Industrial Age or machine-like perceptions of online information and communications media. However, other critics take a more balanced appreciation of the potential of the Internet to encourage the productive transformation of education and society (Apple, 1997). The Internet can be an indirect foundation or springboard for a new educational paradigm that would encourage the kind of 'knowledge worker' able to innovatively produce new designs and concepts. As Knapp and Glenn (1996, p.9) point out with reference to new technology as a basis for educational change: the function of the Internet as a potentially infinite database is a key reason why "a knowledge of facts is FACTS I Federal Agencies' Centralized Trial-Balance System no longer as essential as the abil ity to creatively solve problems and continue learning throughout life."
This article has attempted to explore and outline, in an Australian context, an integrated rather than add-on model of e-learning convergences that: (a) applies to both distance education and on-campus online courses; (b) reflects the use of ICT as an extended new literacy rather than discrete set of skills or information in a vacuum; and (c) represents a new educational paradigm that builds upon, but goes beyond, a constructivist perspective in the academic and commercial sphere. An add-on model of e-learning is typically the use of a website portal or online platform for depositing mere content, with a generally token use of asynchronous Internet communications. The case studies of a distance education course and on-campus online course have provided a related focus for discussing requirements for a more integrated approach. This approach is designed in terms of appropriate and effective learning environments and activities on one hand, and the interplay of social knowledge and individual performance ground ed in specific and concrete contexts on the other. The crucial insight required to undertake this strategy is this: mere educational content need not be seen - even in distance education or fully online mode - as arbitrarily separate to and distanced from the 'dialogical' process of either explicit communication or implicit designs for interactive, collaborative and independent learning. In other words, the add-on effect of mere technology as deliverer or transmitter of content may be distinguished from the integrated strategy and convergent effects of relevant learning activities and environments.
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