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H809: Activity 7.3 & Activity 7.4 Conole et al. (2004)

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Activity 7.3: Reading the first part of the Conole et al. (2004) paper (2 hours)

'Introduction' (pp. 17-21).

1. Who do the authors see as the main audience for this paper?

Practioners: 'Our assertion is that a better articulation and mapping of different pedagogical processes, tools and techniques will provide a pedagogic approach that is more reflexive and consistent with practitioners' theoretical perspective on learning and teaching' p.17

  1. What is the main aim of the paper?

To support e-learning practitioner's engagement with pedagogies and approaches to learning: 'as academics outside the field of education, they find the diverse array of theoretical perspectives alien and overwhelming (McNaught, 2003)' p.18

  1. Try to fit the readings met so far in the module into Table 1

Reading 1: Hiltz & Meinke (1989)

"Learning is the structuring of a situation in ways that help students change, through learning, in intentional (and sometimes unintentional) ways" (Johnson & Johnson, quoted on p. 432)
Suggests a behaviourist view of learning in that the students' behaviours are modified in the desired direction. (Operant conditioning, Skinner)

The VC still employs a transmissive format with e-lectures although some self-determination in order of activities is indicated, some active dialogue is employed and presentations are assessed.
Other parts of the paper suggest a more social and participatory form of education following Lave & Wenger's theories.

Reading 2: Wegerif & Mercer (1997)

Mainly experiential - the children are using problem-based learning but it is also socially situated. It could also be suggested to be systems theory as the researchers are looking at the effects of additional coaching on the problem-solving.

Reading 3: Laurillard (1994)

Laurillard discusses context, culture and social aspects as well as interactions between tools and students. I would think this fits best with activity theory as it is 'action through mediating artefacts.....within a social setting' Conole et al. (2004). It would be just as easy to argue for experiential and socially situated learning.

Reading 4: Oliver et al. (2007)

Various perspectives are discussed but the authors come down on the side of socially situated learning with the comment that 'In a complex, contested area such as this, clarity about the researcher's position is a necessary condition for establishing the credibility of research findings.' p.37

Reading 5: Roschelle (1992)

Activity Theory - interactions between the two students and between the students and the computer.

Activity 7.4: Read the rest of the paper (2 hours)

Ok. Confession here - I absolutely hate this model. It clarifies nothing to me and I find the diagrams totally confusing. I had to use them in H800 and eventually gave up and discussed the concepts with my daughter who told me where to put the dots on the lines. She likes 3D diagrams and used them all the time in geology.

I did some research and found this journal article and the tabular format which I find a little easier to understand. My reservations about this model is that I think that many practitioners would also find it really difficult to understand and, far from simplifying things for practitioners, it will make them more complicated.

I have left out some of the points as no info. in the papers

Activity      Indiv.-Social      Non-Refl.-Refl.           Expr.-Info.

Reading 1   --X------------      ------X---------             ---------X-----

Reading 2   -------------X-      -------------X--             ---X-----------

Reading 3   ------------X--      -------------X-

Reading 4   ------------X-

Reading 5   --------------X-     --------------X-             -X-------------


Individual - Where the individual is the focus of learning

Social - learning is explained through interaction with others through discourse and collaboration and the wider social context within which the learning takes place.

Reflection - Where conscious reflection on experience is the basis by which experience is transformed into learning.

Non-reflection - Where learning is explained with reference to processes such as conditioning, preconscious learning, skills learning and memorisation

Information - Where an external body of information such as text, artefacts and bodies of knowledge form the basis of experience and the raw material for learning.

Experience - Where learning arises through direct experience, activity and practical application.


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