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Knowledge Flow: Vertical to Horizontal

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Edited by Machiko Ohta, Sunday, 17 Jan 2021, 18:06

Knowledge Flow: Vertical to Horizontal: Exploring blended learning guidelines to turn a silent class into a workable Community of Practice

Machiko Ohta

H818 Conference Poster 

Multimedia poster: text and imagery, all the text is narrated


H818 Conference Abstract 

The outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 forced a vast range of educational opportunities around the world to go online. The unexpected shift brought an unpredicted positive effect to six online asynchronous undergraduate courses at a university in Japan. 

The courses were instructed by a part-time instructor, who had been struggling to induce positive responses from students in the classroom, especially voluntary questions. The classroom was full of fifty serious listeners. They gazed at the blackboard, tuned pages as the lecture went, and took notes earnestly. But the room fell completely silent when the instructor requested questions. No one raised their hand to raise a question. Every student seemed to retreat into a transparent shelter, letting the instructor feel like a witness to an instance of banking education (Freire, 1970), a vertical, one-way flow of knowledge.

With one-month notice, the instructor embarked on her first set of on-demand learning courses in the style of a series of radio programs accompanied with original study guides in PDFs in May 2020. Unanticipatedly, a series of voluntary questions followed. Why did her continuous efforts to get active responses from her students in a classroom fail? How should she put this experience into a cycle for learning analytics (Ferguson and Buckingham Shum, 2012) to implement a drastic change in knowledge flow in a learning community, vertical to horizontal?

The presentation assumes that the concept of blended learning (Garrison and Kanuka, 2004) has some clues to the answer, and conducts a small scale of literature review on blended learning guidelines (Valkenburg et al., 2020; Goeman et al., 2018; Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), 2018; Porter and Graham, 2016; Henrie et al., 2015; Erstad, 2009; Marshall, 2007).

The presentation also assumes that analysing how a good practice of blended learning works will involve revealing how a good Community of Practice (Wenger, 1998) evolves. Demystifying the sequence of voluntary questions will also be required in the perspective of the social presence sphere of a Community of Practice (Wenger, 2004; Wenger and Snyder, 2000). 

(360 words)



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Goeman, K., Poelmans, S., Rompaey, V. V. and University of Leuven, Belgium (2018) Research report on state of the art in blended learning and innovation [Online]. Available at https://embed.eadtu.eu/php/downloadFile.php?mediaId=2435&fileName= (Accessed 9 November 2020).

Henrie, C. R., Halverson, L. R. and Graham, C. R. (2015) Measuring student engagement in technology-mediated learning: A reviewComputers & Education, vol. 90, no., pp. 36-53. [Online]. Available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131515300427 (Accessed 2 December 2020).

Marshall, S. (2007) E-Learning Maturity Model: Process Descriptions [Online]. Available at http://e-learning.geek.nz/emm/documents/versiontwothree/20070620ProcessDescriptions.pdf (Accessed 9 November 2020).

Porter, W. W. and Graham, C. R. (2016) Institutional drivers and barriers to faculty adoption of blended learning in higher educationBritish journal of educational technology, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 748762. [Online]. Available at https://web-b-ebscohost-com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=9649be16-3ea9-4ce2-bf57-7ad05b624776%40pdc-v-sessmgr04&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=115995110&db=ehh (Accessed 2 December 2020).

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) (2018) Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines for Providers of Blended Learning Programmes [Online]. Available at https://www.qqi.ie/Publications/Publications/Statutory%20QA%20Guidelines%20for%20Blended%20Learning%20Programmes.pdf (Accessed 2 December 2020).

Valkenburg, W. F. v., Dijkstra, W. P., Arcos, B. d. l., Goeman, K., Rompaey, V. v. and Poelmans, S. (2020) European Maturity Model for Blended Education[Online]. Available at https://embed.eadtu.eu/download/2470/European%20Maturity%20Model%20for%20Blended%20Education.pdf?inline=1 (Accessed 2 December 2020).

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Wenger, E. C. and Snyder, W. M. (2000) Communities of Practice: The Organizational FrontierHarvard Business Review, vol. 78, no. 1, pp. 139145. [Online]. Available at http://libezproxy.open.ac.uk/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=2628915&site=ehost-live&scope=site (Accessed 4 December 2020).

H818 Conference Website


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