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Edited by Renu Bhandari, Thursday, 20 Aug 2020, 20:25

I hear myself- Effective learning design in Adobe and Face to face sessions in Early years  

 The core threads of all teaching programmes are; employability, ethics, responsibility and global and cultural insights (Butcher, 2014).  Face to face tutorials and online ADOBE sessions are two very diverse and unique tools used by all ALs in early years course presentations. Confidence in using these two tools effectively to create learning environment that makes the learners independent is a challenge for all. The ultimate goal of the two mediums is to encourage learners to be independent implies that learners take sole charge of the process and direction of learning (Balapuni and Aitken, 2012). Engestrom, (1999) maintains that key aspects - learners, others, learning environment, learning activity and the learning outcomes are vital in planning all sessions.

All sessions should aim for, as Garrison’s (1997) states on how to develop effective learning environment considering self-management and control of the learning task, self-monitoring and responsibility along with motivation and self-efficacy as important factors important for independent learning.

In both types of delivery of the design of the session is an important aspect. There are five key components to keep in mind when designing any online or face to face session with the learners - People(who), Shared purpose (Why), Locating framework and social conditions (where), Method (How), and Activity (What). (Brenton, 2014). Most sessions are tailored according to student needs. Knowing students-as active, social creative learners (Phillips, 1995) can aid a tutor to plan sessions effectively

The important aspect in online sessions is not only to build the understanding of the core concepts of the related course but to help students develop and deal with “Social Presence” (Kear, 2010). This means to create an active learning community and encourage students to engage with each other. Many studies affirm use of digital media and its impact on roles and relationships (McConnell, 2005). It is effective to set expectations and ground rules well before interactions begins online or in face to face tutorials. Most tutorials should clearly link to learning outcomes (Brown and Atkins, 2007; Moore et.al. 2008).

 In each online session, ALs should make a clear attempt to include critical analysis and reflection. The activities should be inclusive encouraging students of all different learning styles to engage. Multiple prompts and peer feedback along with all learners realizing their own personal goals (Brenton, 2014). This makes any online session much more than “I hear Myself” ……   



Balapumi, R and Aitken, A (2012) ‘Concepts and factors influencing independent learning in IS higher education’. In ACIS 2012: Location, location, location. Proceedings of the 23rd Australasian Conference on Information Systems, 1–10.

Butcher, C. (2014) 'Describing what students should learn' in Fry, H., Ketteridge, S. and Marshall, S., A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education : Enhancing academic practice, e-book, accessed 24 Oct 2016, http://open.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1770537 Chapter 6.

Brenton, S. (2014) 'Effective online teaching and learning' in Fry, H., Ketteridge, S. and Marshall, S., (2014), A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education : Enhancing academic practice, e-book, accessed on 18 October 2018 <http://open.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1770537>

Engeström, Y. (1999) ‘Activity Theory and individual and social transformation’, in Y. Engeström, R. Miettinen and R.-L. Punamaki (eds) Perspectives on Activity Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

McConnell, D. (2005) ‘Examining the Dynamics of Networked E-learning Groups and Communities’, Studies in Higher Education, 30 (1), 23– 40.

Garrison, DR (1997) ‘Self-directed learning: toward a comprehensive model’, Adult Education Quarterly, 48(1): 18–33.

Kear, K (2010) Social Presence in Online Learning Communities. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Networked Learning 2010. Accessed on 18 October 2018 https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/open/reader.action?docID=1770537&ppg=14#

Ketteridge, Steve, Heather Fry, Stephanie Marshall, Steven Ketteridge, Heather Fry, and Stephanie Marshall. A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, edited by Steve Ketteridge, et al., Taylor and Francis, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central. Created from open on 2017-01-11 03:18:32. Accessed on 18 October 2018, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/open/reader.action?docID=1770537&ppg=14#  


Weller, M. (2011) The Digital Scholar: How technology is changing scholarly practice, London: Bloomsbury Academic.


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Elizabeth Cox

Diversity; I hear myself

Hi Renu,

Re your post on Diversity in early years - I like your analogy of the mat with woven patches because it illustrates the way in which, in any community of people, each individual is unique but that, if individual differences are valued, then they can enhance the beauty of the whole. In terms of the developing child, I think, instinctively, the primary caregiver "teaches" the child to mentalize and it is in this way that the child learns to appreciate and understand their own internal world and that of others and I guess, the more diverse the experiences that can be provided, the richer and deeper is the child's understanding of the wider world. I'm not sure about your final sentence on developing positive self esteem through a diverse early years experience since I feel that a secure sense of self worth is rooted firmly in the relationship with the primary caregiver. Quite possibly though I haven't learnt enough yet to understand the intricacies of your comment.

As regards your blog on effective learning design, I would just say that, from personal experience, I feel that being an OU student relies on an independent spirit in learning. It is necessary to be self motivated to a high degree. In traditional universities, motivation can be bolstered by social interactions with peers and tutors in a way that cannot always be replaced by use of digital means where face to face and body language cues are missing. The Open University is highly effective, in my as yet limited experience, in structuring the learning opportunities such that students take charge of the focus, progress and direction of their learning. 

Although every effort was clearly being made to encourage students to engage with each other on forums and in tutorials, I found that this didn't happen in the way I would have liked. I guess other students had more demands on their time than me.

In terms of critical analysis and reflection, my experience was that my tutors comments prompted me to develop this aspect of my work without doing it all for me. I think that is important since, again, it strengthens both independence and motivation.

As I have only 6 months study under my belt, it could be that my comments are ill informed and naive and for that I apologise.

Lisa (Elizabeth) Cox