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An Investigation into the Social Learning Environment of On-Line Students John ODonoghue Gurmak Singh National ICT Research Centre, UK 6 – 8 August 2001.

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Presentation on theme: "An Investigation into the Social Learning Environment of On-Line Students John ODonoghue Gurmak Singh National ICT Research Centre, UK 6 – 8 August 2001."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Investigation into the Social Learning Environment of On-Line Students John ODonoghue Gurmak Singh National ICT Research Centre, UK 6 – 8 August 2001 Madison, Wisconsin

2 BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL LEARNING Liberation of the students from regimented conduct of traditional universities In-time learning allows the curriculum to become more fluent to suit the needs of the learners Shift from the traditional print culture to a more sensory culture ……………….

3 PARADIGMATIC SHIFTS New emphasis on social contexts for learning Learning occurs outside the classroom environment Removal of traditional boundaries to learning

4 FINDINGS First order relationships: TUTOR TO LEARNER Second order relationships: LEARNER TO LEARNER Third order relationships: LEARNER TO OTHER UNITS Fourth order relationships: LEARNER TO WIDER SOCIETY

5 THREE FORMS OF LEARNING RELATIONSHIPS 1. EXPLORATIVE - learning is about discovery 2. FORMATIVE - building of understanding 3. COMPARATIVE - acceptance into the social group

6 FINDINGS (cont…) 1.First order relationships Communication (formative) Learning Experience (formative) Feedback (formative) Variations 2. Second order relationships Social Environment (formative) Group Membership (comparative) Accountability (comparative) Confirmation (formative) 3. Third order relationships Routing Information (formative) Instant Access Focused Guidance (formative) 4. Fourth order relationships Specialist Guidance (comparative) Use of ITVerification (formative)

7 RESEARCH DESIGN Interpretive single case study Unstructured group interviews Semi-structured individual interviews

8 OBSERVATIONS OBSERVATION 1 Outcome based approach - Reverse Learning Implications: Design on-line material back to front Widen learner experience at the end

9 OBSERVATION 2 Learners do not want to be taught on-line Implications: Directed facilitating approaches Routing to appropriate sites Learning styles to incorporate Theorists and pragmatists

10 OBSERVATION 3 Interventions to change from informative/confrontational to catalytic/supportive Implications: Acknowledgement by departmental heads of training and resource issue. Change in teaching to counselling/facilitating paradigm.

11 OBSERVATION 4 Mature, self motivated students plan and develop their own programme of study Implications: Tutors to balance learning programmes between democratic and laissez-faire approaches Need for strong induction programme

12 OBSERVATION 5 Learners prefer small groups rather than large groups with no individual identity Implications: Encourage group/team cohesion (team building) Understanding of socio-economic factors related to successful groups

13 Conclusion Mature, self motivated students Change in teaching approach Design by interaction Learning may take place in a wider context

14 Thank You John ODonoghue


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