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H807 – Elearning concepts and themes (A2.1a)

February 15, 2011

Finally here is my grid where I placed the different concepts and themes I explored in my previous post. As you see they are not evenly spaced but more in a cluster, mainly around the ‘new’ section. However I placed collaborative learning somewhere in the middle between existing and new as I think collaborative learning is a method that is favoured in education for a while, although thinking on my school, more in a face-to-face setting. I placed blended learning as well in the middle, because I was somehow irritated about the description given in the course material that existing also means face-to-face setting. As blended learning can be considered as a mixture of face-to-face and online learning I placed it in the middle. I also had some problems to decide whether a concept or theme is more formal or informal. Sure e-assessment can be mainly found in formal settings, but the other concepts somehow blur and I found it hard to decide whether or not they are more formal or informal. I think with the lifelong learning agenda and with the rethinking of education the informal part of learning is steadily increasing.

Here is my grid (Please click on it to enlarge it).

Here are my answers to the following questions we are asked to consider.

  1. To what extent should we thin of elearning as a distinct discipline with a need for its own concepts and vocabulary?
  2. Do you think the formal-informal divide is more or less evident in elearning than in more traditional forms of learning?
  3. Did you find any of the concepts difficult to place on the grid provided? If so, why was this?
  4. Can you think of two different axes for such a grid that might also help categorise elearning concepts?

I join in with those, who view elearning not as a new discipline, but as a new approach or method, depending on how you want to define it. Sure new vocabulary will develop and if it is only the little ‘e’ as prefix in front of traditional terminology, like e-learning or e-assessment. Or they put 2.0 behind it like Education 2.0 😉

I answered question 2 already above that I think that the formal-informal divide is less evident in elearning and the same count for question 3. Interestingly the grids were all relative different, except that all placed work-based learning at the end of the existing section. However, I think this represents our different context and experiences. For me and my school everything with an ‘e’ in front is pretty new.

Thinking about different axes I recalled some mapping tools I got to know doing H800. Conole, 2004 e.g. developed the 3D mapping framework.

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