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H809 – Mapping pedagogy Conole et al. 2004 (A7.3)

March 28, 2011

  1. Who do the authors see as the main audience for this paper?
  2. What is the main aim of the paper?
  3. Try to fit the readings met so far in the module into Table 1 of the Conole et al. paper.

The main audience are practitioners, or those who develop e-learning activities. Conole et al. (2004) first explain how models can be used to represent theoretical approaches and to support practitioners’ engagement with these.

The main aim of the paper is to improve existing practice. The authors claim that ‘a better articulation and mapping of different pedagogical processes, tools and techniques will provide a pedagogic approach that is more reflective and consistent with practitioners’ theoretical perspective on learning and teaching. The use of a toolkit – as decision-making system based on expert models – builds a basis for developing effective learning design plans, but also offer a way of structuring users’ engagement that encourages reflection on theoretical concerns.

The authors argue that e-learning practitioners may find the diverse array of theoretical perspectives bewildering and thus avoid  applying any models (Mc Naught, 2003 in Conole, et al. 2004). However, I agree that all the different learning theories can be indeed overwhelming, insofar Conole et al. consider e-learning practitioners as academics outside the field of educations, defies me. I know there is an ongoing discussion about learning technologist and there struggle to find a place within other already established professions, but isn’t an e-learning practitioner someone who  teach and/or design elearning activities 😕

Matching the Block 1 readings  with a learning theory in Conole et al’s. table 1 was quite  challenging, because often more than one approach applied.

Hiltz and Meinke (1989)

  • Hiltz and Meinke state that ‘many of the concepts and skills should be learned independently through reading texts or assigned articles, watching videotapes, and/or using computer tools. They favour a ‘concept of activities, above and beyond the exchange of text. They argue that students may be forced to think and respond inherently rather than listening passively to the instructor or other authors. The virtual classrooms is an attempt to incorporate of elements of collaborative learning and to stimulate active engagement and participation of all students in a collaborative learning community.
  • Constructivist theory – pedagogical focus is task-orientated, self-directed activities
    • e-learning application – Access to resources and expertise offers the potential to develop more engaging student-centred, active and authentic learning environments

Wegerif and Mercer (1997)

  • The authors researched how the use of language of the children changed towards exploratory talk by solving a group reasoning test
  • Socially situated learning – Language as a tool for learning and the joint construction of knowledge
    • e-learning application – Multiple forms of asynchronous and synchronous communication offer the potential for more diverse and richer forms of dialogue and interaction between students and/or tutors

Roschelle (1992)

  • Roschelle assumes that the major problem of collaboration is the problem of convergence, to come to a shared mutual understanding. Similar to Wegerif and Mercer did he analysed talk, although he made no use of computer-based text analysis.
  • Socially situated learning – would apply, but also
  • Constructivist theory – pedagogical focus is task-orientated, self-directed activities, or even
  • Cognitive – pedagogical focus in on the processing and transmission of information through communication, explanation, recombination, contrast, inference and problem solving.

Like I said, not an easy task, and I could be also misguided.


Unfortunately just two of my H809 colleagues posted their results in the forum. One students is in relative accordance with my answers, also arguing that there is often an overlap between two or more theories, contrary to another student who took a complete different approach to answer the question. Let’s wait and see what others have to add.


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