A pedagogy of e-learning

Taster article

By Geoff Rebbeck

Our first attempts at applying technology in education started with traditional models of learning being given a ‘rinse’ through computers. Nobody could define the value because no-one really knew. Then we bought PCs on the assumption that the more machines we had, the better.

As further education and training providers began to share what they were doing, the value moved to copying others who reported good ideas. We then moved to using information learning technology in shared systems and processes, where the value lay in replication.

The revolution came with personalised technology. It has led to students carrying their content and technology with them, and the focus has moved from ‘process’ to ‘experience’. Students no longer have to face in the same direction to learn.

Now, following the 2014 report of the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG), e-learning is centre stage in both the administration and enterprise of learning; open to challenge anything that constrains its progression.

Students can use it to capture, record and marshal their experiences in learning, then go on to publish and present them as unique learning journeys.

This modern e-learning pedagogy includes the following:

1.  Developing critical thinking through continuous collaboration with other students beyond the class, with greater use of project-based and enquiry-based learning.

2.  Mastering validity and reliability as critical filtering skills.

3.  Promoting reflective learning and presenting as a means of demonstrating differing competencies, achievements and attributes (the rounded self) in unique learning journeys.

4.  Interacting through online networks around the power of ideas with like-minded people.

Geoff Rebbeck is a teacher in further and higher education. He is a Fellow of SET and a multi-award winning expert in e-learning. Visit Geoff’s website at: goo.gl/K6AuCS

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