The building blocks of learning (flick: http://flickr.com/photos/zscheyge/49012397/)
Tony Karrer refers to Cathy Moore’s post on good e-learning examples and he points back to an earlier question ‘What are the examples of e-learning?’ This has got to be one of holy grails of e-learning - providing teachers with good examples to help them create better learning activities. BUT in reality it’s not that simple for a number of reasons.
- Firstly, different repositories of e-learning materials are organised in different ways and so it can be hard to navigate through and find what you want. [As an aside globe acts as a meta-repository across a number of large-scale repositories of learning objects.]
- Secondly (and related to the previous point) finding and adapting resources takes time.
- Thirdly, teachers say that they want things which are relevant in their context, but if the example is too specific and contextualised the user may not see how it can be adapted for their context, whereas if it’s too abstract it may have little meaning.
So despite all the rhetoric about reuse and repurposing of good examples, in reality very little happens - most teachers continue to rely on their tacit knowledge and a serendipitous approach to design. I’ve posted before on some of the work we are trying to do in this area (here, here, here). Of course there are many others working on this problem; JISC is funding an exciting set of projects on design for learning and the RLO CETLis all about reusable learning objects. One of the things we are currently doing is interviewing teachers to try and better understand how they go about designing learning activities and elicit what support or resources they would find helpful. I’m not saying we have the answer to this issue but if through this process we can provide some better guidance for teachers in using technologies then that’s got to be valuable. At least I hope so!!