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Reflections on Elearning with Helen Beetham and Grainne Conole


Students are expected to use online discussion forum to work collaboratively on their answers before the next lecture, which is run in a question and answer format.

· Like preparing for Any Questions.

· Which his then broadcast.

· And students blog about it. And join a forum.

Conole and Oliver (2002) requires practitioners to describe their own uses of technology (giving a situated and provisional account) and then formalizing this. Sharpe in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:44)

Sharpe in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:47) Design as re-design

Engestrom, Y. (1999) ‘Activity theory and individual and social transformation’, in Y.Engestrom, R.Mittinen and R.-L, Punamik (eds) Perspectives on Activity Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 19-38


Encouraging students to be active agents in their own learning. Masterman and Vogel in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:58)

Social-constructive model of learning

N.B. Introducing a new tool has the potential to change the structure of the learning activity (cf. Vygotsky 19811a; 1981b; Saljo 1996)

Evolution not revolution, ‘step-wise adoption of new activities, which individually may not signify much’. Masterman and Vogel in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:60)

Engestrom (1999) the creative act, rather than the product of that act, is the key to an individual’s development.


Designing for learning is ‘creating a learner workflow’. Britain (2004) Oliver, Harper, Wills, Agostino and Hedberg in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:65) Well-designed workflows can cater for the needs of individual learners.

From Boud and Prosser (2002)

1) Learner engagement

a) Taking on what they already know and their expectations

2) Acknowledgement of the learning context

a) And the broader programme of study

3) Learner challenge

a) Seeking active participation of learners, encouraging learners to be self-critical and supportive of learners’ ampliative skills.

4) Provision of practice

a) Articulate and demonstrate what they are learning.

Oliver, Harper, Wills, Agostino and Hedberg in Beetham & Sharpe from Boud and Prosser (2002) (2007:66) Also Sharpe and Oliver in Beetham & Sharpe (2007: Chapter 3)


Grainne Conole

The gap between the potential for technologies to support learning and the reality of how they are actually being used may be due to a lack of understanding about how technologies can be used to afford specific learning advantages. Conole in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:81)

Shift from a focus on information to communications, a shift from passive to more interactive engagement, and a shift from a focus on individual learners to more socially situative learning. Conole in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:81)

Littlejohn et al (forth-coming)

· Digital assets

· Information objects

· Learning activities

· Learning design

Conole in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:82)

Task Types

Laurillard (1993):

1) Assimilative

a) read, view, listen

2) Information handling

a) Adaptive

i) Modelling or simulation

(1) Water poured over sand

ii) Improvisation

(1) Act it out, dramatise, recreate)

3) Communicative

a) talk about it

4) Productive

a) Essay

5) Experiential

(JV read/listen, engage/comment, create)

Laurillard in Conole in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:84)

6) Assessment

Diagnostic, formative or summative in nature.

Kolb (1984)

Learning by doing:

· Experience

· Reflection

· Abstraction

· Experimentation

(JV, Keith Honnor: activity, activity, activity)


Kolb,D. (1984) Experiential Learning; experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Englewood Cliffs. NJ; Prentice Hall.

Laurillard, D. (1993) Rethinking University Teaching: A Framework for the Effective Use of Educational Technology, London: Routledge.

Littlejohn, A., Falconer, I. and McGill, L. (forthcoming) ‘Characterising effective eLearning resources’, Computers in Education.


Show and tell

Case studies

Eruat (1994) and Knight (2002) both emphasise the importance of informal, social networks that allow for direct access to the tacit knowledge of colleagues.

Mutual accountability in a community of practice (Wenger)

Eraut, M. (1994) Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence, London: Falmer Press.

Knight, P. (2002) ‘A systematic approach to professional development: learning as practice’, Teaching and Teacher Education. 18:229-41.

Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter 14

Designing for mobile and wireless learning

Agnes Kukulska-Hulme and John Traxler in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:180)

Greater engagement?

More flexible?

(JV greater distraction, blurring of school/home, work/home, social and work/educational networks, imposition of time across all waking hours, across all spaces)

Design for learning, which plays to the strengths of mobile and wireless technologies (learning that is essentially situated, spontaneous, personalized, inclusive, and so on).

Design of aspects of learning such as content, activities and communication.

N.B. Matching the technology and the learning it is intended to support.

Market forces drive improvements in interface design, processor speed, battery life and connectivity bandwidth. Agnes Kukulska-Hulme and John Traxler in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:181)

Authentic learning using mobile around ‘content creation, data capture, location-awareness and collaborative working in real-world settings (Chen et al. 2003 and Hine et al. 2004 describe this approach in natural history).


Agnes Kukulska-Hulme and John Traxler in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:187)

JV ‘<30m’ Inside 30m

1) Open-endedness

a) Construct some content on location

i) Community/Regional History

ii) Local/Regional Geography

2) Personalization

a) Receive, assemble and carry around resources.

i) Your family (ancestry, homes, businesses, school)

ii) Your land and cityscape (journey to school, to work, to play and holiday).

3) Time-critical

a) Content updates

i) National, regional and personal anniversaries (Birthdays 21,50,80,90, weddings … other significant events) TV series.

ii) Development, demolish, land-use assignment, anniversary. TV series.

4) Portability

a) Portfolios in your pocket

i) Museums, libraries, streets, on foot, public transport, bike or motorbike. Hospitals, care homes. Record and photograph.

ii) Agile, along beaches, up hills, through parks and play. Maps, plans, locational.

5) Measured delivery

a) little by little

i) Iterative (reflection/blog/learning journey)

(1) Blog, Forum, Seminar (wiki) – live stream and webinar

ii) Iterative (reflection/blog/learning journey)

(1) Blog, Forum, Seminar (wiki) – live stream and webinar

6) Aural Medium

a) Listening

i) Podcast, video – listen, create, share, publish/broadcast

(1) Survey, interview, questionnaire.

(2) Live, synchronous … or next best thing. Immediate.

ii) Ditto

7) Prioritizing

a) Fresh content on the mobile supersedes other

i) Opinions, points of view, what matters most, context, culture, background … expert and immediate. Open. Scale. Time Management. Planning. Team or Group work.

ii) Ditto

8) Alternative medium

a) away from your desk (bedroom, kitchen table, school library, library)

(1) Pen and paper, camera, recorder

(2) Maps, GPS and Google Maps

(3) Websites

(4) Ask

Naismith et al (2004) in Agnes Kukulska-Hulme and John Traxler in Beetham & Sharpe (2007:180)

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