A. Benedek1, J. Nagy2

1Hungarian Academy of Science, Research Institute for the Humanities (HUNGARY)
2Edutus College (HUNGARY)
Paradoxically, by the time developers of digital learning environments created the e-didactic solutions to understanding, keeping up attention, controlled learning, cooperation, and motivation to supplement the communicative potential of personal knowledge transfer, the multimedia of virtual worlds and web 2.0 brought back a large part of the potential of live presentation, and personal consultation. In an experimental v-learning environment we address the question of what effect a video-based teaching/learning architecture and the traditional processes of mathematical knowledge transfer have on each other. We investigated the relationship

(KA+LD=LE) Knowledge Architecture + Learning Design = Learning Experience

in a target group of college students in a comparative way and obtained results concerning the following questions. What are the options to keep up the interest in a video-based learning environment? What tools may assist, supplement or even substitute the “guidance of thought” that is so crucial in a face-to-face set-up? What are the technological and didactic solutions that support the student in the event of a loss of the train of thought, so critical from the point of view of understanding? Reflecting on the possibilities of v-learning solutions and instructional-technology innovations, we outline what sort of virtual and web 2.0 tools are capable of replacing traditional didactic elements and may supplement face-to-face communication. We report experimental results concerning the issue how traditional learning methods transformed alongside the KA+LD=LE relationship as a result of the transformation of the learning environment.

Further developing R. S. Wurman’s vision of Information Architecture and adapting J. J. Garrett’s concept of User Experience in the educational context, we label Knowledge Architecture (KA) all information structures that lend themselves for design and representation in an independently interpretable form. In our study it meant that they integrally contained the information required for their interpretation. KAs were didactically distinguished from the architecture of the learning environment serving knowledge transfer.

The v-learning environment itself consisted of elements, functions, designable interfaces for plannable activities, which establish contact between KAs and their structural elements. The e-didactic analysis of the KA+LD=LE relationship showed that live recording of lectures properly integrated into the v-learning environment had changed the linear structure of knowledge acquisition in spite of the fixed nature of the video-stream. This result faced us with the repetitive question of when and to what extent the subject matter demands the “bound guidance” of attention and the control of understanding. We have learned that traditional standards of control, and the guidance of attention bound to the train of thought, often conflict with the learning practices of the digital generation within fields of study like mathematics that have deep and far reaching didactic traditions for presenting proofs and definitions.

Garrett, J. J.: The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web, New Riders. Indianapolis. 2002.
Wurman, R. S., Information Architects, Graphis Press, Zurich, 1996.