About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2791-2797
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

LEARNING BY DESIGN: FORMATS FOR ONLINE ENQUIRY AND PROBLEM SOLVING

C. Wakeford

University of Manchester (UNITED KINGDOM)
Instructional design was traditionally the realm of IT specialists, but since the advent of VLE (virtual learning environment) the roles of the academic and learning technologist have merged as each has become involved in the others specialism, and technology is used as a tool to implement effective learning designs. The attributes of good e-learning resources include intuitive interfaces, easy navigation, functional external links, clear and accessible presentation, and of course, appropriate content. More recently there has been a move towards the social applications of the VLE with discussion forums, chat, blogs and podcasts being used in teaching and learning. However, in order to promote the development of higher order skills such as research and critical thinking, and thereby encourage deep learning, we need to develop online resources based on the pedagogy of enquiry. The skills involved in learning by enquiry, such as investigation, analysis and evaluation, correspond to the higher cognitive skills identified by Bloom in his taxonomy of educational objectives, and those utilised in the Kolb learning cycle, for example. The challenge then is to create e-resources that stimulate the skills of enquiry in students. One solution is to construct RLOs (reusable learning objects) that support other activities that may themselves be enquiry-based; the RLO acts as a resource for research by the target group. Alternatively, the online environment can mimic face-to-face problem-based learning groups by using discussion forums for peer interaction and to develop communities of practice.

In an effort to marry our enquiry-based learning strategy with our elearning developments, we have used Final Level undergraduate project students to generate both stand-alone elearning resources based on a problem-solving approach, as well as materials that may be integrated into wider enquiry-based activites. Students attend a training course where they receive instruction in web design and various software applications, as well as an overview of pedagogies relating to enquiry-based learning. They are encouraged to use both logical and creative approaches to resource design. We have identifed a variety of design formats that are appropriate for different types of problem, ranging from data-based problems with a clearly defined answer, to more open problems based on decision-making or the formation of argument or judgements. We identified, broadly speaking, ten categories of problem faced by biologists. e-Learning design formats included simple linear content-question formats, where the correct answer permits the user to progress to the next stage, multiple-option formats where the user might select one of a variety of roles or options to pursue, scenario-based formats where information unfolds in a story as the user progresses through the problem, and contexualised resources, such as virtual experiments, that relate to the real-world. In addition, some students based their learning designs on decision trees, where the user progresses down a particular path dependant on the response at key decision points in the problem. The relationship between the skills of enquiry, different types of problem, and resource design will be explored and examples will be demonstrated. These design formats are transferrable to silmilar types of problem encountered in other disciplines.
@InProceedings{WAKEFORD2009LEA,
author = {Wakeford, C.},
title = {LEARNING BY DESIGN: FORMATS FOR ONLINE ENQUIRY AND PROBLEM SOLVING},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2791-2797}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Wakeford
TI - LEARNING BY DESIGN: FORMATS FOR ONLINE ENQUIRY AND PROBLEM SOLVING
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 2791
EP - 2797
ER -
C. Wakeford (2009) LEARNING BY DESIGN: FORMATS FOR ONLINE ENQUIRY AND PROBLEM SOLVING, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 2791-2797.
User:
Pass: