THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ACTIVE-MANIPULATIVE ONLINE PLATFORM FOR ACADEMICS
1 Ankara University (TURKEY)
2 Hacettepe University (TURKEY)
3 Ministry of National Education (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:What is constructive is not learning environments, but individuals. Individuals construct and make their original sense of knowledge in any context. Learning environments can only offer individuals opportunities such as individual or cooperative working and performing active-manipulative behaviours. Web technologies have a large potential to create the type of active-manipulative environments that achieve learning through production.
With their optional, manipulative and interactive structures, web technologies are potential strengths that enable learner autonomy and facilitate the implementation of interactive learning activities. In the context of learning, what is important is designing and using these technologies with an individualised perspective. In this study, a web-based environment (okbit.net), was developed for academics using the concepts of active-manipulative individuals and constructivist learning. The environment was designed and developed to be an educational environment in which academics can discuss their institution or practice and share their position papers, or in other words, learn while they produce.
To support the use of this blogging environment, it was designed to enable the individuals to share their posts on social networking sites. The environment also allows individuals to modify certain areas. Categories were created to distinguish different texts, but no instructions or criteria were provided regarding the characteristics of a text.
The design-based research method was adopted in the study. The participants were education faculty members at three state universities in Turkey. They were informed about the website by e-mail and a social networking site. Eighty-eight academics were added to the group on the social network, and 28 academics signed up on the website. The data gathering tools included Google Analytics log records, blog content (e.g., texts and comments), posts on the social network group, comments, and informal interactions in face-to-face and e-mail communication.
According to the 9-day pilot application of the environment, whose implementation and development are still in progress, it was observed that the discussion activities attracted more interest than others, such as sharing an article. Considering the manipulative features of these discussions, this finding points out the importance of discussions in constructive environments. Although the environment provided an opportunity to share ideas freely, the academics stated that they did not feel comfortable in this environment and had concerns that restricted them from expressing their views.
This finding is important since it indicates that the cultural structure and background as well as the environment reveals individuals' active-manipulative nature. The academics did not contribute to the environment at the expected level due to reasons such as busy schedules. Those who contributed did not exhibit a manipulative identity, and added texts with contents that were barely acceptable. The texts did not include a tendency towards discussion. The concept of cultural limitations may also explain this finding. However, this explanation does not offer a solution. There is a need for further explanations that will enable the development of the environment with different suggestions. The development process continues with new questions. Are individuals active-manipulative, or are there certain preconditions for it?
Keywords: Active-manipulative, learning environment, academics.