Sunday, 13 February 2011

Elearning concepts

This post is hardly going to be the most insightful. It's simply the report of the result of Googling a number of elearning concepts, in search of definitions. More analysis of these concepts, and how they relate to new or existing and informal or formal learning coming up in the next post... (I hope!)

Blended learning
Mobile learning
Virtual communities
  • Synonymous with Online community: “A meeting place on the Internet for people who share common interests and needs. Online communities can be open to all or be by membership only and may or may not be moderated.”[] 
  • A virtual community is a social network of individuals who interact through specific media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals. One of the most pervasive types of virtual community include social networking services, which consist of various online communities. The term virtual community is attributed to the book of the same title by Howard Rheingold, published in 1993.[]
Flexible learning
Work-based learning
  • Work Based Learning generally describes learning while a person is employed. The learning is usually based on the needs of the individual's career and employer, and can lead to nationally recognised qualifications. There are usually three components to Work Based Learning. These are practical skills, underpinning knowledge and key skills.[]
Just-in-time learning
Peer assessment
  • Self or Peer Assessment is the process of students or their peers grading assignments or tests based on a teacher’s benchmarks.[1] The reasons that teachers employ Self- and Peer-Assessment are that it will save them time, students may gain a better understanding of the material, and student’s metacognitive skills may increase. Rubrics are often used in conjunction with Self- and Peer-Assessment.[2][]
  • Student assessment of other students' work, both formative and summative, has many potential benefits to learning for the assessor and the assessee. It encourages student autonomy and higher order thinking skills. Its weaknesses can be avoided with anonymity, multiple assessors, and tutor moderation. With large numbers of students the management of peer assessment can be assisted by Internet technology. Peer assessment is assessment of students by other students, both formative reviews to provide feedback and summative grading. Peer assessment is one form of innovative assessment (Mowl, 1996, McDowell and Mowl, 1996), which aims to improve the quality of learning and empower learners, where traditional forms can by-pass learners' needs. It can include student involvement not only in the final judgements made of student work but also in the prior setting of criteria and the selection of evidence of achievement (Biggs, 1999, Brown, Rust and Gibbs, 1994).[]
Collaborative learning
  • Collaborative learning is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together.[1] More specifically, collaborative learning is based on the model that knowledge can be created within a population where members actively interact by sharing experiences and take on asymmetry roles.[2] Collaborative learning refers to methodologies and environments in which learners engage in a common task where each individual depends on and is accountable to each other. []
  • "collaborative learning" refers to an instruction method in which learners at various performance levels work together in small groups toward a common goal. The learners are responsible for one another's learning as well as their own. Thus, the success of one learner helps other students to be successful. Proponents of collaborative learning claim that the active exchange of ideas within small groups not only increases interest among the participants but also promotes critical thinking.There is persuasive evidence that cooperative teams achieve at higher levels of thought and retain information longer than learners who work quietly as individuals. The shared learning gives leanres an opportunity to engage in discussion, take responsibility for their own learning, and thus become critical thinkers.[]
Learning objects
  • A reusable, media-independent collection of information used as a modular building block for e-learning content. Learning objects are most effective when organized by a meta data classification system and stored in a data repository such as an LCMS.[ utelearning/elearningglossary#f]
  • Learning objects (sometimes called 'reusable learning objects' or RLOs) are small, self-contained packets of digital content, typically only 2 to 15 minutes in duration. Learning objects can be aggregated into courses, tagged with descriptive metadata (allowing search engines to find them) and can communicate with a learning management system (LMS), typically using SCORM.[]
  • "a collection of content items, practice items, and assessment items that are combined based on a single learning objective" [1]. They will typically have a number of different components, which range from descriptive data to information about rights and educational level. At their core, however, will be instructional content, practice, and assessment. A key issue is the use of metadata. Learning object design raises issues of portability, and of the object's relation to a broader learning management system.[]
  • e-assessment is the use of information technology for any assessment-related activity. This definition embraces a wide range of student activity ranging from the use of a word processor to on-screen testing. Due to its obvious similarity to e-learning, the term e-assessment is becoming widely used as a generic term to describe the use of computers within the assessment process. Specific types of e-assessment include computerized adaptive testing and computerized classification testing. E-assessment can be used to assess cognitive and abilities. Cognitive abilities are assessed using e-testing software; practical abilities are assessed using e-portfolios or simulation software.[] 
  • e-assessment is the use of computers and computer software to evaluate skills and knowledge in a certain area. It can range from on screen testing systems that automatically mark learners' tests (often providing almost instant feedback), to electronic portfolios where learners' work can be stored and marked. Both e-Assessment and e-Portfolios are becoming a fundamental part of modern education. They are essential for personalised learning providing benefits for learners, teachers and those involved with the administration of assessment within schools, colleges and training providers.[] 
  • Technology can support nearly every aspect of assessment in one way or another, from the administration of individual tests and assignments to the management of assessment across a faculty or institution; from automatically marked on-screen tests to tools to support human marking and feedback. Clearly, though, for technology-enhanced assessment to be effective, pedagogically sound developments need to be supported by robust and appropriate technology, within a supportive institutional or departmental context. 'Technology-enhanced assessment' refers to the wide range of ways in which technology can be used to support assessment and feedback. It includes on-screen assessment, often called e-assessment. []

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