This is a quick post as I'm a bit behind this week. Hoping for some big catch up sessions on Thursday and Friday... trying not to panic yet!
Using the definitions of elearning concept we'd found, the task for Week 2 Activity 1 was to arrange those concepts on a matrix, showing where they might be categorised on the spectrum of Existing to New and of Formal to Informal.
This is my matrix:
A number of the concepts had me wondering about where to place them (obviously the point of the exercise!), so I also recorded some notes about why I positioned things as I did:
Blended learning - blend of new and existing, formal and informal. The fact that it includes web-based learning etc suggests it tends towards the new and informal.
Mobile learning - reliance on mobile technologies and cannot we yet assume ubiquitous access, therefore still quite 'new'. While may be used for formal access, gives greater opportunity for informal learning.
Virtual communities - initially largely informal. As there is wider uptake and integration into mainstream education, do they become more formal?
Flexible learning - I don't think this has yet been taken up by majority educators. Not yet integrated into most programmes.
Work-based learning - apprentice schemes etc have long history, therefore recognised as 'formal' training. However, OTJ aspect means training may be delivered informally.
Personalisation - widely available in informal, not-necessarily-learning-focused environments. Still a difficulty in achieving personalisation when there is a syllabus to be taught, standards to be met and need to check all material is covered, etc.
Just-in-time learning - relies on access to resources, therefore predominantly a new web-dependent method. No formal teaching - students learn what they want, when they require it. Risks lacking broader understanding as likely only to learn what is sufficient to achieve a task. May be some deep learning as result of applying it to context though.
Peer assessment - does not require new technology, but wider uptake *is* facilitated by web, etc. Not so widely used for formal (summative) assessment, and technology facilitates wider opportunities for informal assessment (e.g. commenting on blogs etc).
Collaborative learning - again doesn't require technology, but additional forms of collaboration may be facilitated by ICTs. Widely recognised as valuable medium, but still seems to be used mainly as an adjunct to more traditional approaches.
Learning objects - developed specifically for LMS-delivered computer-based learning, therefore 'new'. Standards, metadata requirements etc are a way of formalising the development. Usage is not restricted to formal context though.
E-assessment - computer supported marking available probably 20 years. Wider and more flexible uses are a newer development. I use assessment here in a summative context, therefore position towards formal axis - more informal, ad-hoc, on-demand, non-recorded or just-for-fun formative assessment is also possible though, and ICT is prime facilitator of this.
I actually found the formal-informal dimension quite hard to use, which was something of a surprise. I think I need a bit more of a think about what this really means. Also, I have a feeling that there might be some other dimensions on which it be useful to arrange these concepts. A lot of the discussion and reading in week 1 seemed to indicate innovations in elearning have particular implications for collaboration and community, so I wonder if an individual - collaborative axis might be useful to look at. This post is optimistically titled mark 1 - I'm hoping there'll be a chance for a mark 2, but don't hold your breath!