My E-Learning Philosophy

What is my e-learning philosophy?

This is a question which I feel or hope will never have a finished answer.  By that, I mean than I want to continue to develop and improve my e-learning philosophy.

As of December 12th 2014: At the moment, I believe that technology is not the complete solution, it can only be used similar to chalk and blackboard, pen and paper, and all the other tools that teachers have used down through the ages.

What technology does do, however, is give us the ability to change some of the delivery methods, reach wider audiences, and concentrate on the learner as an individual, not a part of a class group.  A concept that touches in this is the two sigma problem, (Bloom 1984) where we try to find the best balance between teaching to the group and teaching to a single student.  You can read the original text here.

My goal, as repeated throughout this site, is to improve the learning of my students.  I am interested in honing my skills and using the advantages of technology to do more, do it better, and seek new ways to continue to build on my teaching.  I have a genuine interest and passion for imparting knowledge, and the thought of reaching or even inspiring students to greater things is exciting to me.

I also recognise the need to stay grounded – more to theory than technology – as the fundamental ways that people gather and process information is largely unchanged, despite what people like Palfrey & Gasser (2013) might say on “digital natives” studying differently, my experience is that a student studies in a way that is unique to them and learns in a way that is unique to them also.

As I progess through the MSc. I hope to come back and add to the philosophy page, and leave what was written in the past as well to see how things take shape.

December 2015

This is my long overdue return to my philosophy page and I’m glad I came back.  My original beliefs still hold but my attitude to technology and learning has developed.  I am no longer rushing out to see what the latest technology is and how it can help, rather I am assessing it, and if there is a possibility I will investigate.  I have also learned to use models  such as SAMR (Puendetura, 2012) to see where it could fit with my practice.  I have also expanded my view on students, learning, and in particular, cognitive load.  I think my awareness of the impact on student learning of well written, easy to follow instructions, tutorials or even assignments, help students to concentrate on the core outcomes (Paas, Renkel, & Sweller, 2003).

My attitude to research has also changed, where before I might think about a change and make it I am now more likely to research it first.  I tend to seek out papers which support or argue against my idea, and if it is a major change plan possible research projects to analyse and share my findings.  Having read Creswell (2002) I now feel equipped to apply robust, recognised methods to measuring my success or otherwise.

I think in years to come it will be interesting to revisit and refine this page and my thinking.

References

Bloom, B. S. (1984). The 2 sigma problem: The search for methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational researcher, 4-16.

Creswell, J. W. (2002). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River.

Palfrey, J., & Gasser, U. (2013). Born digital: Understanding the first generation of digital natives. Basic Books.

Paas, F., Renkl, A., & Sweller, J. (2003). Cognitive load theory and instructional design: Recent developments. Educational psychologist, 38(1), 1-4.

Puentedura, R. R. (2012). The SAMR model: Background and exemplars.Retrieved June, 24, 2013.

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All my material from my MSc in Applied E-Learning

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