“If we know then what we know now”
eLearn2005 preso by Patricia McGee, The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA; Jashoda Bothra, Cicso Systems, Inc., Canada; Jennifer Gurrie, WebCT, USA; Ameeta Jadav, The Art Institute of Atlanta, USA

Here because of research in next generation content management systems (CMS)
Now involved in national study interviewing CIOs, students, faculty, etc about their current satisfcation and dissatisfaction with CMS systems


When discussing the delivery of technology mediated instruction, the focus is typically focused on the organizational, managerial (see Gallagher, 2003), or technical (IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. standards and corporate white papers) while lacking in learning, instruction, and cultural theoretical frameworks that drive functional elements, interactivity, and user interface (Cambridge, McGee, & Suter, 2003). What’s missing from the conversation is teaching and learning. Recent research about how people learn (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 1999) identifies specific uses of technology to support learning that indicate a user and learning-centered design in which the tools and functions are transparent. And yet, when students or instructors enter current systems, the tools (e-mail chat, discussion boards) or the functions (modules, syllabus, calendar) are the organizing elements. This panel presents visions for the future of elearning from the perspective of the learner and the instructor.

– we have a need for a shift from organizational, managerial (Gallagher 2003) or technial (IMS, SCORM) to teaching and learning
– systems must reflect what we know about now people learn
– we articulate a user…

First preso: learner perspective, then from instructor perspective
– we will look at what should be guiding principles for these systems

Our assumptions about learning
– DEEP: needs to be deep: active, engaged, in contextually relevant environment, social, students should have ownership of work
– this can be challenging online, but these are simple
— US Military beginning to shift to online, contextual learning system for diversity training
— they are struggling with the disconnect between understanding they don’t have control over that learner, and the importance of users actually reporting about what is happening in their REAL context versus in a fabricated / artificial environment
– TRANSFERABILITY: this is critical
— there is a body of research that says if you learn about something in a different context than where you are going to apply it, there is little chance of transferability
— this has implications when people are in a Blackboard environment, which really has ZERO correlation to the real world

What we know about the learner
– we are not talking about baby boomers, because systems being designed today needs to be for the millenials
– ref to Mark Prensky’s idea of digital native / millenial and digital immigrant

My third category: digital foreigner
– might visit the foreign country, but can’t wait to go home because they want to go home and talk the way they are most comfortable, communicate with other foreigners, etc.

– how many times have we told people “close your computer and pay attention?”
– they are multi-tasking as a way of life
– cognitive structures appear to be parallel rather than sequential
– reality isn’t real for millineals
— technology mediated world is shifting ideas and experiences about what is REAL
– doing is more compelling than knowing for millineals

The paper has a lot more

Our vision:
– we need more fluid / flexible boundaries around learning experiences (IE in contrast to the rigid course structure we know today)
– example: I am having my student be instructors in WebCT, this violated many principles at the institution and was very difficult, however
– we should allow learners to enter into and move between learning experiences more freely not bounded by time, course enrollment, or technology borders
– some content if not all should be accessible in an active system or archive to learner and ….

intelligent tools and content that continuously learn about the learner should be used
– what they know, what their learning needs are, what past experiences they have to draw on, how they learn best, what their professional preferences are
– tools adapt the environment based on what is known about the learner, like Amazon.com

We need a host of learning environments that more closely mirror

Example: http://dub.washington.edu/denim
– denim tool is replicating a real enviornment while allowing people to experiment on their own

Recommendation: Read Van Weigel’s book “Deeper learning for the 21st Century”

Need relevant, realistic, and customized desired learning outcomes for each learner
– adaptive technologies should be driven by adaptive pedagogies

Merger of Sakai with LAMS (learning assistance management system)
– any instructional designer can go in and pull together a set of instructional activities
– you can build in choices for the students
– building into the framework of the instructional tasks a set of choices

Favorite example: Croquet (more of an operating system)
– idea: we can go in and control our desktop, and move it around
– people can get together and interact with each other as they see the same thing
– this is how Jennifer and I have envisioned letting the learner have more control over their learning experience
– this is VERY DIFFERENT than what we are seeing in most CMS systems today
– implications for faculty are very different than current roles too

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