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Tuesday, April 22, 2008


As i come towards the end of my period of study, I have a clear model of how I believe online learning can be successfully delivered to adult distance learners. Having worked successfully through this model with a group of eight lecturers here at my university and around twenty students in separate online courses, i hope to continue to work on the model and its application to further enhance the lot of the adult distance learner and those engaged in professional development.

There are many influences on the model. As a starting point the model embraces the “seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education” as outlined by Chickering and Gamson (1987)1 At the heart of this teaching model is the use of an online synchronous classroom using web conferencing software, supported by a community orientated learning ethos that utilizes Web 2.0 technology. The underlying theory that drives the model is what can be described as constructo-connectivism, where formal learning activities are driven by a constructivist approach to teaching and learning, whilst a connectivist approach is taken in utilizing web 2.0 technology to facilitate the informal learning that occurs in the learning network and the acquisition of personal knowledge management skills which are invaluable in the digital era of the twenty first century.
To reflect the nature of this teaching model it has subsequently been named as the Synchronous Community Orientated Reflective and Experiential 2.0 model (SCORE 2.0). Conceptually the model is aligned with Race's 'ripples' model of learning2 . The online synchronous classroom is at the core and is the catalyst to drive the learning. This is where the motivation (the want) is created and reinforced. From here learners participate in intersession tasks (the doing) and then go on to consider what they have learnt through further discussion in a learning network and through posting entries to a reflective blog (the digesting). Throughout the whole process due to the nature of web 2.0 technologies there is opportunity for teacher-student interaction and student-student interaction (the feedback). Note also that the online synchronous class itself is a microcosm of this model of learning. Guiding and shaping the teaching and learning strategy is the community of inquiry model by Garrison and Anderson (2003)3 with the important emphasis on teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence.
This model of online learning has been developed for the individual lecturer or ideally a programme team that enjoys building rapport with students and values dialogue with students. There are two very simple aims 1) to invigorate the process of online distance learning, making it an enjoyable, engaging and motivating experience and ii) to maximize the learning. Developed with adult distance learners in mind, the model has the potential to be used effectively for staff development purposes both on and off line.

1. Chickering, Arthur and Stephen C. Ehrmann (1996) Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever AAHE Bulletin, October, pp. 3-6.
2. Race, P. (2001) The lecturer's toolkit - A practical guide to learning, teaching and assessment (Second edition) London: Kogan Page.
3. Garrison, D. R. and Anderson, Terry (2003) E-Learning in the 21st Century: a framework for research and practice London: RoutledgeFalmer.

1 comment:

hartleyhair said...

I want to reference this model in a piece that I am writing. Can you give me your most up-to-date link / reference for the citation please?

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