eLearning Methodology

In Search of a Better Definition discusses the meaning of e-learning; while The Growth of eLearning discusses the four fuels of elearning:
  • Technology (means)
  • Learning Methodology (means)
  • Acquire new skills and knowledge (consequence)
  • Access information (consequence)
The first means and main delivery mechanism of elearning, technology, was also discussed in the last post. This post will discuss the second means of eleaning -- Learning Methodology. A learning methodology is a set of procedures composed of methods, principles, and rules for enhancing individual capacity and performance. When most people think of developing elearning, they think of the technology and content. However, this can normally only bring about knowledge, which is important, but learning often needs to go one further step -- performance. And this normally requires that a skill be mastered by the learner. While there are a number of means of achieving this, I have described one option in a Learning Framework, which builds on the four main design architectures of:
  • Receptive: absorbing information
  • Directive: frequent responses coupled with feedback (behavioral roots)
  • Guided Discovery: active constructive process mediated by problem solving
  • Exploratory: finding and processing information
The four architectures help us to learn by various experiences:
  • Absorb (read, hear, feel)
  • Do (activity)
  • Interact (socialize)
  • Reflection (Dewey, 1933)
The main strength of elearning is its ability to send information, thus its main architecture often turns out to be Receptive in nature. This post is a good example in that it sends text and images for the reader to absorb. The second strength of eLearning is its ability to allow us to interact which each other. Thus, we can get feedback from peers (Directive), we can discuss concepts with others (Exploratory), and we can have directed conferences to solve problems (Guided Discovery). For example, this blog has a URL to click on below this post that allows one to post comments so that a discussion can occur. One can also start a discussion group on Yahoo!. Through the use of Flash, html forms, and PowerPoint, one can also develop programs that allow one to interact. For examples, see: The various designs shown above will allow the further growth of elearning.

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