Dispatches from the Graduate Classroom: Bringing Theory and Practice to E-Learning

Dispatches from the Graduate Classroom: Bringing Theory and Practice to E-Learning

F. R. Nordengren (Des Moines University, USA) and Ann M. York (Des Moines University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-788-1.ch021
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This chapter is a practical overview of both the theoretical, evidence-based research in pedagogy and the anecdotal, experience-based practices of faculty who work daily in online and blended learning communities. This approach combines best practices with theoretical aspects of delivering and facilitating education with diverse adult learners. Issues and trends in E-learning are presented with specific examples for implementation and suggestions for future research. Using an evidence-based approach, the authors will explore and summarize recent research with a concurrent analysis of the anecdotal popular literature. The authors explore the concept of information literacy and other skills necessary to succeed in the Web 2.0 world. Their discussion takes us away from the traditional “sage on stage” versus “guide on side” dichotomy towards both a new understanding of Web 2.0’s role in education as well as a preface to what may become Web 3.0 and beyond.
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This chapter is intended to lay a foundation for E-learning and Web 2.0 for readers from a wide range of experiences. It will provide both a theoretical overview of evidence-based research in pedagogy, and experience-based practices of faculty who work in online and blended learning communities. It is important to blend both theory and practice to fully appreciate the power, influence, and potential of Web 2.0. Experienced educators may gain a fresh appreciation of how familiar theories may apply in an E-learning environment. New educators may gain insight and ideas on how to implement E-learning in an effective way.

Whether experienced or novice, one thing is certain: we are all pioneers in on the digital path of E-learning. As pioneers on this trail, we are beginning to leave a traditional classroom setting where lectures dominate, and move toward an educational environment where technology-enhanced instruction is becoming the norm. In this new environment, learning may take place completely online in a synchronous or asynchronous format. Or, it may take place in a combination of face-to-face and online learning, commonly known as blended learning. Even in courses where lecture is still the primary mode of delivery, technology is playing an increasing prominent role. When faced with the broad landscape of E-learning technology, many educators may feel unprepared, and perhaps even a bit lost.

The term “pioneer” often conjures up images of American pioneers pushing across the Great Plains to reach the promise of a new life in the West. Like them, today's E-learning pioneers are balancing the known with the unknown; balancing the tried and proven with the tried but not yet proven. And, like a pioneer exploring new territory, today's E-learning pioneers are seeking landmarks or milestones by which to gauge progress. In this chapter, there are several landmarks to guide the way:

  • Landmark One: How Does Educational Theory Apply to E-learning?

  • Landmark Two: Technology: Web 2.0 and Beyond?

  • Landmark Three: Practical Implementation: Issues, Controversies, Strategies and Tactics

While these landmarks cover a lot of territory, here is a caveat: there is simply no way to capture the full panaoramic view. In fact, at the current rate of change, by the time this book is published, new tools will have emerged and early adopters may be charting Web 3.0. Educators will constantly need to be adding new landmarks and charting experiences as discoveries are made.

To assist in navigation, for the purpose of this chapter, the phrase E-learning means education delivered entirely online. The phrase blended learning means online tools mixed with classroom or other face-to-face learning experiences. Web 2.0 refers to the increased online collaboration and interaction made possible by tools such as blogs, wikis, and social networking sites. With this in mind, the chapter objectives are to:

  • 1.

    Understand key theoretical concepts for blended and E-learning applied to adult learners.

  • 2.

    Analyze current research and anecdotal evidence on blended and E-learning strategies.

  • 3.

    Evaluate and create best practices in blended and E-learning using Web 2.0 tools.

The focus of this chapter is on higher education, although much of the material also applies to K-12. The emphasis is on adult learners as they are increasingly turning to online education for earning degrees, updating knowledge, and the sheer pleasure of life-long learning. This population of adult learners is highly diverse, spanning not only generations, but continents and cultures. This diversity brings tremendous richness to the learning experience, and significant challenges to the educator. Combine this student diversity with new models of delivery, the ever-increasing choices of technology, expectations for 24/7 access, and the pressure to demonstrate learning outcomes, and the result is a changing landscape that can easily overwhelm educators and administrators. While it is daunting to keep up with the pace of change, immobility is not an option. To help clear the path forward, this chapter is designed to stimulate careful reflection of not only the “how” but the “why” of using Web 2.0 tools. Ultimately, the goal is to facilitate bringing Web 2.0 to Learning 2.0 and beyond.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Blended Learning: A learning format that includes elements of both E-learning with face-to-face learning.

Andragogy: The label of an instructional method, coined by Knowles, that is designed to meet the learning style and motivations of adult, self-directed learners.

Connectivism: A learning theory that proposes that that learning occurs through networks of people sharing pieces of information to create integrated knowledge.

Half-Life (of Information): A concept borrowed from nuclear physics that implies the length of time information is useful.

Blooms Taxonomy: Cognitive objectives developed by Bloom in 1956 include knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. A similar spectrum includes remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create

Digital Citizenship: An adaptation of traditional ethics and citizenship rules and conforms to work within the context of online work and Web 2.0 tools.

Information Literacy: A set of abilities requiring individuals to know when information is needed and then have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use the appropriate information.

Community Of Inquiry: A learning theory consisting of three interconnected elements: cognitive presence social presence, and teaching presence.

Constructivism: A learning theory based on the principle that students construct knowledge individually rather than receiving it passively from others

Metacognition: The awareness of one’s own cognitive processes.

Pedagogy: Refers to the type or style of instructional method a teacher employs

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Chapter 1
Chien Yu, Wei-Chieh Wayne Yu, Chun Fu Lin
Dramatic changes in information and communication technologies (ICTs) provide a powerful force forthe growth of e-learning. E-learning has become... Sample PDF
Computer-Mediated Learning: What Have We Experienced and Where Do We Go Next?
Chapter 2
Clara Pereira Coutinho, João Batista Bottentuit Jr.
In this chapter the authors analyze issues and ideas regarding the next generation of e-Learning, which is already known as e-Learning 2.0 or social... Sample PDF
From Web to Web 2.0 and E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 3
Chaka Chaka
This chapter contends that both Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web (the SW) serve as critical enablers for e-learning 2.0. It also maintains that the SW... Sample PDF
E-Learning 2.0: Web 2.0, the Semantic Web and the Power of Collective Intelligence
Chapter 4
Jianxia Du, Yunyan Liu, Robert L. Brown
An online learning community can be a place for vibrant discussions and the sharing of new ideas in a medium where content constantly changes. This... Sample PDF
The Key Elements of Online Learning Communities
Chapter 5
Ke Zhang, Curtis J. Bonk
This chapter reviews the characteristics of learners of different generations. In particular, it compares their differences in terms of learning... Sample PDF
Generational Learners & E-Learning Technologies
Chapter 6
Robin M. Roberts
The relationship between the Digital or Millennium Generation and Web 2.0 is investigated focusing on how post-secondary students just entering... Sample PDF
The Digital Generation and Web 2.0: E-Learning Concern or Media Myth?
Chapter 7
Jeffrey Hsu, Karin Hamilton
Adult learners have a set of specific and unique needs, and are different from traditional college students. Possessing greater maturity, interest... Sample PDF
Adult Learners, E-Learning, and Success: Critical Issues and Challenges in an Adult Hybrid Distance Learning Program
Chapter 8
Dazhi Yang, Jennifer C. Richardson
Past studies indicate that students demonstrate different online interaction styles, which consist of the ways or habits students acquire knowledge... Sample PDF
Online Interaction Styles: Adapting to Active Interaction Styles
Chapter 9
Yuliang Liu
Learner satisfaction and learning is currently a very important topic in online instruction and learning. Blignaut and Trollip (2003) proposed six... Sample PDF
Strategies for Providing Formative Feedback to Maximize Learner Satisfaction and Online Learning
Chapter 10
Bo Kyeong Kim, Youngkyun Baek
Web 2.0 is changing the paradigm of using the Internet which is affecting the e-learning paradigm. In this chapter, e-learning 2.0 and its... Sample PDF
Exploring Ideas and Possibilities of Second Life as an Advanced E-Learning Environment
Chapter 11
Jeannine Hirtle, Samuel Smith
Communities of practice (CoP’s)—much touted and studied as a mechanism for teacher education and professional development—may offer environments for... Sample PDF
When Virtual Communities Click: Transforming Teacher Practice, Transforming Teachers
Chapter 12
Luiz Fernando de Barros Campos
This chapter investigates whether information technology tools typical of Web 2.0 can support Knowledge Management (KM) practices in organizations.... Sample PDF
Could Web 2.0 Technologies Support Knowledge Management in Organizations?
Chapter 13
Colleen Carmean
Anytime and all-the-time access to electronic resources, artifacts and community have changed learning practices in the workplace as surely as it... Sample PDF
E-Learning Design for the Information Workplace
Chapter 14
Paraskevi Mentzelou, Dimitrios Drogidis
The aims of Greek education system is to give to students the ability to develop the required skills, character and values that will enable them to... Sample PDF
The Impact of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the Greek Educational Community
Chapter 15
Richard Hartshorne, Haya Ajjan, Richard E. Ferdig
In this chapter, the authors provide evidence for the potential of various Web 2.0 applications in higher education through a review of relevant... Sample PDF
Faculty Use and Perceptions of Web 2.0 in Higher Education
Chapter 16
Susanne Markgren, Carrie Eastman, Leah Massar Bloom
In this chapter, the authors explore the role of academic librarians in the e-learning 2.0 environment. Librarians are excellent partners in... Sample PDF
Librarian as Collaborator: Bringing E-Learning 2.0 Into the Classroom by Way of the Library
Chapter 17
Betül C. Özkan
Because of the ways students learn and make sense of world change, higher education institutions try to re-conceptualize this change process and... Sample PDF
Implementing E-Learning in University 2.0: Are Universities Ready for the Digital Age?
Chapter 18
Hsiu-Ting Hung
The focus of the chapter is two-fold: on one hand, it seeks theoretical understanding of literacy as social practice; on the other hand, it explores... Sample PDF
New Literacies in New Times: A Multimodal Approach to Literacy Learning
Chapter 19
Rajani S. Sadasivam, Katie M. Crenshaw, Michael J. Schoen, Raju V. Datla
The e-learning 2.0 transformation of continuing education of healthcare professionals (CE/CME) will be characterized by a fundamental shift from the... Sample PDF
Transforming Continuing Healthcare Education with E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 20
Brian Smith, Peter Reed
The excitement of Web 2.0 and E-learning 2.0 is upon us. As the use of social networking sites and other Web 2.0 tools continue to increase... Sample PDF
Mode Neutral: The Pedagogy that Bridges Web 2.0 and e-Learning 2.0
Chapter 21
F. R. Nordengren, Ann M. York
This chapter is a practical overview of both the theoretical, evidence-based research in pedagogy and the anecdotal, experience-based practices of... Sample PDF
Dispatches from the Graduate Classroom: Bringing Theory and Practice to E-Learning
Chapter 22
Kathryn Kennedy, Jeff Boyer, Catherine Cavanaugh, Kara Dawson
Using the theoretical framework of “craft” highlighted by Richard Sennett (2008) in The Craftsman, this chapter focuses on constructionism and the... Sample PDF
Student-Centered Teaching with Constructionist Technology Tools: Preparing 21st Century Teachers
Chapter 23
Clara Pereira Coutinho
In this chapter the author presents the results of a project developed in pre-service and in-service teacher education programs at the Minho... Sample PDF
Challenges for Teacher Education in the Learning Society: Case Studies of Promising Practice
Chapter 24
Pearl Chen
This chapter reviews the current state of theory and practice of experience design and suggests that the notion of experience should be regarded as... Sample PDF
From Memorable to Transformative E-Learning Experiences: Theory and Practice of Experience Design
Chapter 25
Carl Scott, Youmei Liu, Madhuri Kumar
This chapter will examine the relationship between a constructivist teaching approach and online learning experiences in the Virtual Worlds of... Sample PDF
Authentic Learning in Second Life: A Constructivist Model in Course Design
Chapter 26
C. Candace Chou
This study explores student views of various E-Learning tools as teaching and learning media in an online course for pre-service and in-service... Sample PDF
Student Perceptions and Pedagogical Applications of E-Learning Tools in Online Course
Chapter 27
Steve Chi-Yin Yuen, Harrison Hao Yang
Enhancing the substantial interaction in e-learning courses can be a challenge to instructors. The chapter gave an overview of online interaction... Sample PDF
Using Blogfolios to Enhance Interaction in E-Learning Courses
Chapter 28
Priti Srinivas Sajja
Quality of an e-Learning solution depends on its content, services offered by it and technology used. To increase reusability of common learning... Sample PDF
Multi-Tier Knowledge-Based System Accessing Learning Object Repository Using Fuzzy XML
Chapter 29
Ivan Angelov, Sathish Menon, Michael Douma
This chapter outlines central findings from surveys that considered factors that drive online experience as expressed by the three different groups... Sample PDF
Finding Information: Factors that Improve Online Experiences
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