Emerging Edtech: Expert Perspectives and Design Principles

Emerging Edtech: Expert Perspectives and Design Principles

Ching-Huei Chen (Center for Educational Technologies®, Wheeling Jesuit University, USA), Manetta Calinger (Center for Educational Technologies®, Wheeling Jesuit University, USA) and Bruce C. Howard (Center for Educational Technologies®, Wheeling Jesuit University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-936-6.ch025


Design principles are universal and may be translated onto the newest trends and emergent technologies. In this research study, the authors combined the perspectives provided by two sources to create a set of recommended design principles for technology-enhanced learning environments. One source was the How People Learn framework (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). The second source was a series of interviews conducted with pacesetters in the field of educational technologies. With the knowledge gained from these two sources, the authors created our own set of design principles. These principles may be used to guide evaluation, instructional design efforts, or best practice models for exemplary use of educational technologies in the classroom.
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Important Principles About Learning And Teaching

The National Academy of Sciences How People Learn book synthesized decades of research on how people learn to develop a framework for understanding the connections between cognition and instruction (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). This report is widely embraced as a seminal work for educators and researchers alike. In fact, How People Learn (HPL) is becoming widely accepted as a theoretical framework, and that is how we use it here. That work provided the theoretical foundation for designing and conducting the interview study of the pacesetters.

Although the HPL framework provides many important teaching and learning implications, we highlight four of the principles that have particular importance in the design of technology-enhanced learning environments. Each has a solid research base as well as important implications for how teachers teach. Each principle also helps designers think about technology’s role in the design and delivery of effective learning environments.

One important principle about the way people learn is that “students come to the classroom with preconceptions about how the world works” (Bransford et al., 2000, p. 14), which include beliefs and prior knowledge acquired through various experiences (e.g., Lin, 2001; Pressley et al., 1992). This learning principle suggests that students start to make sense of the world at a very young age. In many cases students already hold multiple conflicting views before learning new information, as a result, they create their repertoire of views without reflecting on their existing knowledge. This principle implies that designers of effective technology-enhanced learning or instruction should build on students’ preconceptions and learning styles, allow decision making, and foster students’ multiple intelligences.

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