Ezine and iRadio as Knowledge Creation Metaphors for Scaffolding Learning in Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces

Ezine and iRadio as Knowledge Creation Metaphors for Scaffolding Learning in Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces

Steve Dillon (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Deidre Seeto (University of Queensland, Australia) and Anne Berry (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-456-7.ch516
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Abstract

eZine and iRadio represent knowledge creation metaphors for scaffolding learning in a blended learning environment. Through independent and collaborative work online participating students experience a simulated virtual publishing space in their classrooms. This chapter is presented as an auto-ethnographic account highlighting the voices of the learning designer and the teacher. Using an iterative research design, evidence is provided for three iterations of each course. A collaborative approach to the development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of two tertiary music elective courses between lecturers, tutors, learning and technological designers is narrated. The student voice is embedded in the methodology, which involved an innovative approach that blends software development and pedagogy in iterations of software and experience design. The chapter describes how the teachers and learning designers translate these data into action and design. A blended learning space was incorporated within each of these elective music courses and the movement between these learning spaces is described and problematized. The research suggests that learning design, which provides real world examples and resources integrating authentic task design, can provide meaningful and engaging experiences for students. The dialogue between learning designers and teachers and iterative review of the learning process and student outcomes has engaged students meaningfully to achieve transferable learning outcomes.
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Introduction

In this chapter, we describe the evolution of an approach to learning and teaching that focuses on developing students’ understanding of their ontological relationship to discipline knowledge. The approach scaffolds student learning in physical and virtual learning spaces by engaging students in a series of assessment tasks, with supporting resources and guidance from the lecturer and tutors--the blended learning environment. Through the presentation of two long-term case study subjects, we unpack the journey of recognition of the affordances of the blended learning space, and describe the iterative design process and approach to experience design. We have chosen to incorporate an auto-ethnographic narrative to present data and the subsequent analysis. Auto-ethnography is relatively new for musicological researchers but has been adopted with considerable success amongst practice-led researchers and ethnomusicologists as it enables musicians to ‘examine, understand and communicate the personal ideas behind their creative experiences’ (Bartleet & Ellis, 2009). This approach echoes the focus on ontological understanding utilized in the learning and teaching discourse and amplifies the nature of the relationship between the learning designer (Deidre) and the teacher (Steve). This approach we hope will allow each of us to speak in the first person and incorporate multiple lenses on the phenomenon when we include the broad range of qualitative data we collected, synthesized and then applied to successive iterations of the learning design and blended learning practice. To aid the flow of this dialogue we will simply precede the paragraph with our names and let the dialogue between us unfold as a kind of ‘choir of voices' where solo voices emerge whilst others intertwine in concert to support or contrast them in a chiasmatic dialogue.

The structure of the chapter is as follows. First, we explain what we mean by learning spaces. Second, we describe the context of the collaboration. Third, we outline the research methodology. Then we elaborate on the metaphors for design and the authentic task concept design. Finally, we conclude with reflections on the iterative process and summarize the affordances and provide recommendations for learning and teaching.

Learning Spaces

Our conception of learning spaces is as follows. A learning space is a subset of a learning environment. Wilson (1995) summarizes conceptions of a learning environment as comprising learners, teachers, resources, activities, and the learning space. In the learning space, the learner acts to achieve learning goals and unintended learning outcomes by engaging in activities--independent and collaborative--using resources with guidance by teachers. The learning space can be virtual, physical or blended. The configuration of these spaces affords different opportunities for learning and teaching.

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