Matrix for analyzing elearning concepts
Elearning is a more undefined way of learning whereby the exploratory path holds a broader transition into unknown areas. The tools have new terminology alongside the product… lurking… blogging… virtual classrooms and so forth so that is why we think of elearning as a distinct discipline with a need for its own concepts and vocabulary?
Formal and informal learning becomes very blurred in e-learning
Much can be learnt through peer recommendation via informal means. Twitter is one such tool that can jump in and out of so called traditional boundaries. Followers can be a mix of peers, tutors, family, heroes, heroines and so forth with each having an opinion about something. Educational institutions face dilemmas in embracing facebook or not and both arguments hold very valid reasons for doing so.
Creating the grid above was difficult as every learning opportunity hold a different learning context. Flexible learning might have once been considered a traditional part-time course but today it can also take on an entirely different meaning in learning such as dip-in/dip-out, modular online virtual classrooms with remote peer groups and tutors.
Two different axes for such an learning grid
I still think there is a great deal of traditional learning that me must not lose sight of. I remember some 25 years ago my daughter had this bear with a cassette tape inside it which told her a goodnight story. She loved that bear and it made a big impression on her life – it’s still knocking around in the attic somewhere. What I am trying to say is there has to be a balance somewhere, technology can only do so much, that bear was only a tiny part of her life but it had clout when it came to loyalty.
Today, I do find technology very frightening because of its sheer power. I also think much of social media has unrealised implications – both good and bad. So my axes would be about the unknown and unrealised outcomes elearning has which goes to make a well rounded individual that fits into society as we currently know it. I haven’t figured out what to call these axes yet, still thinking about it.