Technology and learning - revisiting the past

Tyler, Sheila and Stenham, Robin (1999). Technology and learning - revisiting the past. In: ALT-C The Learning Technology Life-Cycle : Design, Practice and Outcomes, 21-23 Sep 1999, Bristol.



Information Technologies (ITs) can, through the use of video, computer hardware and applications software and networks, enable the production and delivery of learning resources. Communications Technologies (CTs), facilitate learning through presentational style, user interface, accessibility and interactivity. Implicit in CTs are notions of mediation and moderation of learning, which moves us beyond the transmission of content and into knowledge construction between peers (academics, tutors, students and others).

The Open University Business School (OUBS) applies a constructivist approach to management education within the Open University’s supported open learning model. Students interact within a learning environment, collaborating and building communities of practice with peers and constructing meaning based on experience.

Over the last 3 years OUBS has, through the establishment of its Teaching Technology Team (T3), been making increasing use of C&ITs in its production and presentation processes. Using examples from a number of C&IT-enabled courses, the presenters will propose that the application of C&ITs will transform what and how students learn and how we understand and manage these processes.

The primary case study to be presented focuses on the use of an electronic learning environment with a large number of students sponsored by a major multinational company. The project is on-going and is being fully evaluated (action research). It shows how earlier constructivist ideas about education and learning became vitally relevant in the development of learning communities and course style; revisiting the past. New technology and fitness for purpose will be addressed and examples which look to the future will be given.

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