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ERIC Number: EJ1087326
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
Teaching for Engagement: Part 2: Technology in the Service of Active Learning
Hunter, William J.
College Quarterly, v18 n3 Sum 2015
In the first piece in this series ("Teaching for Engagement: Part 1: Constructivist Principles, Case-Based Teaching, and Active Learning"), William Hunter sought to make the case that a wide range of teaching methods (e.g., case-based teaching, problem-based learning, anchored instruction) that share an intellectual grounding in constructivism can be understood as having the potential to change our understanding of what it means to be a learned person. All of these methods seek to engage students in collaborative analysis or real or hypothetical situations that require them to define problems, gather and analyse data, and formulate potential solutions. In the conclusion to that piece Hunter suggested that "media and technology are shaping our understanding of what it means to be learned" (Hunter, 2015, para. 29). In this piece, Hunter will extend that argument and illustrate how active learning is well served by technology-supported teaching. Perhaps the most obvious of the possible communications affordances of technology is the possibility of online discussions. A considerable body of research has been developed on the use of discussion forums, especially within learning management systems or LMS's. Blogs are a newer tool for interactive discussion and, unless they are incorporated into an LMS, are likely to be less instructor-controlled. Wikis are also a newer communication tool. Hunter adds (Hunter, 2012) that, in his own practice, it was found that graduate students were challenged by the task of building a course wiki since it constituted a kind of collective "disorienting dilemma" (e.g., Mezirow, 1997)--that is, it demanded that they re-think their prior understandings as a step toward constructing new ideas about the course content. Other possibilities certainly exist--an examination of the educational uses of Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Docs and countless other sites designed to support collaboration and communication is beyond the scope of this paper, but interested instructors could do their own research on the ways in which these tools have been used. In the next installment in this series, Hunter will attempt to provide some guidance on each of these issues and, in the process, try to illustrate how technology may assist in bringing situated learning to life. [For Part 1, see EJ1079230.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A