Exploring approaches to online engagement

Perspective Assumptions Associated opportunities with online learning spaces
The associative perspective. Learning as acquiring competence

Learners acquire knowledge by building associations between different concepts.
Learners gain skills by building progressively complex actions from component skills.
Mobile phone/PDA:

Bite-sized elements of learning develop individuals’ competences.

Mobile phone:

m-Mentoring through SMS messaging reinforces behaviours and provides feedback.
The constructive perspective (individual focus). Learning as achieving understanding.

Learners actively construct new ideas by building and testing hypotheses.
Wireless networked campus:

‘Just-in-time’ mobile access to learning resources on a VLE or intranet facilitates discovery of underlying principles.

Mobile devices:

Reflective and evaluative skills are developed through mobile access to e-portfolios.
The constructive perspective (social focus). Learning as achieving understanding.

Learners actively construct new ideas through collaborative activities and/or through dialogue.
Electronic voting systems:

Active learning is made possible in large group contexts by discussion and voting.

Mobile devices:

Can support collaborative learning and construction of meaning through information sharing and discussion.

Mobile devices combined with wireless networks:

Opportunities are available for rich learning experiences in the in-situ use or capture of data, sound and images.
The situative perspective. Learning as social practice.

Learners develop their identity through participation in specific communities and practices.
Laptops and PDAs:

Mobile laptop/PDA schemes support learning in dispersed communities.

Mobile phones:

Ownership of a mobile device enables disaffected learners to become part of a learning community.

Mobile devices:

Use of laptops, PDAs or tablet PCs enables learning in authentic contexts e.g. in laboratories, in the workplace or on field trips.

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