Session 3- Gillespie. H et al (2007) Chapter 7: Design issues – how to design virtual learning

This chapter suggests different issues relating to the design of MLEs and I have found it very useful! I have already taken an idea from this chapter to use the colour of the phonics phase 5 as my background (which is purple) for my MLE. I may or may not use this idea but it is something which I will definitely think about. I have a few queries about what I have read so far: The chapter suggests using the school’s logo on the MLE- are we supposed to do this for the school we are specifically creating them for? Also, the chapter states that we should use no more than 5 of the tools/learning objectives suggested for primary school. Should we stick to this or can we use as many as we like because I am sure that I have more than 5 ideas of the tools I would like to use on my MLE.

I think it is a good idea to use more pictures and icons than text on my MLE because I am creating it for children in Year 1 who are just learning to read and decode words (which is what my MLE is focusing on). It is also important that the children with learning difficulties, if there are any, can easily access and navigate the MLE without any trouble. I am not sure if I will find out any specific needs the children in the Year 1 class will have so I do not know if I should make personalised rooms for particular needs, although this could be something worth thinking about, especially in the future when I have my own class.

I also did not realise that learning theories, such as behaviourism and constructionism are used in MLEs and these contribute to the designing and planning of my own MLE. I found this interesting because I have only ever thought about these theories in relation to classroom based learning and not web-based learning. I learnt about this in the last lecture and have made references to them in my MLE plan. 

Teachers are able to use learning communities to promote the different theories:
Behaviourist theory: by including resources such as quizzes and tasks for children to complete which would then give them a feedback which can be in the form of a positive or negative feedback. Giving negative feedback is an approach which I would not use because it may lower children’s self-esteem. This may be a barrier to learning as it may de-motivate children to carry on learning and testing their knowledge if they are receiving negative feedback from the teacher. Instead, I would give positive feedback and then give the children something that they need to work on.
Cognitive: by giving children the chance to reflect on their work and what they have learnt. Teachers could do this in the form of an online forum where children can reflect on their experience of using an online community or in the form of a survey where children answer questions about their overall experience using the online community. These forums can include the teacher or they could just be student led.
Constructivism: This is an important aspect of an online community where the child takes ownership of their learning and have the chance to choose what activity they would like to work on. This enables children to actively construct knowledge through the tasks in which the teacher has set up. One barrier to learning in terms of a constructivist approach is not having the support from a more knowledgeable other to help the student if needed. This is because the all of the learning takes place online and the only information available is what the teacher has written on the screen. Therefore, the use of chat forums are a good ideas as children can ask other pupils or the teacher for more support.
Social Constructivism: I think this is a key area which is the basis of an online community. Children need the chance of working collaboratively with their peers to enhance their own knowledge by the support of their peers and also give support to others. Teachers can set up tasks for children which allow them to work with their peers to construct knowledge and understanding on a particular topic.

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2 thoughts on “Session 3- Gillespie. H et al (2007) Chapter 7: Design issues – how to design virtual learning

  1. I think Gillespie just gives suggestions for the amount of tools you use on your VLE and whether or not you want to include the school logo is a personal choice.

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