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Web 2.0 and the trend towards self directed learning environments - page 7 / 16





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Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 2010, 26(1)

Table 1: Global examples of how tertiary teachers enable self regulated and personalised learning using social software tools, while offering the necessary scaffolding/support

Institution and location




Institute of (2007a,




Self regulated learning and scaffolding/ support

Students studying an Students engage in

art history class visit the Metropolitan

learning tasks with a high degree of auton-


Personalisation and customisation of tasks ensures that students

ogy, USA



University Smith & of Toland Wellington (2008)

New Zealand

Museum of Art in New York City, where they take photos of exhibits using mobile phones, upload them to Flickr, and use the site’s tools to tag, annotate and write descrip- tions and comments about the photos.

A mixture of on campus and distance education students enrolled in a Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program work in groups to collaboratively produce web based information resource guides using a wiki.

omy and freedom, as they mix and match content and create games and challenges for one another. Task scaffolding is provided by the instructor by using technology to enable expression of multiple perspectives and by mediating peer interaction. The groups work aut- onomously to produce three deliverables based on instructor supplied guidelines: the resource guide (a web site provi- ding links to / evalua- tions of information res- ources); presentation of the completed guide to the class; and an online journal in which stud- ents document their work processes and reflect on their personal contributions.

remain motivated, i.e. they have a personal voice in making commentaries and in choosing descriptors to tag the photos. Peer to peer content sharing adds a collaborative dimension while still allowing individual reflection and achievement. Each group of students chooses a topic that is personally meaningful, relevant and/or interesting to its members. The students also have flexibility in terms of their ability to personalise the content and the way it is presented using a range of digital media types.

Bentley College (now Bentley University) USA


Students studying an

berg (2006) information technol-

ogy (IT) fundamentals course purchase Pocket PCs instead of textbooks, which they use to explore IT con- cepts in a hands on, learner centred appr- oach. They form pairs or groups and work together to plan and produce vodcasts (video podcasts). Each pair/group produces a vodcast based around a topic in the course schedule, for sharing with the rest of the class (via a

Each pair group has to work largely independ- ently, with each member managing and regulating his/her own learning while also contributing to the overall management/ coordination and direction of the group. The instructor makes available a number of sample ‘exemplary’ vodcasts (a form of modelling) and provides scaffolding in relation to the technical aspects of the assign- ment, eg. instruction on video recording and

In addition to being able to select topics of personal interest and/or significance for presentation to their peers, the students can consume the content at times and places of their choosing, using a range of devices (including mobile/portable devices) that incorporate vodcast playback capabilities.

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