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Web 2.0 and the trend towards self directed learning environments - page 8 / 16





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McLoughlin and Lee

The Open University of Hong Kong, China

Lui, Choy, Cheung & Li (2006)

Really Simple Syndication or RSS feed), as a form of peer or reciprocal teaching. Students studying a year-long Software Engineering and Project Management course are required to write reflective blog entries in response to stimulus questions. The blog sites are used both as knowledge sharing and personal work/ information spaces.

University of Leicester, UK

Edirising- ha, Salmon & Forther- gill (2006, 2007)

Second- and third- year undergraduate engineering students make use of ‘profcasts’, i.e. material designed to support learning distinct from that which is facilitated through structured on-campus or e- learning processes alone.

The Open






Students attending German and Spanish summer schools use digital voice recorders and mini-camcorders to record interviews with other students and with native spea- kers of the languages they are studying, as well as to create audio-visual tours for sharing with their peers via the Internet.

editing techniques, and the setup of the RSS feed as a distribution mechanism for the vodcasts. Learners are free to ex- press ideas and engage in reflective processes on an individual basis, combining both indep- endent work and peer feedback, thus ensuring independent learning and collaborative inter- action. Scaffolds take the form of structured tasks plus formative peer and tutor evaluation. Students learn indepen- dently by choosing profcasts that are relev- ant to their needs. Scaff- olds include resources created by the instruc- tor, and contexts where students can apply new knowledge. Weekly profcasts are released to supplement online teaching through upda- ted information and guidance on the assign- ed activities for the week, and to motivate students through the incorporation of relev- ant news items, anec- dotes and jokes. A framework based on Salmon’s (2002) e- tivities model is used to foster active learning. Students engage in self regulated learning as they develop, share and reflect on learner gener- ated content. The instr- uctors supply the rec- ording equipment and provide guidance to the students in completing the various activities, eg. by providing sample topics/ questions for the student-led interviews.


Students work at their own pace and express ideas in their own style through blogs and wikis. The creation of e- portfolios also documents each student’s personal learning achievement and thereby supports personalisation.

The learning content is personalised by enabling students to choose when, where and how to make use of the enrichment resources and undertake the extended learning activities.

Learners create authentic content and tasks for peers that are personally meaningful and relevant, and are able to exercise a large amount of choice as they work with multiple modalities, tools and media in various forms (text, voice, pictures, etc).

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