Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 2010, 26(1)
University Howell of Technol- (2008) ogy, Australia
Pre-service teacher education students use the social networking tool Facebook during their teaching practicum placements to facilitate mutual support, encourag-
Self directed learning is Personal choices are encouraged by enabling exercised by students to create, share encouraging expression
and comment on others’ contributions, and by allowing them
of and reflection on individual learning journeys.
to choose from multiple forms of support. Scaffolding is provided
ement and the sharing of stories/anecdotes.
by peers as they guide and assist one another,
Peacock, Fellows &
Students undertaking an online course on
sharing digital artefact and exchanging constructive feedback. Through distributed, collaborative learning processes supported b s The POD activities are not graded directly; y instead, students incor-
(2007); Lee, collaborative work
social software tools,
porate evidence of com-
(CSCW) learn with
and about collab-
students engage in both pleting the activities, ‘top down’ (teacher dir- together with reflective
orative groupware tools and information environments, incl- uding a range of Web 1.0 and 2.0 technol- ogies. The students form groups of three or four students called ‘PODs’ (Pools of Online Dialogue), and each group is given a fortnight to complete each of four collaborative activities/ exercises.
ected) and ‘bottom up’ (learner directed) activ- ities that enable high levels of freedom and empowerment. The instructors assist with the setup of the technol- ogy and develop guide- lines for the fortnightly group tasks, including stimulus questions to promote reflection and discussion. Instructors participate in PODs as ‘guests’ only when invited to do so.
comments on their indi- vidual experiences, into their personal e-port- folios, assessed at the end of the course along with other multimedia learning produced or captured during the semester. Each fort- night, students are required to contribute 500 words to the class wiki; these words can be ‘spent’ creating a new article, adding to an existing article, or pooled with other people to generate a larger article.
Educational/instructional technologies, then, may best be used to furnish support and assist in scaffolding learning and reflection within the authentic or real world contexts in which knowledge construction naturally occurs, as well as serving as means by which learners can capture evidence of their authentic performances in situ within these contexts, for assessment, evaluation and feedback purposes (see also Hai-Jew, 2008). A number of researchers have already begun to propose various tools, techniques and approaches to support the active involvement of both teachers and students in the design of learning tasks and environments (see, for example, Ronteltap, Goodyear & Bartoluzzi, 2004; Goodyear, de Laat & Lally, 2006; McAndrew, Goodyear & Dalziel, 2006); new instructional and learning design practices are emerging that are based on the idea of student ownership of tasks, and that emphasise the importance of allowing flexibility, encouraging self direction and choice as well as promoting creativity in the performance of tasks.