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Converging eLearning Media Model

Dr, Anthony ‘XXXX’ XXXX                                                                                           March 2010

This summary outline highlights the elements of an innovative eLearning pedagogic model and related on/offline systems to create blended learning events and opportunities. This model explores Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 eLearning and eMarketing strategies (Qualman 2009).

The main components of the Converging eLearning Media Model are:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) designs and strategies,
  • Professional Social Networks (PSN),
  • Alternative Reality Game Theory (ARG),
  • Bluecasting at face-to-face (f2f) events / Mobile learning,
  • Rapid ePublishing Model with webinars / webcasts,
  • The European Commission’s  Study Visit Model (formerly CEDEFOP),
  • Informatology Lunch Meetings and Company Raids,
  • Social Graph (Network) Theory and Metcalf’s Law (Computing Science),
  • Moore’s Transactional Distance Theory (TDT) and Basiel’s Transitional Autonomy Model  (TAM),
  • De-schooling  Society perspectives (Illich).

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) designs and strategies
With the increase in Web 2.0 tagging in the semantic network (add Burner’s Lee Ref.) and the increase in reusable eLearning objects (add John Cook Ref.), there is a growing need to be able to have a strategy to organise and find text and new media files and resources on the web. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not restricted to increasing Google rankings. This topic is critically reviewed to be adapted to an eLearning context.

Professional Social Networks (PSN)
LinkedIn (add web reference) is one example of a social network website that focuses on the professional market sector. Elgg, the open source social network environment is examined in relation to the Emerald InTouch platform (add ref). The PSN eLearning and eMarketing designs are explored from a ‘Socialnomics’ perspective (Qualman 2009).

Alternative Reality Game Theory (ARG)
Alternative reality game theory (ARG) involves an eMarketing strategy of blending digital media with the analogue world. An example of this is seen with the films in the ‘The Bourne Trilogy’. New media advertising (e.g. film trailers) are linked to GPS / mobile phone tasks and billboard posters to create a game scenario. This approach can be adapted and applied to an eLearning context.

Bluecasting at face-to-face (f2f) events / Mobile learning
Bluecasting involves broadcasting text (SMS), images and or Flash video content to mobile phones. This is done via a Bluecast transmitter.  Small bits of eLearning information are sent to potential or current stakeholders to add to a string of connected eLearning events.  An example may be sending the programme of events to conference delegates’ mobile phones as they enter the event.

Rapid ePublishing Model with webinars / webcasts
The ‘Rapid ePublishing Model’ integrates three elements of learning:

  • A real-time (‘live’) webinar  / webcast provides the speaker and host  to present an interactive multimedia event  supported by real-time text discussion.  (Add ref.)
  • An eBook chapter – designed in a ‘Quick Guide’ format that complements the webinar. Cost models can be researched and developed on this model where the webinar is free, but gets PSN advertising, and there is a nominal cost for the eBook chapter.
  • Live Blended Conference Event – A f2f event that is linked to the PAP (Pre-At-Post) model. In a PAP blended eLearning strategy, there is a set of activities before the f2f event to provide induction and context. The live event is recorded as well as the Q & A session interactions. Lastly, an online PSN provides a way to keep the energy, discussion and network building to move in a positive direction.  (Add ref for PAP)

The European Commission’s Study Visit Model (formerly CEDEFOP)
One of the best learning programmes is the European Commission’s (EC) Study Visit  (add URL of CEDEFOP and our picture gallery). The delegates visit another country to explore their perspectives, problems and solutions to vocational education related issues. I represented the UK in 2001 at Rhodes for the. After that event I was asked to host two Study Visits in London. The four-day format is a mixture of several learning designs:

  • Academic Conference – A kick-off event usually involves presentations with Q &A sessions. The speakers are comprised of the host organisation’s management and any political representatives of the region. Local experts of the visit theme are invited to do case study-style talks.
  • Visits to local organisations – Following days of the visit include opportunities to go to local businesses to meet representatives. This usually includes a tour of the facility. Occasionally, it is possible to meet the employees / students of the establishment. This part of the visit provides a different ‘bottom-up’ perspective of the issues.
  • Seminars, workshops and plenary sessions – Other opportunities are provided to meet in small groups to exchange ideas or do ‘hands-on’ type activities. In the events, we hosted on eLearning systems to support work-based learning we gave delegates the chance to try out software and online systems that they could then use in their countries.

Informatology Lunch Meetings and Company Raids
A professional social network called Informatology offers some innovative ways to learn in a more informal design (Add URL). The lunch meeting model is a great way to exchange experiences and ideas with a small group of people (less than 12) over a meal. Although there is a suggested set of topics, there is not a set or fixed agenda. This informal learning structure promotes a serendipitous opportunity (Add ref to the Scotland conference).

The company raid is like the EC’s Study Visit model where you are invited to go to the business and meet the various organisational stakeholders. Again, this semi-structured informal agenda allows for professional social networking. I am working with Informatology on research and development for a ‘virtual company raid’ where a mobile device (e.g. wireless internet laptop ) is used to conduct a portable webinar-style ‘walk-about’ using web video conferencing and live text chat.

Social Graph (Network) Theory and Metcalf’s Law (Computing Science)
Social Graph Theory started out as a way to examine population growth patterns in Biology. It has recently been associated to the mathematical patterns of human / technical growth related to computing science and Web 2.0 online social networks. Qualman (2009) discusses social graph theory in the context of ‘Socialnomics’. I have made the link between this theory and the design potential of webinars and webcasts (add JET paper URL). Metcalf’s law was originally set in the context of establishing the value of a computing system in terms of the number of nodes in the network infrastructure. This is another way of looking at the relationships of people communicating and collaborating via the Web that can be adapted and applied to an eLearning context.

Moore’s Transactional Distance Theory (TDT) and Basiel’s Transitional Autonomy Model (TAM)
Moore’s (add ref. Date) TDT examines the relationship between structure, communication and autonomy in an eLearning event. His apothem states that there is greater transactional distance when there are more structure and less communication to promote autonomy in the learning design.

Basiel (2007) looks at the relationship between eLearning content, communication, pedagogic design and management in relation to a learner’s autonomy.  Profiling, an eLearning research technique and toolkit is offered as one way to get an overview or gestalt perspective on eLearning design and systems. A set of software toolkits and websites are also available to link the theory to practice (add URL).

e-schooling  Society perspectives (Illich)
In the 1970’s there was a call to move the education process from only in the conventional classroom model to an informal network or web of real-world learning (add ref). This model moved learning from the structured traditional transmission model to one of a ‘book club discussion’ approach. The focus was on the network of social learning opportunities years before the WWW and the current social media craze.

References

Qualman E. 2009, SocialNomics – Wiley Publishers

Filed Under: E-learning New Media Learning Technology


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