domingo, 17 de maio de 2015

Ainda sobre as grandes tendências em EaDEL...

Ainda sobre as grandes tendências da Educaçâo a Distância e eLearning deixo AQUI o link de um post do Professor António Teixeira que refere o contributo de Terry Anderson nesta tarefa.

Transcrevo o visão de Anderson:

First generation distance education pedagogy is based upon cognitive-behavioural pedagogies with a focus on quality content and individual learning (see Anderson & Dron, 2012 for an overview of the generations of distance education pedagogy). The affordances of the Net to greatly reduce costs for the production, the distribution and access to content, has resulted in a proliferation of content that educators can easily use or convert to learning objects for use in their courses. These range from general purpose content such as Wikipedia, journal articles, museum websites and current affairs magazines to dedicated learning content such as MOOOCs, and Khan Academy videos. Many important research opportunities arise from the digital traces that students leave as they progress through these learning resources. Web blogs, quiz results, user ratings and recommendations and more can now be harvested using a variety of learning analytics tools to finally make visible, the formally invisible activities of distance learners. However, researchers must as always remain cognizant of the validity of such traces- often we mistake the easily measured for the educationally meaningful!

Second generation, social constructivist pedagogy focuses on collaboration and group support of learning. New awareness and project management tools increase the efficiency of group process, while social network analysis tools allow the research to measure the participation, centrality, teacher dominance and many other indicators of effect social interaction.  Much research on social constructivist learning is based upon interpretative paradigms and focuses on interviews and observations that generate massive amounts of text, which in turn consume massive amounts of research time in analysis. Thus I am always interested in tools to enhance the efficiency of this type of research. Recently I have been impressed with an Australian research tool Leximancer that instantaneously generates a variety of concept maps from even massive amounts of text materials (see for example our use of this tool in Social Interaction in Self-paced Distance Education.) We are also beginning to see qualitative analysis tools move to the cloud (enhancing research team effectiveness) and see them augmented with quantitative tools (answering questions such as which codes are identified significantly more often than other codes?) by tools like Dedoose.

Third generation connectivist pedagogies focus on artifact and network construction. Researchers are challenged when trying to observe or measure connectivist activities as they normally not confined to an LMS but take place across the wider net in the personal learning environments constructed by students. Nonetheless, site based monitoring tools and tools that monitor individual learners application and time use promise to again help researchers, teachers and students to benefit from analysis of the digital traces we leave. These of course present privacy and ethical issues to researchers, but the proliferation of activity and sleep monitoring smart phone apps and wristbands makes user acceptance more likely.

In sum, a host of new research tools, most of which were not designed specifically for educational research use, can and will improve both the quality and the ease of research of teaching and learning at a distance.

Finally, I want to promote what I believe is  a most welcomed new methodology for distance education researchers- that being Design Based Research (DBR). DBR is based upon a pragmatic paradigm that rejects the ontological idea of either a single measurable reality (positivism) and multiple realties based upon individual interpretation (constructivist) and that reality is politically constructed (critical paradigm). By contrast, for pragmatists like John Dewey or William James reality is constructed from knowing  "what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone's actual life?” To answer these pressing pragmatic demands, DBR is focused on research in real world contexts of functioning distance education systems. Secondly, DBR researchers are not content with merely measuring, interpreting or surveying students, teachers or  their activities, but always focus on the development of an intervention that “makes a difference”.

In the first phase of a DBR project researchers study both the local context and the current literature to design an intervention that is most likely to make a significant and positive effect of learning or teaching effectiveness. The second phase calls for detailed and mindful construction of the interaction with an eye on documenting and measuring costs, so that it can subsequently (if successful) be recreated and improved upon. The third phase consists of implementation and evaluation usually using mixed methods approaches that gathers both qualitative and quantitative data. In the fourth and final phase the researcher distils design principles that can be applied and tested in additional iterations within the same context – or more importantly applied to new learning contexts.

Globally, online and distance education is growing rapidly. As ethical educators and researchers we have both a responsibility and great opportunity to contribute research based improvements and cost efficiencies to this popularity.

Teixeira, António. The Way Ahead for Open, Distance and Digital Education - Guest post by Terry Anderson. EDEN. 11 de Maio de 2015. Disponível em:

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