Monday, July 20, 2009

e-Learning = engagement theory

After reading through the engagement theory reading, I was quite suprised when I realised that the Managing eLearning course IS actually the engagement theory! This theory is all about engaging students through collaborative learning and authentic tasks that have authentic uses. Let me explain my theory:

So far the discussions that I have been having, or those that I have been reading through have opened my learning up and allowed me to have a wider view on topics, and without the elearning tools we are using - blogs and Moodle - this would not have been possible. Lecturers have a large amount of information to be heard/work through each lecture, and a large amount of students (Noosa has about 50-60), so very little time is available for questions. The forums, posts and comments allow students to "work with others from quite different backgrounds and this facilitates an understanding of diversity and multiple perspectives" (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999, p. 1). This is the Relate principle of the engagement theory that the authors describe.

Task 2 of this course asks us to establish our professional elearing portfolio using Mahara, which allows us (to the best of my knowledge) to upload any type of document, elearning tools or activities that we can then use in the classroom, thus creating a project. This is the create principle of this theory where we are focussing our efforts on "application of ideas to a specific context" - the course profile and criteria sheets (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999, p. 1).

The final principle of the engagement theory comes into play throughout the rest of our course and possibly the rest of our careers. Donate is about handing this creation over to someone or using it for a purpose. We are firstly handing this task over to ourselves as a way to merge all our elearning ideas and our portfolio, then we are handing it over to our potential employers - schools, and finally we are handing it over to our future students; by giving them these activities to learn from and possibly sites like Mahara so that they too can relate, create and donate their ideas to others.

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). The Engagement Theory. Retrieved 17th July, 2009, from

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