#ocTEL Week 2 Activities and Resources

May 12, 2014 in Blog post, Reader

Just when I thought I was going to be able to ease off a little and re-focus on some of my initial objectives (getting to grips with Twitter), the week 2 activities and resources have been published and this looks as if it’s right down my street. Can’t wait to get stuck into this ;-)

Week 2 – Understanding Learners and Learning

This week is all about learners and their learning. We’ll be exploring some fundamental ideas concerning the nature of learning, different learning attributes, and how to engage learners effectively online.

We’ll start by considering what ‘learning’ is, including different things that can be learned, and different approaches taken to learning by learners in formal educational contexts.

We’ll then ask you to explore learner experiences and diversity, their implications for learning and teaching online, and some of the different learning theories that can be used to design online learning activities. We’ll ask you to consider the relevance of some of these theories within your own context, and to think about how you would design technology-enhanced learning activities to effectively engage learners in a ‘deep’ learning experience.

This week’s aims

  • Reflect on the nature of learning and fundamental differences in how learners undertake learning (see ‘If you only do one thing…’ below)
  • Distinguish between the different expectations and needs that individual learners can bring to learning and learning online, and explore the general implications for supporting effective online learning (Webinar, Activity 2.1, Activity 2.2, Activity 2.3)
  • Apply what we’ve explored in the above areas in the design of ‘authentic’ online learning activities that can engage learners in a ‘authentic’ learning experience (Be a TEL Explorer activities).

Resources and more to watch, read and research

Adult learning theories: implications and critique

●    Learning and Teaching in Action: Open Issue (Nicola Greaves article and project summary, 2008)

●    Training and the Needs of Adult Learners (Ota et al, 2006)

●    Adult learning theories presentation slides (Smith, 2008)

Digital literacy

●    Developing Digital Literacies (JISC Design Studio)

●    21st Century Literacies (Rheingold, 2009) 45 minute video of talk in London


●    Learning to teach inclusively an OER (Open Educational Resource) module for Higher Education staff that aims to help you gather information about diversity among your own students and, in light of this, redesign an aspect of your curriculum for the engagement and assessment of all students

●    JISC TechDis promote inclusive practice in teaching and learning and provide advice and resources to support learner needs. You can explore some of the possibilities for inclusive use of technology at the site

●    EDUapps provide a range of software collections to support a diverse range of user requirements.  These can be downloaded for free at

Learner diversity in online learning

Learning theories

●    Learning theories

●    Theory into practice database

●    Review of e-learning theories, frameworks and models

●    Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age and debate about connectivism as a learning theory

●    Zone of proximal development

●    Constructivism

●    Collaborative learning

●    Experiential learning

●    Enquiry-based learning: definitions and rationale

●    Problem-based learning: an instructional model and its constructivist framework

●    MOOCs and learning theories

Frameworks, rubrics and principles for designing online active learning activities

●   Edinburgh Napier’s 3E framework

●   Learning materials in a problem-based course

●   Learning design and assessment with e-tivities (pdf of research paper)

●   Seven Cs of learning design

●   Effective practice in a digital age

So, let the fun and games begin – once I’ve finished preparing tomorrow’s class!

1 response to The open course you cannot fail…

  1. Dear Maren

    “Lurkers” vs “Silent participants”?

    Here are a few other terms that could be used:

    vicarious learners?
    silent participants?
    Non-public user?
    legitimate peripheral participator?
    virtual participant?
    marginal participant?
    passive observer?
    cognitive apprentices?
    potential member?
    proximate member?
    tacit member?

    See Let’s get more positive about the term ‘lurker’

    Which term best reflects the degree/ style/ of learning? If you read a book, but never talk about it, have you learned any less?

    Best wishes


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