Rethinking Online Teaching and Learning: A Case Study of an Approach to Designing an Online Learning Environment

By Lisa K. Bricknell and Nona Muldoon.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

An area of concern in recent years has been around the design of curriculum and instruction and how to address the prevailing limitations of educational practices in online learning. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to understand how adults learn and the rationale for, and benefits of, using learning theories and sound pedagogical principles in facilitating technology-mediated learning experiences. Informed by the idea of Cognitive Apprenticeship, the instructional approaches explored in this case study include situated modeling, scaffolding, coaching and fading with the aid of technology. Online learning and teaching and the context and needs of adult learners are foregrounded in the literature review. The elements of the cognitive apprenticeship model and the case study are then presented and discussed. The use of technology and educational principles that informed the curriculum design follow thereafter. The lived experience in facilitating apprenticeship style learning is discussed and reflected upon in the final section of the paper. Experiences reported in this paper are useful in helping educators and designers rethink online learning and teaching approaches.

Keywords: Higher Education, Online Learning, Cognitive Apprenticeship, Scaffolding, Educational Technologies

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.33-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 393.041KB).

Lisa K. Bricknell

Lecturer in Environmental Health, School of Health and Human Services, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia

Lisa Bricknell is a Lecturer in Environmental Health and the Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Environmental Health offered by distance education at CQUniversity Australia. Lisa specialises in the field of environmental toxicology and risk assessment, with particular expertise in mycotoxicology. Her main interests in learning and teaching are in the field of online delivery and, in 2010, Lisa won the CQUniversity Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. In 2011, she was a recipient of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning as a result of her work in flexible curriculum design and delivery.

Nona Muldoon

Educational Developer, Office of Learning and Teaching, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia

Nona Muldoon is an experienced Educational Developer. She has qualifications in higher and professional education and has specialised in instructional design and eLearning. Nona’s research agenda and publications are concerned with curriculum development, learning designs and technology-mediated learning, which have been predominantly developed from a socio-cultural perspective. Her doctoral study investigates factors that contribute to better educational outcomes in professional education.


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