terça-feira, 15 de dezembro de 2009

One-question interview on Online Teaching Techniques

Jane Hart


Sorry for the delay in replying

Your question is rather long! I hope this is a sort of answer. In my opinion there is no one perfect teaching technique for all occasions – it will depend on the topic, context, learners and many other imponderables. If you take a look at my Guide to Social Learning – I look at different ways of using technologies for different learning contexts. http://c4lpt.co.uk/handbook/

Finally “does the quality of an online course depends on the teaching technique that is used by the e-teacher?” I think it is far more than the teaching technique. in an online course one of the key factors is the personality of the teacher him/herself. In my opinion, if s/he is inspirational this will be much more important than the technique that is used.

Hope this is of use

segunda-feira, 14 de dezembro de 2009

One-question interview on Online Teaching Techniques

Scott B. Johnson


I am honored to have been included among your distinguished subjects for your inquiry. I have a few comments in these regards. First, I must comment that the growth of available knowledge is certainly growing, but humans have not increased in their capacity and growth limits according to the same exponential rates as the data.

More to the point, I believe that the techniques as described in Paulsen’s Online Report comprise a exhaustive but not mutually exclusive taxonomy of interaction strategies. The ION site lists many specific strategies and other esteemed colleagues provide endless lists of such techniques. Key to the question here is not whether there is a specific, perfect technique but what are the most likely to be successful techniques for any given individual? Forgive my evasiveness but without a more detailed and specific definition of what we’ll consider perfect, there can be no answer. Anyone but the most profoundly disabled will be able to learn under a variety of conditions to varying degrees of success. The question for the practitioner as well as the theoretician is to identify the set of “likely to lead to a standard of success” strategies available in the current environment and compatible with the present instructional objectives. Consequently, there is likely going to be an increase in the chances of successful learning when we combine likely strategies – that combination again will be determined more by the characteristics of the individual learner than the instructor.

Quality courses will package a series of most-likely-to-succeed strategies in the context of a sensible set of learning goals. How the individual teacher/facilitator handles him/herself in the process of speaking to the class as whole, within-class groups, and individuals become part of the learners experience that extends beyond the design of the course. In other words, even an extremely well designed course can be diminished significantly by an uncommitted, overworked, or incompetent teacher. Conversely, an excellent teacher’s ultimate success in facilitating the learning for one or more people in a class will be somewhat limited by the overall design and structure of the course in which they work. An excellent teacher can improve a bad course’s results but will not likely make it an excellent course by teaching it alone. If given the opportunity, the excellent teacher might rebuild a badly designed course but will only succeed if enough time and support resources are available.

I hope that my responses and thoughts contribute toward your class discussion and your own personal understanding of online learning. I invite you to stay in touch. I took the liberty of extending a Facebook friend invitation and have bookmarked your blog – looks interesting.

Scott B. Johnson

One-question interview on Online Teaching Techniques

Morten Flate Paulsen

Dear Mónica,

Since I came up with this challenge, I expected, and deserved, to get a one-question-interview from the class :-)

First of all, I definitively don't think that there is a perfect teaching technique. I belive in using several techniques to make courses more varied and interesting. The techniques should be chosen according to target group, subject and task. You can for example seldom use the same many-to-many techniques in a self-paced course as you do in a group-paced course. Therefore, I wanted to develop a toolbox of useful teaching techniques when I started to gather information about online teaching techniques. A toolbox that could help teachers and course designers to develop better online courses.

I am however especially fond of many-to-many techniques for two reasons. Firstly, they often generate a lot of cooperative work which I like so much, and secondly, they can reduse the teacher workload to a resonable level. The many-to-many tecniques used in this course have also shown in an excellent way that the word "many" does not only mean the students in class, but also a large extended group of people "out there" that are interested in our work and provide input to our learning experience.

My framework of techniques is by no means exhaustive, and I would be delighted if someone expanded it - especially with reagard to the new opportunities provided by web 2.0 applications. There should be many interesting many-to-many techniques that could be develop around these services. I do think, the social bookmarking service and the face-book group you have developed in this course are examples of innovative teaching techniques.

Finally, I would like to point out that in PPEL2009, I've had the role as both course designer and teacher. At NKI, we distinguish between these two roles. The course is designed by a project group, and when the course is completely developed, we engage a tutor to teach the course.

I hope that you find my answer useful and that you have enjoyed the one-question-interview experience.

You are welcome to share my answer in your class and use it in your blog.

All the best from Morten Flate Paulsen

One-question interview on Online Teaching Techniques

António Dias de Figueiredo

Dear Mónica,

My reply to your 'interview'.

An online teacher has the possibility to choose between a set of teaching techniques, for e.g. One-alone Techniques, One-to-one Techniques, One-to-many Techniques and Many-to-many Techniques, as mentioned in The Online Report on Pedagogical Techniques for Computer-Mediated Communication, written by Morten Flate Paulsen.

Do you know other that I have not mentioned here?

As a contextualist in my visions about learning and teaching (Figueiredo & Afonso, 2006), I confess I do not feel at ease with strict classifications of both learning and teaching. Of course, classifications are useful to facilitate the initial structuring of our thoughts and the framing of our debate with other people, but I do not find it useful to try to explore them to the minute detail. In issues as complex as teaching and learning, I tend to favour the views of Mol and Law (2002), who prefer to resort to open lists, cases and walks where traditional approaches would choose classificatory systems, examples and maps.

In your opinion is there a perfect teaching technique?

No. There is no perfect teaching technique. Teaching is just a means to achieve an end, which is learning, and no means can be judged independently from the ends in view. The measure of the adequacy of a teaching technique is, thus, the degree of its success in promoting the desired learning. Learning, in turn, depends on the personal characteristics of the learner (or learners), on what is to be learned, and on the context (or ecosystem) where the learning takes place. No Swiss army knife technique exists to cover all the possible combinations of that challenge. In fact, the learning requirements of different learners are often, not just different, but contradictory.

Or is the joint use of some of them that is going to enhance education?

I would not use the expression ‘joint use’, but rather ‘organic combination’, assuming a mutual interpenetration between the techniques and room for creativity in putting that combination to practice. Teaching techniques should not be seen as mechanical intermediaries in the learning process, but rather as mediators, which transform, translate, and modify (Latour, 2005, 39). This means that the combination of two or more techniques can be much more than the sum of the techniques.

To what extent do you consider that the quality of an online course depends on the teaching technique that is used by the e-teacher?

The quality of an online course depends on an array of many factors, including the teaching techniques. It should be stressed, however, that online courses are not the mere transposition of traditional face-to-face courses to the online medium. In this sense, it is not correct to talk about “the teaching technique used by the e-teacher”. In many online courses the teaching techniques are established for specific learners, for specific topics, or for specific courses. They are established by a design team and conceived for the whole ecosystem of the course, and they are not handled solely by the e-teacher. In fact, in many online courses there is no such figure as the e-teacher.


Figueiredo, A. D., & Afonso, A. P. (2006). Context and Learning: A Philosophical Framework. In A. D. Figueiredo and A. P. Afonso (Eds.), Managing Learning in Virtual Settings: the Role of Context, pp. 1-22. Hershey, PA, USA: Information Science Publishing.

Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford University Press, USA.

Mol, A., & Law, J. (2002). Complexities: An Introduction. In Law, J. & Mol, A. (Eds.). Complexities: Social Studies of Knowledge Practices. Duke University Press.

Best wishes for your course.

António Dias de Figueiredo

My one-question interview was:

My name is Monica Velosa and I am from Portugal, specifically Madeira Island. I am doing a Masters in Education e-Learning in the Open University (Universidade Aberta).
Currently, I am attending the discipline of Pedagogical Processes in Elearning, taught by Professor Morten Flate Paulsen. He proposed to his students the following activity:

"Make a one-question-interview with either an online teacher or an author of one of the articles in your annotated bibliography.
The question should be related to online teaching techniques, teacher workload or online assignments. "

Thus, I would be very pleased if you could ask the question I have considered to be pertinent.


We all live in a Society of Information and commmunication increasingly dominated by Technology, where the growth of individual knowledge is progressing at a crazy pace. Society is more and and more influenced by the outcome of the interaction of each of us with the world and with the new Technologies.

In this new society, it is essential to enhance and update the school, creating conditions for the stundents' success, consolidating the role of Information and Comunication Technology as a key resource for learning and teaching in this new era.

An online teacher has the possibility to choose between a set of teaching techniques, for e.g. One-alone Techniques, One-to-one Techniques, One-to-many Techniques and Many-to-many Techniques, as mentioned in The Online Report on Pedagogical Techniques for Computer-Mediated Communication, writed by Morten Flate Paulsen.

Do you Know other that I have not mentioned here?

In your opinion is there a perfect teaching technique? Or is the joint use of some of them that is going to enhance education?

To what extent do you consider that the quality of an online course depends on the teaching technique that is used by the e-teacher?

Thank you for the time spent.

sexta-feira, 11 de dezembro de 2009

Learner experience projects

The learner experience projects have used a range of research methods but all have taken a holistic approach to technology use. They are not so interested in how technology is being used on one module, or in one part of the institution, as in how learners interact with technology throughout their learning week and learning year. Also there is a focus on what technology means to learners, with many methods that feature learners talking about how they learn with technology.

Links to methods assets

We have produced a set of recipe cards for different types of data collection methods, particularly well suited to evaluations of learners' experiences of e-learning: