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Contemporary learning environments: designing e-learning for education in the professions

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journal contribution
posted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by Stephen Segrave, Dale Holt
Designing e-learning environments for quality professional education is a challenge for education designers, as the continuing practice of simply moving courses online can be surprisingly disabling. We argue that as universities strive to educate for excellence in professional practice, design approaches for the e-learning components must be conceptualized in a broader view of a contemporary learning environment involving integrated virtual and physical dimensions. These are comprehensively considered in an integrated way to facilitate learning experiences providing an emphasis on grounded practice. Our paper considers learning environments in the service of a broader understanding of a professional "practicum." In providing the more flexible, immediate and evolving virtual experiences, e-learning as a feature must take account of a range of education design considerations we model in a framework of elements. These are outlined, and broader issues are illuminated through a comparative case analysis of educational technology developments at Deakin University in the two professional fields of teaching and journalism. The Education Studies Online (ESO) project and the HOTcopy newsroom simulation project exemplify elements of the approach recommended in addressing the challenges of quality professional education. We highlight the generative role of the education designer in adopting an integrative and strategic stance, when creating such environments. Implications for the selection and use of various e-learning resources and corporate e-learning systems become evident as we highlight the dangers of a returning "instructional industrialism" as we risk allowing courses to "move online", rather than moving towards proposed features of contemporary learning environments.

History

Journal

Distance education

Volume

24

Issue

1

Pagination

7 - 24

Publisher

Routledge

Location

Melbourne, Vic

ISSN

0158-7919

eISSN

1475-0198

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2003, Taylor & Francis

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