It is an article from two Spanish psychology professors in which they make some questions about what the relationship should be between learning strategies and learning objects in an e-learning environment. After reading this article, I was considering useful to think about learning objects and e-text books. Which should be the learning objects a good instructional e-text might have in order to be successful?
Students can use different learning strategies based in their previous personal experience, their previous cognitive resources. This is called metacognition by psychologists (the background you have to approach a learning experience)
Bologna process is oriented to an only goal: “student learning”, so methodology and contents (e-books, technical notes…) have to be flexible enough in order to get this goal. Each student has his own personal resources so the contents have to be flexible enough in the sequencing. Two different students may sequence contents differently.
Contents should have a default sequencing that may be slightly changed by the student. We used “slightly” deliberately. As we are dealing with undergraduate students, we are supposed to give them a specific path, providing they have the possibility to change it. This shouldn’t be so important for postgraduate or life-long learning students.
Contents need a guide of use to support the specific learning strategy related to the area of knowledge. Different learning strategies contribute to achieving different skills in the students. For instance, areas like engineering need learning strategies that promote complex thinking in order to divide complex problems in a sum of more simple ones.
Our proposal is to consider three types of virtual contents for Bologna (technical notes, workgroups and deliverables). These contents should contain different learning objects and be associated to one or various specific learning strategies. The learning strategy adopted should be oriented to develop in the students certain skills an engineer must have.
Thinking about our reflections in the DICE Forum about e-text books, we can state that a successful e-text book has to include a specific learning strategy with a flexible sequencing that professor may select for students. Of course, each e-text book should include several learning objects to achieve our goal.
For example, each chapter of an e-book may have these learning objects:
URLs included within the text. They can be links to other sections of the e-book or to internet web pages (similar to wikipedia)
The associated learning strategy would be the default sequencing of the e-book.
Please, give us your feedback on e-text books. We are strongly convinced they are going to be an important tool in the future University we are designing today.