eLearning Papers Special Edition 2010

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For this special printed issue, eLearning Papers focuses on innovation, networks and collaboration. We understand technology as a means to share, build, inspire and transform learning practices in our knowledge society, through continuous innovation.

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eLearning Papers Special Edition 2010

  1. 1. eLearning Paperswww.elearningpapers.eu 2010 Special edition Breaking down the silos Transforming education through innovation and technology Imagining future Learning: Mapping major changes to education and training in 2025 The evolution of knowledge economies and innovation societies through learning A new web 2.0 learning environment: Concept, implementation, evaluation Networked Learning: A response to new challenges?
  2. 2. Special edition eLearning Papers www.elearningpapers.eu eLearning Papers eLearning Papers is a digital publication created as part of the elearningeuropa.info portal. The portal is an initiative of the European Commission to promote the use of multimedia technologies and Internet at the service of education and training. The articles provide views regarding the current situation and e-learning trends in different contexts: schools, universities, companies, civil society and institutions. As such, the journal adds a new dimension to the exchange of information on e-learning in Europe and stimulates research. eLearning Papers provides authors with an opportunity to have their texts published throughout Europe. Through these articles, the journal promotes the use of ICT for lifelong learning in Europe. eLearning Papers Special Edition 2010 edited by: ISBN: 84-8294-664-1 Muntaner 262, 3º, 08021 Barcelona (Spain) www.paueducation.com Design: Mar Nieto Phone: +34 933 670 406 editorial@elearningeuropa.info www.elearningpapers.eu Mission Statement eLearning Papers aims to make innovative ideas and practices in the field of learning more visible by highlighting different perspectives involving the use of technology. Legal notice and copyright By elearningeuropa.info and eLearning Papers. The views expressed are purely those of the authors and may not in any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the European Commission.Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for the use which might be made of the information contained in the present publication.The European Commission is not responsible for the external web sites referred to in the present publication. The texts published in this journal,unless otherwise indicated,are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 3.0 Unported licence.They may be copied,distributed and broadcast provided that the author and the e-journal that publishes them,eLearning Papers,are cited.Commercial use and derivative works are not permitted.The full licence can be consulted on http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
  3. 3. Contents Special edition 2010 eLearning Papers www.elearningpapers.eu Breaking down the silos Transforming education through innovation and technology Editorial Board ........................................................................................................4 Guidelines for submissions ................................................................................................. 5 Editorial ...................................................................................................................6 In-depth ...................................................................................................................8 Imagining future Learning: Mapping major changes to education and training in 2025.............................................................................................................. 9 The evolution of knowledge economies and innovation societies through learning ................................................................................................. 24 A new web 2.0 learning environment: Concept, implementation, evaluation .............. 33 Networked Learning: A response to new challenges?..................................................... 45 From the field........................................................................................................56 Playing with Science. Hands-on and High-Tech Learning in a Portuguese Kindergarten ............................................................................................ 57 Defining Quality. Hellenic Evaluation tool for School Internet Sites.............................. 59 Understanding the stakeholders. A key to the successful implementation of adult learning projects....................................................................... 61 Interview ...............................................................................................................65 The Editor’s Selection ..........................................................................................70
  4. 4. 4eLearningPapers Editorial Board Peer-reviewers Secretariat Tapio Koskinen, www.elearningpapers.eu, Director of the Editorial Board, Head of RD, Lifelong Learning, Institute Dipoli, Aalto University, Finland Maruja Gutierrez-Diaz, European Commission, Advisor to the Director, Education and Culture, Belgium Pierre-Antoine Ullmo, Director of P.A.U. Education Antonio Bartolomé, Audiovisual Communication Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain Claire Bélisle, CNRS Research Engineer, France Jean Underwood, Professor of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, UK Alfredo Soeiro, University of Porto, Portugal Ana Landeta, Madrid open University, Spain Anabela Mesquita, School of Accountancy and Administration of Porto, Portugal AvgoustosTsinakos, University of Kavala Institute ofTechnology, Greece Axel Schwarz, Saxon Ministry of Social Affairs - Dresden, Germany Barbara Jones, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research PREST, UK Bulent Cavas, International organization for Science and Technology Education,Turkey Carlos Morales, Lock Haven University, US Cengiz Hakan Aydin, open Education Faculty, Anadolu University, Turkey Christopher Douce, Institute of EducationalTechnolgy, open University, UK Claudia Panico, UniversitàTelematica “Leonardo da Vinci” TorrevecchiaTeatina, Italy Eduardo de Gregorio-Godeo, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain Emmanuel Bellengier, UI Learning, France Evangelos Marinos, University of Athens - Medical School, Greece Giovanni Vincenti, Gruppo Vincenti, Italy Giuliano Vivanet, University of Genoa, Italy Guillaume Durin, Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France Guzman Mancho, University of Lleida, Spain Karl Wilbers, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany Kay Mac Keogh, Dublin City University, Ireland Lucilla Costra, Associazione Kelidon, Italy Manfred Sargl, Universität der Bundeswehr, München and the University of Applied Sciences, Germany Margari León, i2basque, Spain Monia Sannia, University ofYork, UK Nuno Garcia, Magazines, International Conferences and Scientific websites, Portugal Pedro Maya Álvarez, Divulgación Dinámica S.L., Spain Santiago Palacios Navarro, UPV / EHU, Spain Paula Peres, Higher Institute of Accounting and Administration of Porto, ISCAP, Portugal 
 Jos Beishuizen, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Matty Smith, Programme Director, European Learning Industry Group (ELIG), UK Nicolas Balacheff, Kaleidoscope Scientific Manager; Senior Scientist at CNRS (National Scientific Research Center), France LluísTarín, www.elearningpapers.eu, Member of the Editorial Board, Spain Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Director of the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning; University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany Wojciech Zielinski, Chairman of the Board of MakoLab Ltd; Member of the Board of Association of Academic E-learning, Poland Jimena Márquez, P.A.U. Education
  5. 5. 5eLearningPapers Guidelines for submissions − Language: Both articles and summaries must be in English. Authors are responsible for ensuring the correct use of English in their texts, and translations should be revised before submission. Please note that the journal gives strong preference to articles that are correctly translated in a legible manner. − Title: Must effectively and creatively communicate the content of the article and may include a subtitle. − Summary:This is not an executive summary but rather should communicate the key points and conclusions of the article to a large audience. It should be written in an attractive and accessible manner. In-Depth summaries should not exceed 200 words. From the field summaries should not exceed 50 words. − Key words:Authors should include up to 5 relevant key words. − Conclusions: Special importance is given to the representation of the conclusions.Articles must go beyond telling about a research process and its methodology and provide an analysis of the findings. Conclusions should be clearly stated both in the summary and at the end of the article. − Images: Please send high-resolution JPEG files of all images you wish to include in the article. Please include captions for each image and indicate where they should be placed in the text. − References: References must be accurately cited following international standards, please consult the online guidelines for more details: www.elearningpapers. eu/index.php?page=collab_guide − Author profile:Author name, institution, position and email address must accompany each submission. For multiple authors, please specify the relationship of authors (ie, if a work is co-authored, if there is a principal author, etc.) Authors are encouraged to consult the website for the most recent call for papers: www.elearningpapers.eu In-Depth articles are full-length texts that discuss current findings from research or long-term studies.They should have the following characteristics: − Academic focus:Articles must be original, scientifically accurate and informative, reporting on new developments and recently concluded projects. − In good form editorially: Successful articles are clear and precise.They should develop their argument coherently and present a unity of thought. − Length:Articles should range from 4,000 to 6,000 words. In-depth From the field articles are synopses of current practices or studies taking place within Europe or beyond.They should have the following characteristics: − Brief communications:These articles should summarise experiencies and practices in education, innovation and technology with a focus on the applied methodologies and impact evaluation. − In good form editorially: Successful articles are clear and precise, they should concisely communicate the key points of the practice being discussed. − Length: Should not exceed 1,200 words. From the field All article submissions should be in DOC format and must include the following:
  6. 6. Special edition eLearning Paperswww.elearningpapers.eu eLearning Papers is inspired by the creative role ICTs have in transforming education. After four years and 21 published issues, our journal has become a space for debate and plurality and we look forward to critically accompanying future developments in the field of learning and ICTs. We have had the opportunity to meet with European researchers and practitioners and develop a fruitful dialogue with them.This has led to a new format and orientation of eLearning Papers, which are the result of a deep process of reflection. Every issue explores a specific theme within the field of learning innovation and new technologies and now the journal is organized to present a rigorous yet accessible portrait of each chosen topic. With these improvements eLearning Papers will continue to serve as a meeting place for formal, informal and non-formal learning practitioners who wish to communicate the results of their academic work and practices to a diverse and relevant European audience. For this inaugural issue, eLearning Papers focuses on innovation, networks and collaboration.We understand technology as a means to share, build, inspire and transform learning practices in our knowledge society, through continuous innovation. Transforming education.... Editorial
  7. 7. shift that transforms communication, knowledge and learning. By detailing promising advances and, in other instances, critically analysing progress in certain areas, the research presented here looks at our capacity to learn in different circumstances and elucidates the challenges and potential of ICT for improving our ability to develop as lifelong learners. Today, to be successful, students and professionals need to continually enhance their knowledge and skills in order to address immediate problems, making them participants in a process of continuing vocational and professional development.This issue addresses this reality by looking at new learning strategies and technologies. The section In-Depth presents full- length articles that discuss current findings from research or long-term studies.The articles provide four comprehensive views of innovation in learning. Imagining Future Learning by Slavi Stoyanov, Bert Hoogveld and Paul Krischener, and edited by Christine Redecker andYves Punie, summarises the initial results from a study that maps major changes to education and training expected to occur by 2020-2030. Authors Markku Markkula and Matti Sinko share their analysis of the pivotal and dynamic role learning has in shaping and fuelling true knowledge economies and innovation societies. Ingo Blees and Marc Rittberger present and discuss a new learning environment model based on web 2.0 applications. Finally,Anne Steinert and Ulf-Daniel Ehlers ask:Are today’s new social challenges stimulating a demand for a new form of learning? They explore whether or not existing theories are still applicable to today’s learning realities. In From the field, readers will encounter synopses of a selection of current practices or studies taking place within Europe or beyond.This issue’s From the field includes Paula Carqueja’s results from her study that compared technological and hands-on methods for teaching science in Kindergarten in Portugal. From the University of the Aegean, Dr.Alivizos Sofos and Aikaterini Alexopoulou Alexopoulou relate the RD process for the creation of a new tool to evaluate quality in school web sites. Finally, the consortium from the Quality Assurance Network for Adult Learning Centres project (Ari-Matti Avunen, et al) reports on an approach for evaluating formal and informal learning in adult learning centres using stakeholder analysis (SHA). Each eLearning Papers will also present an interview that will provide readers with insightful, original commentary from leading members of the field. This issue’s interview with Christine Redecker and Paul A. Kirschner, consortium members in the project “The Future of Learning: New Ways to Learn New Skills for Future Jobs” and an editor and author, respectively, of the report Mapping Major Changes to Education andTraining in 2025, reveals the latest news in their ongoing research of upcoming learning trends. Our Editor’s Selection serves as a brief snapshot of the latest trends in education, innovation and technology by providing reviews of books, blogs, websites and commentary on recent news. We would like to extend special thanks to all of our contributors whose work represents the research practices and themes our journal is interested in fostering and thank our readers for their continued enthusiasm and collaboration. We look forward to hearing from you! LluísTarin Member of the Editorial Board www.elearningpapers.eu Tapio Koskinen Director of the Editorial Board, eLearning Papers With a growing amount of technology available, coupled with an increasingly diverse range of learning settings, new roles for both educators and learners are emerging.Teachers serve as guides who help define suitable paths and strategies for learning, leading pupils in a quest for locating information, questioning it, understanding it and applying it. Additionally, they are expected to be able to create their own course materials online, and master new skills related to online teaching and learning support. Appropriating the educational environment and curriculum in this manner invites students to begin learning to learn.This implies changes in teacher and student relationships, as well as in the organisation and management of learning and teaching processes. Here we discuss the basic idea of learning innovation, which is transforming our schools, institutions and learning centres; institutions centred principally in teaching are now becoming community-centred sites where everybody learns and collaborates in order to develop competences. This development points to a cultural
  8. 8. In-depthFostering analysis and discussion on Learning trends in Europe Imagining future Learning: Mapping major changes to education and training in 2025 The evolution of knowledge economies and innovation societies through learning A new web 2.0 learning environment: Concept, implementation, evaluation Networked Learning: A response to new challenges? eLearningenvironment: Concept, eLearningenvironment: Concept, implementation, evaluation eLearningimplementation, evaluation eLearningNetworked Learning: A response to eLearningNetworked Learning: A response to new challenges? eLearningnew challenges? PaperseLearning PaperseLearning eLearning www.elearningpapers.eu eLearning Paperswww.elearningpapers.eu PaperseLearning PaperseLearning www.elearningpapers.eu eLearning PaperseLearning 2010
  9. 9. In-depth 9eLearningPapers Imagining future Learning: Mapping major changes to education and training in 2025 Keywords learner-centred approaches, cluster ratings, Group Concept Mapping To determine how education and training policy can adequately prepare learners for life in tomorrow’s society, we must envisage what competences will be relevant and how they may be acquired from 2020-2030.This report presents the findings of a structured and targeted expert consultation exercise, which aimed to identify, cluster and rate the main changes in education and training expected to occur over the next 20 years.The exercise employed group concept mapping methodology to generate, sort and rate more than 200 statements by a group of 13 experts.The objective of this study is to contribute to the development of imaginative visions and scenarios regarding the future of learning in order to support priority-setting for education, training and competency policies. The emerging map of future changes to education and training was divided into a set of 12 thematic clusters, ranging from technological changes to shifting pedagogical concepts. Anticipated changes that rated particularly high in importance include learner-centred,flexibleandpersonalised approachestolearning;theintegrationoflearninginto lifeandwork;andthedevelopmentandimplementation ofinnovativepedagogicalconcepts.When comparing the cluster ratings on importance and feasibility, it becomes clear that, while experts are optimistic about the development of technology-enhanced learning opportunities, scepticism prevails concerning the feasibility of implementing learner- centred approaches in formal education and, in general, the ability of formal education systems and institutions to keep pace with change and become more flexible and dynamic. Authors Slavi Stoyanov, Bert Hoogveld and Paul Kirschner Editors Christine Redecker andYves Punie Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) Christine.REDECKER@ec.europa.eu Yves.PUNIE@ec.europa.eu This article presents the results from a Group Concept Mapping (GCM) study conducted at the Open University of the Netherlands.Thirteen experts with backgrounds in technical or social sciences, mostly from academia and Europe, participated in the study. They were asked first to generate ideas individually about the future of education.The resulting ideas were sorted into groups according to similarity in meaning and rated on two scales: importance and feasibility. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis were applied to depict emerging structure in the data. As acknowledged by the Europe 2020 strategy, a fundamental transformation in education and training will be necessary in order to adapt to the new skills and competences Europe will require to remain competitive, overcome the current economic crisis and grasp new opportunities.To determine how education and training policy can adequately prepare learners for life in tomorrow’s society, we must envisage what competences will be Summary g 0
  10. 10. In-depth10eLearningPapers relevant and how they may be acquired from 2020-2030. This study was carried out within a larger research framework. It contributes to the Foresight on Learning, Innovation and Creativity (FORLIC) project entitled “The Future of Learning: new ways to learn new skills for future jobs”, launched in 2009 by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre) in collaboration with DG Education and Culture.This work continues and expands upon the work carried out from 2006-2008 on “Future Learning Spaces” (Punie et al., 2006, Punie Ala-Mutka, 2007, Miller et al., 2008), and relates to ongoing work involving different target groups ranging from policy-makers and scientists to educators and learners which will be completed during 2010 and 2011. The research process detected twelve thematic clusters.The participants in the focus group took part in an intensive process in which they were asked to gather, cluster and rate insights on major changes to education 20 years from now. For this study, 30 educational experts were invited to take part, 18 accepted the invitation and, finally, 13 participated in all three phases of the research process: idea generation, sorting and rating. The group of experts, with backgrounds in technical or social sciences, represented a balanced sample of educational expertise and professional orientation. Eleven experts came from European countries located in different geographical zones. Two experts represented institutions from the USA. Eleven experts were academics and two were from industry. The clusters indicate changes in the nature of education, highlighting technological and structural innovation, trends towards professionalisation and life-long learning, and the evolution of our own social understanding of the meaning of education and school. What follows is a brief characterisation of each cluster. For additional statistics and data regarding the make-up of each category, we encourage readers to visit project website (ipts.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ publications/ pub.cfm?id=3419). New coordinates, new paths: the 12 clusters Technology in education: the title of this cluster strongly represents the content of the grouping. Statements in this cluster reflect a wide-held belief in the potential of technology to continue providing new tools and learning environments in schools. Representative statements from this cluster include: practice will be captured through mobile devices and integrated with cloud-based portfolios; services on the Internet will serve as a study environment; augmented reality applications will be a major tool for learning. Tools and services enhancing learning: includes references to the development of possible learning facilitators, in terms of tools, materials and services, and led to the following statements: the growing role of media for improving cognitive performance will support the learner with facts and simulation outcomes; drugs that enhance learning effectiveness will be widely (legally?) available and used; systems and services will be developed to allow mutual peer group learning among groups of interested learners. Open education and resources: gathers the possibilities surrounding open education, including its construction, as well as general access to free learning resources. Expert contributions garnered such statements as: open educational resources will become widely adopted; there will be Internet and access all around the globe, allowing learning to flow in all directions; text books will be replaced
  11. 11. In-depth 11eLearningPapers The clusters indicate changes in the nature of education, highlighting technological and structural innovation, trends towards professionalisation and life-long learning, and the evolution of our own social understanding of the meaning of education and school. Figure 1. Cluster label map. 9 Life-long learning 6 Roles of institutions 8 Roles of teacher 7 Individual and profession driven education 10 Formal education goes informal 11 Individual and social nature of learning 5 Globalisation of education 4 Assessment, accreditation and qualifications 3 Open education and resources 1 Technology in education 2 Tools and services enhancing learning 12 Epistemological and ontological bases of pedagogical methods
  12. 12. In-depth12eLearningPapers by electronic multimedia publications; lecture capture will be omnipresent. Assessment, accreditation and qualifications: this title is also highly representative of its content. Statements included: different types of certifications will emerge that are not related to formal learning institutions; ways will be found to align assessment with how people actually learn and to make it more meaningful; we will recognise people for what they do rather than what qualifications they have. Globalisation of education: encompasses trends related to the internationalisation of education in a broad sense, looking at education from a global rather than local perspective. Statements in this cluster included: all educational systems in Europe will be connected in a central system to identify the best students in order to support them regardless of their country of origin; in Europe (EU), many students will learn with and from each other through international collaboration; we will cease to rely on experts as the source of knowledge and curricula and will move towards quality, based on use and endorsement through Internet systems. Role of institutions: another cluster whose label strongly represents its content. Representative statements included: the main roles of educational institutions will be about providing learners with guidance on how to shape their personal learning trajectories, how to choose learning formats and resources needed, and how to assess their progress and outcomes; educational institutions will be reinvented as community knowledge centres serving both local communities and more widely dispersed learner groups; government-funded higher education will start to privatise. Individual and profession-driven education: speaks of individualisation, learner locus of control and professionalisation. Statements included: classmates will be matched on the basis of their knowledge, skills and preferred teaching and learning styles rather than their age; learners will choose their own learning paths; the responsibility for learning will be with an individual, not outsourced to an external institution. Role of teacher: statements included: the natural role of the teacher will be that of a mediator of learning; teachers will need to develop coaching/mentoring skills; teachers will be natural learners; the majority of teachers will work online from home, either freelance or for an online educational organisation. Life-long learning: led to the following statements: learning will be integrated and absorbed into everyday activities, and it will become common for people to move between occupations, with learning being key to supporting such moves; students will choose to learn with people from their own network; professional networks will be one of the main means of education; we will have to develop skills to pick up relevant learning resources from an overwhelming wealth and variety of material and build our own learning trajectories around them. Formal education goes informal: addresses, as the title suggests, the shift of focus to, and the increasing role of, informal learning.The following statements exemplify the experts’ response on the topic: education will leave the classroom;There will be a lowering of the school leaving age as it is recognised that other contexts for learning may be more effective and more motivating than school; secondary education will shift towards creative authenticity and social-mindedness. Individual and social nature of learning: refers to cognitive and social aspects of learning. It led to such statements as: different learning styles and adapted teaching methods for the same courses will be available for individual and social learning; the The very central position of the life-long learning cluster was an important result of the data sorting.
  13. 13. In-depth 13eLearningPapers learner will invest more in the cerebral aspects of learning: strategic, problem- oriented, situational and creative; learners will teach each other in the process of learning. Epistemological and ontological bases of pedagogical methods: this cluster considers pedagogical methods and their theoretical and empirical foundations. Examples of statements include: social and cognitive processes and convergences will become part of the pedagogical methods; information will be manipulated [and] anchored in specific creativity techniques to facilitate synthesis and creativity; guided learning in a group will be complemented with learning in and from loosely knit networks; cross- curriculum (inter-disciplinary) project activities will dominate the course design; constructivism will still be there, but new paradigms will have arisen. As we know from experience and practice, the issues represented by these clusters relate closely to one another.These relationships are represented by the borders between clusters on the map (Figure 1). Data sorting clearly reveals that there were more technology-oriented clusters, such as technology in education or tools and services enhancing learning. Importantly, the map provides information about how clusters relate and intersect with these technological concerns. Open education and resources, for example, bridges the more technology-oriented clusters and the globalisation of education and assessment, accreditation and qualifications clusters.Technology facilitates the access of people to open education and resources. Open educational resources require adequate forms of assessment and accreditation on both national and international levels. In our initial reading of the map, we can see that there were four clusters that suggest a shift of responsibility for education from institutions to individuals: role of teachers, role of institutions, individual and profession- driven education and formal education goes informal. In addition, there were two clusters, individual and social nature of learning and epistemological and ontological bases of pedagogical methods, which were learning-oriented. They included issues related to cognitive and social aspects of learning as a basis for the design of effective, efficient and appealing learning environments. The very central position of the life- long learning cluster was an important result of the data sorting.This cluster was a connection point for all the other clusters.This implies that life-long learning processes are closely linked to issues related to technology, learning and teaching, and change in the role of institutions, teachers and learners. Navigating between boundaries The statements on which the clusters were based were generated in response to a focus or trigger statement that was given to each participant.The focus statement was as follows: We all have the feeling that education in 20 years’ time will have to be different from education today. Education then will possibly deal with a new set of skills and competences, new curricula or types of curricula, innovative ways of learning and assessment, different roles for teachers and educational institutions, different impacts of technology, to mention just a few of the possible differences.We ask you to generate statements about your thoughts about education in 20 years, and to do this using the following format: One specific change in education in 20 years’ time will be that: … In addition to the focus statement, experts received suggestions to better
  14. 14. In-depth14eLearningPapers illustrate the type of outcomes that were expected.These examples were: learning will not be restricted to traditional educational institutions; teachers will become mediators between students, knowledge and technology; learning will be much more driven by Internet-based social networking; life-long learning will be the norm; class size will not matter; and learning methods will take into account cognitive structures and processes. Each expert was prompted to think outside the box and not edit his/ her ideas for fear of writing down something ridiculous. Furthermore, participants were reminded that GCM brainstorming differs from classical brainstorming, in that it is not an “anything goes” moment but rather a targeted exercise of eliciting all possible ideas and issues in response to the context and the focus statement. Surprisingly, 203 unique ideas were generated, a quantity that exceeds the number of ideas produced in any other GCM study.This effect may be explained by the sample of experts, the instructions provided and the openness of the topic (the future of learning) in general. Practice suggests that if the number of resulting ideas exceeds 150, a pre-selection by a small group of analysts is needed to assist with the sorting and rating (Trochim, 2007). However, we decided not to carry out a pre-selection procedure. First, we believed that the participants in this study were experts in this domain, and we felt that it did not make much sense to invite experts and then do the job for them. Second, by avoiding pre- selection, we also hoped to minimise the effect of researcher bias on the validity of the study. Connecting the dots The GCM methodology is a process that applies a structured, participative approach to facilitate groups of experts in reaching a consensus about a particular issue, e.g. characteristics of learning in 2020 (Kane, 2008; Quinlan, Hall,Tuzzio, McLaughlin,Wagner, Brown, Yabroff, 2008; Stoyanov Kirschner, 2004;Trochim, 1989; Wopereis, Kirschner, Paas, Stoyanov Hendriks, 2005). GCM uses experts’ original intact respondent statements as units of analysis to help participants later sort and then quantitatively aggregate their contributions, so that structures in the data emerge.This research method, by its hybrid nature, can easily integrate any qualitative method for data collection and analysis, such as individual interviews, surveys, focus groups or the Delphi method. After the individual brainstorming procedure, the experts were asked to sort and rate a final list of all responses according to two idea-structuring activities, first based on meaning and then based on importance and feasibility.The instructions for sorting contained standard guidelines (Concept System, 2004).The participants’ initial action was to group all the statements by similarity in meaning, judging personal criteria and associations, thus creating their own cluster map. Having allocated each statement, the participants were then expected to pick any one group of statements and write a short phrase or title describing that group’s content. The data from the participants’ idea generation, sorting and rating was subsequently aggregated and analysed by the project consortium. Specifically, multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to depict the emerging structure of the data. Each statement was placed on a map in accordance with the experts’ sorting, reflecting the proximity or distance of each statement to the others. Based on the position of the statements and the clusters proposed by the experts, the statements were finally clustered into 12 groups, which were labelled using titles suggested by the experts (Figure 1). Input for the multidimensional scaling (MDS) generates a total
  15. 15. In-depth 15eLearningPapers Surprisingly, 203 unique ideas were generated, a quantity that exceeds the number of ideas produced in any other GCM study. This effect may be explained by the sample of experts, the instructions provided and the openness of the topic. Figure 2.The Future of Education point map resulting from MDS analysis 3 42 65 16 13 82 87 4 14 28 30 10 80 49 180 108 193 133 148 116114 192 175 115 181 77 17 3851 66 166 119 156 110 131 158 191 189 112 151 123 79 200 142 29 201 25 78 52 33 194 22 70 137 96134 117 85 165 187 143 74 64 17 26 100 152 59 202 153 8 177 50 63 81 40 144 31 111 163 129 140 159 93 107 136 47 9 6 2 99 67 87 84 113 88 145 184 72 118 20 48 147 57 149 69 102 68 37 43 55 135 141 124 122 109 176 196 120 24 15 56 36 12 45 21 99 139 174 92 11127 184 161 188 162 146 145 172 125 58 60 94 53 32 101 183 121 107 190 182 128 178 185 35 167 90 157 138 75 198 170 38 73 150 83 130 166 132 203 98 34 105 1 126 27 154 168 62 103 195 164 76 61 179 173 44 18 41 98 23 54 957 5 171 186189 180 162 19
  16. 16. In-depth16eLearningPapers square similarity matrix, based on the outcomes of the participants’ sorting. The methodology transforms the similarity matrix into a map depicted as a coordinated matrix. From the coordinates, MDS can compute the distances between all pairs of statements (points) and show this as a graph of distances between points. Figure 2 shows the results of the MDS analysis performed on the data collected, where each point represents one of the 203 statements generated.The closer the statements are to each other, the more people identified these statements as being related, pointing to similarities in their meaning. It should be noted that FORLIC is the first foresight study to employ GCM. Predicting the future of education with this method brings more complexity to the data and perhaps increases the variability in the way people group statements. However, one may question whether the point map actually represents the original similarity input matrix.The extent to which each of the distances between the statements on the map deviates from the values of the total similarity matrix, which is used as input to the map, is measured with the stress index (Kruskal Wish, 1978). In principle, the lower the value of the stress index, the better the overall fit between the map and the input matrix. A meta-analytical study across a broad range of concept mapping projects indicated that around 95% of concept mapping projects would produce a stress index value ranging between 0.205 and 0.365.The stress value of the FORLIC project GCM study is 0.355, falling within the expected range. The hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) applies Ward’s agglomerative algorithm and uses the values of the coordinates of the two-dimensional MDS to partition the statements on the map in areas that are contiguous but do not overlap (Trochim, 2007). Ward’s hierarchical cluster analysis uses the coordinate values of the MDS, rather than the similarity matrix, and it was chosen because it is more adept than other hierarchical cluster analyses at interpreting distance data.This is especially useful when deciding on the number of clusters. The procedure for determining the number of clusters in the FORLIC GCM applies the heuristic known as 20-to-5, which is based on the fact that most of the participants in GCM projects make between five and 20 clusters.We began with the 20-cluster solution, checking at each step whether the solution from the merging of clusters made sense, until we arrived at the five-cluster solution. We recorded all our judgements (“yes” or “no”) about the merging of clusters and, after finishing the procedure, we looked only at the few “yes” judgements for a deeper analysis of the cluster content. To come to a decision, we also looked at the bridging/anchoring values of the statement in a particular cluster. The bridging/anchoring statistics have a value between 0 and 1.A low bridging/anchoring value means that more people have grouped the statement together with others in its vicinity. Statements with a low bridging/anchoring value represent the meaning of a particular cluster’s content better than those with a higher value.This analysis determined that a 12-cluster solution fits the FORLIC data in the best possible way. Figure 3 presents this solution. In addition to determining the clusters, we tried to identify a label that would best reflect the content of each particular cluster.We applied two criteria: (a) statements with a low bridging/anchoring value represent the content of a cluster better than statements with a high bridging value;
  17. 17. In-depth 17eLearningPapers Figure 3.The 12 cluster solution 3 42 65 16 13 82 87 4 14 28 30 10 80 49 180 108 193 133 148 116114 192 175 115 181 77 17 3851 66 166 119 156 110 131 158 191 189 112 151 123 79 200 142 29 201 25 78 52 33 194 22 70 137 96134 117 85 165 187 143 74 64 17 26 100 152 59 202 153 8 177 50 63 81 40 144 31 111 163 129 140 159 93 107 136 47 9 6 2 99 67 87 84 113 88 145 184 72 118 20 48 147 57 149 69 102 68 37 43 55 135 141 124 122 109 176 196 120 24 15 56 36 12 45 21 99 139 174 92 11127 184 161 188 162 146 145 172 125 58 60 94 53 32 101 183 121 107 190 182 128 178 185 35 167 90 157 138 75 198 170 38 73 150 83 130 166 132 203 98 34 105 1 126 27 154 168 62 103 195 164 76 61 179 173 44 18 41 98 23 54 957 5 171 186189 180 162 19
  18. 18. In-depth18eLearningPapers Figures four and five represent the outcome of this rating process. In these diagrams, each cluster is shown to have between one and five layers, these layers represent the average score experts gave the cluster during the rating exercise. Figure 4. Cluster rating map on importance 9 Life-long learning 6 Roles of institutions 8 Roles of teacher 7 Individual and profession driven education 10 Formal education goes informal 11 Individual and social nature of learning 5 Globalisation of education 4 Assessment, accreditation and qualifications 3 Open education and resources 1 Technology in education 2 Tools and services enhancing learning 12 Epistemological and ontological bases of pedagogical methods
  19. 19. In-depth 19eLearningPapers Figure 5. Cluster rating map on feasibility 9 Life-long learning 6 Roles of institutions 8 Roles of teacher 7 Individual and profession driven education 10 Formal education goes informal 11 Individual and social nature of learning 5 Globalisation of education 4 Assessment, accreditation and qualifications 3 Open education and resources 1 Technology in education 2 Tools and services enhancing learning 12 Epistemological and ontological bases of pedagogical methods
  20. 20. In-depth20eLearningPapers and (b) the labels originally proposed by experts. Priorities and perspective Once clusters were determined, participants rated them according to which ideas about the future of education were deemed important and which were considered feasible to achieve in 20 years’ time. During this final stage, experts were asked to rate the statements on a scale of one to five, and it was made clear that the emphasis should be on relative rather than absolute rating.The instructions prompted the experts to use the full range of ratings values (i.e. one through to five) in order to avoid the participants considering all ideas equally important because they were generated by experts. Figures four and five represent the outcome of this rating process. In these diagrams, each cluster is shown to have between one and five layers, these layers represent the average score experts gave the cluster during the rating exercise. Specific numerical values for each layer are listed in the diagram Key. What emerged from this sorting was an overarching vision that the most important innovations will be the most difficult to achieve. Generally speaking, the learning-related clusters scored higher in importance than the technology-oriented clusters. The individual and social nature of learning and individual and profession driven education clusters got the highest score in importance (it is shown with 5 layers in the diagram, Figure 4).The life-long learning, epistemological and ontological bases of pedagogical methods and formal education goes informal clusters all had only one layer less.The participants in the study deemed the technology in education and open education and resources clusters least important. One probable explanation for this result is that the participants viewed technology and open education as merely means for learning.Technology alone is neither the problem nor the solution for education and training, but a good understanding of the cognitive and social aspects of learning is a basis for designing effective learning environments and materials. The cluster map showing their feasibility (Figure 5), on the other hand, clearly shows that the technology- oriented clusters (technology in education, open education and resources and tools and services enhancing learning) were seen as easy to achieve. However, the more learning-oriented clusters, such as informal learning, self- directed learning, personalisation and professionalisation of education and training were seen as difficult to implement.The results from the feasibility ratings also seem to suggest that it is easier to understand learning than to use this knowledge to design learning environments (individual and social nature of learning had three layers; epistemological and ontological bases of pedagogical methods had two). The ladder graph in Figure 6 provides a visual comparison of the clusters. One side shows how each cluster rated on importance, while the other represents a cluster’s perceived feasibility in terms of achievement in 20 years’ time. Interestingly, there was a very weak relationship between the two values, and the clusters deemed important were not deemed feasible. The open education and resources, technology in education, individual and social aspects of learning and formal education goes informal clusters had the largest margins in scores on the two scales.There were relatively small differences in the scores of clusters such as life-long learning, role of teacher, and assessment, accreditation and qualification. In terms of making this data useful in a real way, our assumption is that statements that score high in both The learning-related clusters scored higher in importance than the technology-oriented clusters.
  21. 21. In-depth 21eLearningPapers importance and feasibility should be our starting point when planning the implementation of changes in education and training. Following this logic, a specific analysis comparing the statements on importance and feasibility within each cluster was developed and deemed the “go- zone”.A go-zone is a bivariate graph that maps the average ratings for the importance and feasibility of each statement per cluster.The graph is divided into quadrants based on the mean rating values of importance and feasibility.The upper right quadrant represents issues that are above average on both variables (very important and very feasible). Figure 7 is an example Formal education goes informal Formal education goes informal Open education and resources Tools and services enhancing learning Technology in education Life-long learning Assessment, accreditation and qualifications Individual and profession driven education Roles of teacher Roles of institutions Epistemological and ontological bases of pedagogical methods Globalisation of education Individual and social nature of learning Formal education goes informal Individual and social nature of learning Individual and profession driven education Formal education goes informal Life-long learning Epistemological and ontological bases of pedagogical methods Tools and services enhancing learning Assessment, accreditation and qualifications Globalisation of education Roles of institutions Roles of teacher Open education and resources Technology in education Importance Feasibility Figure 6.Thematic clusters and their importance and feasibility ratings on a scale from 1 (high) to 5 (low)
  22. 22. In-depth22eLearningPapers of a go-zone comparing the statements in the life-long learning cluster on importance and feasibility. The statements in the upper-right quadrant are rated as both important and feasible. For this cluster, the statements in this quadrant are: open learning through the Internet will become common (176); the workplace will become a major context for learning (25); students will combine working and learning (194); university students will attend courses within their working schedule (55); we will have to develop skills for picking up relevant learning resources from what is abundantly available and build our own learning trajectories around them (29); the learning environment will change throughout one’s lifetime, from school to workplace and home (124);“life- long learning will be natural (120); and education and learning will go on throughout life, from the cradle to the grave, so to speak, from pre- school to old age (135). The clusters with the most visible orientation on the upper-right side of the go-zone graphics are individual and social nature of learning and individual and profession-driven education. In contrast, globalisation of education and role of teacher each have only one statement in the upper-right quadrant.The lowest correlation between importance and feasibility can be found in the assessment, accreditation and qualification (r = .07), life-long learning (r = .08), and role of teacher (r = -.09) clusters. Overall, statements located in the upper-right quadrants of the go-zones made up about 25% of the total ideas generated. Annex 4, available online, lists all the statements classified in this manner. Inspiring debate Group Concept Mapping within the FROLIC project proved to be an effective and efficient approach for generating an initial tentative landscape of future learning strategies and pathways.The data have outlined major changes to education and training expected in the next 10-20 years, indicating the relationships that different trends share with one another and revealing initial insight into the importance and feasibility of some of the more salient foreseen changes. Our experience has led us to conclude that employing the GCM method was not only appealing to participants, but also served as a valuable tool for data collection, aggregation and analysis. The maps that emerge from this analysis illustrate a vision of future changes ranging from technological developments to shifting pedagogical concepts. According to experts, anticipated changes that rate particularly high in importance include learner-centred, flexible and personalised approaches to learning; the integration of learning into life and work; and the development and implementation of innovative pedagogical concepts. When comparing ratings regarding the importance and feasibility of perceived changes, it becomes clear that, while experts are optimistic about the development of technology-enhanced learning opportunities, scepticism prevails concerning the implementation of learner-centred approaches in formal education and, in general, there is doubt about the ability of formal education systems and institutions to keep pace with change and become more flexible and dynamic. The results from this GCM study lay the empirical foundations for the Future of Learning project (is.jrc. ec.europa.eu/pages/EAP/ForCiel. html), and they will be elaborated Figure 7. Life-long learning go-zone 70 52 196 31 78 22 46 109 79 33 r = .08 3.84 4.73 Importance Life-long learningFeasibility 2.27 2.18 3.67 4.82 122 124 176 25 120 29135 43 142 141 200 201 19455
  23. 23. In-depth 23eLearningPapers Concept System 4 [Computer Software]. (2010). Concept System, Inc. Ithaca, N.Y. Kane, M. (2008). Engaging stakeholders to develop a research agenda for healthy aging. Concept System, Inc. Miller, R., H. Shapiro K. E. Hilding-Hamann (2008). School’s Over: Learning Spaces in Europe in 2020: An Imagining Exercise on the Future of Learning. JRC Scientific and Technical Reports, EUR 23532 EN. Seville: European Commission - Joint Research Centre - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. Available at: http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC47412.pdf Punie,Y., Cabrera, M., Bogdanowicz, M., Zinnbauer, D., Navajas, E. (2006). The Future of ICT and Learning in the Knowledge Society. Report on a Joint DG JRC/IPTS-DG EAC Workshop held in Seville, 20-21 October 2005. JRC Scientific and Technical Reports, EUR 22218 EN. Seville: European Commission - Joint Research Centre - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. Available at: http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/eur22218en.pdf Punie,Y. and Ala-Mutka, K. (2007) Future Learning Spaces: New Ways of Learning and New Digital Competences to Learn. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 210-225. Quinlan, K., Hall, K.,Tuzzio, L., McLaughlin, W., Wagner, E., Brown, M., Yabroff, R. (2008). Identifying Research Priorities for the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Research Network. Concept System, Inc. Stoyanov, S. Kirschner, P. A. (2004). Expert concept mapping method for defining the characteristics of adaptive e-learning: ALFANET project case. Educational Technology Research and Development, 52, 2, 41–56. Trochim, W. (1989). An introduction to concept mapping for planning and evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning 12, 1–16. Wopereis, I., Kirschner, P. A., Paas, F., Stoyanov, S., Hendriks, M. (2005). Failure and success factors of educational ICT projects: a group concept mapping approach. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36, 681–684. References upon as the research progresses. Given the nature of the data collection and analysis, the emerging landscape provided by the data can only serve as a starting point for further discussion. The main value of the findings lies in their ability to inspire debate within the field and highlight themes and issues that could be of particular relevance and importance for stakeholders involved in shaping the future of learning.We therefore hope that the results are considered carefully when envisaging and addressing imminent learning needs and strategies. Read more www.elearningeuropa.info/2025
  24. 24. In-depth24eLearningPapers The evolution of knowledge economies and innovation societies through learning Keywords innovation strategy, learning environment, knowledge society, systemic innovation This article describes and analyses the pivotal and dynamic role of learning in shaping and fuelling the metamorphosis of current post-industrial societies and economies into true knowledge economies and innovation societies.We start by contrasting two contemporary expert views in Europe on the role of learning in emerging innovation societies and then we reflect on these views.To gather momentum, we look back at a few classics of modern work-based learning theory to find arguments that will show us promising ways forward.We base our discussion on contemporary debates as well as on our vast experience in tackling the challenges of developing complex interfaces and joint learning environments between academia and the work place. Globalisation has made systems intelligence a key factor of success, and working life will experience a marked shift towards an emphasis on new, visionary knowledge creation. We attempt to address the full range of issues, from generic, global traits and trends to a specific training concept piloted by a university outreach programme. Our main concern is that the decisive importance of learning as the vehicle for pulling contemporary societies out of the current crisis has been identified but not yet fully recognised by policy-makers, whose mindsets are constrained by past policies and beliefs. We suggest that a departure from traditional thinking is necessary in order to equip emerging knowledge economies with the mastery of systemic innovation. Markku Markkula and Matti Sinko Aalto University markku.markkula@aalto.fi matti.sinko@tkk.fi Introduction The world is currently experiencing the most severe economic crisis since the depression of the 1930’s. At the same time, the disastrous impact of global warming on the economy is gathering momentum.These clouds on the horizon darken our future prospects.At the same time, these major challenges may prevent us from seeing other significant trends that are also having an impact on living conditions in post-modern societies and emerging knowledge economies. This article aims to address a number of such issues, particularly those related to learning, which have perhaps been temporarily overshadowed by the current economic turmoil.There are interesting and important technological, pedagogical and social innovations which should be elaborated in order to harness innovation systems and thereby foster creativity in tackling the challenges of reorganising our economies and social orders.The decision taken in Europe to dedicate this year to innovation and creativity may be timelier than one might think. Summary
  25. 25. In-depth 25eLearningPapers We approach the topic first through an important recent European report published by IPTS1 .We then juxtapose this report against a recent national innovation strategy adopted in Europe. We have chosen for this the Finnish Government’s Communication to the Parliament on Finland’s National Innovation Strategy2 .We will reflect on these contributions and compare some selected features.The decision to focus on a national perspective might be criticised as anachronistic in our increasingly global economy, but it nevertheless allows us to draw a schematic presentation of the complexity of the dependencies that impact innovation processes.This approach will help demonstrate and test some of the important dimensions and assumptions about societal traits and dynamics laid out in the IPTS report.We have chosen Finland as a case study for obvious reasons: because we know it best, but also because Finland has been one of the quickest off the mark in the field of innovation policy development, and as one of the hot spots of the innovation world, it has something relevant to offer to a wider audience3 . Finally, we try to penetrate into the internal dynamics of learning systems and highlight some prominent elements, again using a Finnish case as an example. Characteristics and dynamics of an innovative knowledge society An interesting forecasting exercise for mapping the complex relationship between emerging innovation societies and learning systems has been undertaken recently by the Institute for ProspectiveTechnological Studies. Miller et al. (2008) applied a methodology which aimed to identify the characteristics of future learning spaces (LS) framed by the future learning-intensive society (LIS).The resulting construct is a scenario of how society might function in 2020 with open learning as the core. In the LIS scenario, LS are “the next school”.The scenario is based on the assumption that the now-wavering mass production and mass consumption of current societies no longer prevail, or as they put it: “... the crucial moment in industrial society when the entrepreneur or engineer or designer comes up with an idea that can then be implemented by taking advantage of economies of scale is no longer central.The aims and organization of wealth creation no longer take on the form of a pyramid or hierarchy, with the genius who generates new ideas and the technocrat manager who implements them occupying the top floor, while down below at end of the chain of command is the “front-line” worker ... Everyone is the inventor and implementer of his or her own designs, the unique, personalized set of artefacts, services, and experiences.As a result, in the Learning- intensive Society there is a profound difference when compared to industrial society in the relationship of knowledge to production or, in more general terms, the activities that (re)create daily life.” (p. 35) This scenario is then contrasted with the current policy assumptions about LIS, thus providing food for the policy debate on how to cope with the innumerable stumbling blocks on the way towards full-scale implementation of the LIS-LS. The Finnish strategy proposal4 drafted by the innovation task force set up by 1 Miller, R. Shapiro, H. and Hilding-Hamann, K.E., 2008. School’s Over: Learning Spaces in Europe in 2020: An Imagining Exercise on the Future of Learning. European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC47412.pdf 2 www.tem.fi/files/21010/National_Innovation_Strategy_March_2009.pdf 3 Kao, J.,2009.Tapping the World’s Innovation Hot Spots. Harvard Business Review, 87 (3), 109-114. 4 Proposal for Finland’s National Innovation Strategy 2008. www.innovaatiostrategia.fi/files/download/ Nationalinnovationstrategy_EN-20080704.pdf
  26. 26. In-depth26eLearningPapers the government, when considered in conjunction with the strategic vision put forward by the IPTS, provides an interesting opportunity to view the issue of enhancing innovation in the light of both a pan-European and a national perspective.The IPTS report’s definition of LIS-LS is akin to the learning environments (LE) proposed in the Finnish Innovation Strategy, but it has been free to stretch its intellectual wings much further than the Finnish strategy group, which seems to have comprised experts more closely connected to the realities of policy-making. Perhaps that is the reason why the IPTS report takes a more critical stance regarding “yoking education to the idea of ‘national competitiveness’ ... in the open, trusted and connected context that makes LS work, the imperatives that seemed so urgent in 2008 ... have receded into an old memory.” (p. 36) In the IPTS’s LIS scenario of 2020, both old, industrial-style learning and the notion of national competitiveness are declared “passé”.The argumentation runs as follows: “... it is widely understood that nations are not firms and a successful nation does not succeed by being a better, more efficient, cost competitive, profitable ‘firm’ than another country, but by creating the conditions for local, unique creation. In the LIS, the old industrial forms of competition around product market innovation and efficiency are marginal, since output is not standardized but unique. In the LIS of 2020, the largest share of ‘wealth’ creation is sourced locally from personal creativity – which, once again, is not a technocratic skill. Certainly, vestiges of the old forms of product market and investment competition remain, but such activities are only pertinent to a thin layer of production that is necessary but non-central in terms of its share of value, time, and lifestyle ...” (p. 36) “From the perspective of learning, the two most marked contrasts between the vision of Learning Spaces in a Learning- intensive Society and the current framework for learning, are (a) the abandonment of the technocratic, hierarchical and exclusive approach to education and skill achievement, and (b) the marginalization of institutionalized learning.” (p. vii) The authors of the Finnish report seem to think along similar lines about the need for new modalities for defining production and consumption, and are ready to reject the old-fashioned paradigm of learning, but still stick firmly to the mantra of the supremacy of national competitiveness as the overarching criterion for success. On the other hand, the IPTS report’s vision of the primacy of local sourcing in wealth creation leaves plenty of room for debate on the plausible prerequisites and interpretations regarding feasible implementation. Finland has repeatedly received top scores in the PISA studies of lower secondary educational achievements. Such success is a double- edged sword. On the one hand, it does not necessarily encourage one to echo the critical comments of institutional school education, as the IPTS report does. On the other hand, it allows Finnish policy-makers to consider carefully, without resorting to panic, the potential as well as the limitations of reforming the system without actually abandoning it. Nevertheless, the summary of the IPTS report on LIS-LS fits in perfectly with the Finnish Innovation strategy: “... the ‘bottom line’ is that a rich new learning framework can be detected in the ‘learning-intensive society’ that characterizes Europe in 2020.This framework or new infrastructure of learning has LS at its centre and is the main objective of institutional enabling policies.These LS are multi- dimensional loci for learning in all its forms: intangible and tangible, experiential and reflective, individual and collective. LS are the nexus, the crossroads of all strands of learning – both the stock of what someone knows and the flow of action that alters what they know, both in hierarchical terms judged by a third- party standard and in heterarchical terms that are self-referential, complex and transparent.” (p. 38) The Finnish strategy proposal is based on four essential choices:
  27. 27. In-depth 27eLearningPapers 1. Innovation activity in a world without borders: In order to join and position itself in global competence and value networks, Finland must actively participate and exert influence and be internationally mobile and attractive. 2. Demand and user orientation: Demand-driven innovation, paying attention to the needs of customers, consumers and citizens in the operations of the public and private sector alike, requires a market with incentives and shared innovation processes between users and developers. 3. Innovative individuals and communities: Individuals and close innovation communities play a key role in innovation processes. The ability of individuals and entrepreneurs to innovate and the presence of incentives are critical factors for future success. 4. Systemic approach: Exploitation of the results of innovation activities also require broad-based development activities aimed at structural renewal and determined management of change. The first choice contradicts the IPTS report’s post-nationalistic credo, but the remaining three are surprisingly close to the views expressed in the IPTS report. Discussing the systemic role of learning environments in the society of the future We think that the Finnish strategy should be pushed yet another step towards the European vision outlined in the IPTS report.As Markkula has suggested5 , the pivotal organising concept in the Finnish innovation ecology should be learning environments (LE). LE are seen as the creative dynamos that make the Finnish innovation system tick.There are a myriad of learning environments in a country; many are national, many local, and an increasing number are well-connected and globally networked. Some of them need to be big enough (mega-level) to be able to mobilise and accelerate the frequency of quality innovations to the levels boosting the economy.What is important to note is that LE are seen in this enhanced innovation model being proposed in Finland as being so fundamental to innovation that they are actually conceived as the very spaces where innovation creation and development take place. To be viable, LE need to be embedded in an innovation ecology capable of feeding in and mediating the realities and modalities of the surrounding world.The intermediary mechanisms and services need to be organised and tuned in such a way that they optimise the interplay between LE and the organisations surrounding and supporting them (see Figure 1). LE can be seen as a concept very close to the LS defined in the IPTS report. The development taking place at the work place is decisive.As suggested in Figure 1, LE is the gravity creating the impact and keeping the various impact factors in their orbits. The core success factor is the systemic approach revealing the underlying concepts and processes. ICT enables the development of procedures as well as indicators which can be used to enhance the ability of organisational work cultures to share, evaluate and reward achievements in a result- oriented, sustainable manner. ICT enables the emerging work culture to detach itself from traditional, function-based management and move towards collaboration, co-operation and co-creation with shared, parallel processes. Gains from developing processes can be significant, but the gains that can be achieved through the creation of a new work culture of What is important to note is that LE are seen in this enhanced innovation model being proposed in Finland as being so fundamental to innovation that they are actually conceived as the very spaces where innovation creation and development take place. 5 Markkula, M., 2009. Unpublished Aalto university discussion paper.
  28. 28. In-depth28eLearningPapers National Innovation Strategy of Finland 2008 value networking can be gigantic. For improved leadership and management, it is necessary to orchestrate work inputs, not only within one’s own organisation, but also by developing processes and networks with strategic partners.When well-rehearsed, a process-orientated operational model nourishes a working environment inclined to continuing improvement.The ultimate aim would be a systemisation of professional development anchored to the work place’s human and social capital, as well as a relational capital that harnesses external resources for the organisation. Progress in this direction will make the organisation more resilient and expedient.The importance of conducive knowledge management is epitomised. Attaining these goals calls for emphasising the learning taking place in work places and capitalising on concepts like innovative milieus, creative tension and developer networks. Different players in the value network connect their processes to the value-adding chains.Technical integration alone will not do. Instead, genuine compatibility is required, as well as an understanding of the kind of inter-personal knowledge that must be communicated between people and transferred within knowledge systems.This calls for accuracy in documenting the processes and interfaces of value networks.Figure 1. Renewed Finnish Innovation Strategy “National Innovation Bedrock” Learning Environment Finland’s Attractiveness Finnish RHE System Competitive Incentives Management Training Growth Entrepreneurship National Ensemble of Services Pioneer of Systemic Reforms Regional Centres of Innovation Implementing Innovation Policy
  29. 29. In-depth 29eLearningPapers How LE themselves can be optimised will be discussed in the subsequent chapters. Enriching our understanding of the social and creative nature of learning Our understanding of learning has advanced greatly in recent years, not only through a deeper understanding of how individuals learn, but in relation to innovation, and particularly with regards to how work organisations are able to renew their processes, enhance their capacity to learn and acquire, accumulate and create knowledge. Interesting new theoretical approaches have been developed. For example, the KP-Lab project6 researches how knowledge creation takes place in expert organisations seeking to solve problems by creating new artefacts. In the knowledge creation process, learning is seen as neither monological nor dialogical, but as even more complex: trialogical7 .Attention is then given to the specific modalities and processes surrounding how learning discourse changes when the task of learners or designers is to create new artefacts (texts, designs, products or services), as is typically the case in schools or RD 6 Knowledge practices laboratory is a large EU project funded by the 6th Framework IST programme; see www.kp-lab.org 2007. 7 Paavola, S. Lipponen, L. and Hakkarainen, K., 2004. Models of Innovative Knowledge Communities and Three Metaphors of Learning. Review of Educational Research, 74 (4), 557–576. 8 FinnSight 2015 - Science and Technology in Finland in the 2010s, a joint foresight project of the Academy of Finland and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.The project was carried out in 2005-2006. www.finnsight2015.fi/ 9 Aalto University is named after the renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, who was an alumnus of one of the universities to be merged, the Helsinki Universi- ty of Technology (TKK).The other two are the Helsink University of Art and Design and the Helsinki School of Economics. www.aaltouniversity.info 10 www.aaltoyliopisto.info/en/news/funding-to-aalto-university-s-aivoaalto-research-project The inherent structure of knowledge-intensive work is by and large changing from excessive planning towards iterative experimentation characterised by working together, agility and joint spurs towards the goal. divisions of companies, and in work places in general. It is, however, necessary to take into account the changing nature of expert work, which is increasingly organised through professional networks and exploits technologies developed for such communication to facilitate the collaboration of professional communities.A paradigm shift is taking place from so-called “groupware” and “learning management systems” to wider and more flexible self-organising environments, generically labelled “social software” and “web 2.0 tools”. The inherent structure of knowledge- intensive work is by and large changing from excessive planning towards iterative experimentation characterised by working together, agility and joint spurs towards the goal.The “scrum” method, fashionable in software development, is now migrating to other fields of the knowledge economy.This trait is perhaps manifesting a more fundamental paradigm shift in the technology sector, revealing a foresight that deduces the rationale for technology policy-making from the notion of human interaction as the foundation for welfare.8 For human interaction to be fully developed, learning must be ubiquitous and lifelong. A prime example of this kind of development, and a very concrete one as well, is the whole process of creating a completely new type of university in Finland through the merging of three universities into Aalto University9 . Funding has just been granted for its very first large-scale research project: “aivoAALTO”.This project will address social interaction using brain visualising methods, research on decision-making (neuroeconomics) and the impact of film on human mind (neurocinematics), thus fully exploiting the unique expertise of each of the three universities10 . “Ba” – learning and working together Concepts, processes and environments building the foundation for deeper collaboration are the prerequisites for innovativeness.The desired developments can be achieved through multidisciplinary research by integrating new ICT with scientific understanding of the human mind, including neurological, cognitive, motivational and social bases of learning. Based on a concept that was originally proposed in the 1930’s by the Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida,“ba” is defined as a context in which knowledge is shared, created and utilised. In the process of knowledge development, the creation and regeneration of ba is key. It can be a physical space, virtual space,
  30. 30. In-depth30eLearningPapers mental space, or any combination of these.The most important aspect of ba is interaction11 . The power to create knowledge is embedded not just within an individual, but also within interactions with other individuals or with the environment. Ba is a space where such interactions take place. Knowledge held by a particular individual can be shared, recreated, and amplified when that person participates in ba. Ba works as the platform for the concentration of the organisation’s knowledge assets, for it collects the applied knowledge of the area and integrates it. In all phases of life, learners and teachers are challenged to develop and even to change their personal work methods, in all work and learning environments. Among other things, this requires the following changes in work culture12 : − Commitment must be emphasised. Theory must be converted into action, compelling people to create a shared learning and working space – ba will shift the focus of action onto intellectual and virtual collaboration and a variety of collaboration networks. − Action and results must be emphasised. As part of lifelong learning support, learners and teachers must create their own personal knowledge management “tool boxes”, emphasising systematic development and the results of action. − Predicting the future must be emphasised. In lifelong learning, learners and teachers must emphasise the regeneration of knowledge. Consequently, the capacity and skills for critical knowledge processing will be understood to be the most crucial factors in learning. − Rising to the challenges of information and knowledge must be emphasised. Learners and teachers must be able to use new learning and work methods to manage increasingly larger information and knowledge entities, and related sustaining networks. −The basic knowledge management values – openness and trust must will be emphasised. It is only in an open atmosphere of trust that people can genuinely work and develop things together. “Triple helix” has not failed, but needs continuous redefining The issue of optimising the interface between working life organisations and academia is crucial for enhancing systemic innovation in a knowledge- based economy. It addresses systemic communication and collaboration between parties. It is a question of how information flows freely between these poles. It seeks to optimise the mobility over time of students and employees between academia and a company. It is all that, but it goes beyond as well, penetrating into the issue of how the science base of a particular knowledge creation process, its conditions and phases, are formed, acquired and further enriched in a complex system of innovation collaboration that is necessary and beneficial to both parties.The complexity of the innovation ecology is further heightened by interventions provided by third party intermediaries complementing the picture to form the triangle of the so-called “triple helix” model. In that model, the third sun is broadly named “government”. Such government agencies are typically involved as technology or training funding agencies providing funding, information, infrastructure and policy support. Sustainability is sought through long-term programmes, which are rather insensitive to short-term economic and political conjunctures.This fairly hands-off role of government might not be optimal and will hopefully be evolving in the foreseeable future. Government could and should play an active enabler role for profound, cross-border, large-scale networks in 11 Nonaka, I.,Toyama R. and Byosiére, P., 2001.A Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation: Un- derstanding the Dynamics Process of Creating Knowledge. In: M. Dierkes,A. Berthoin Antal, J. Child and I. Nonaka, eds. Handbook of Organizational Learning Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 491-517. 12 Markkula, M., 2007. Europe Needs to Invent its Future – Desired Changes Do Not Just Happen. In: A. Boonen andW.V. Petegem, eds. European Networking and Learning Future,The Europace Approach. Antwerp: Garant, 335-341.
  31. 31. In-depth 31eLearningPapers which substantial numbers of experts from companies and universities work together. Open Innovation is the driver of change integrating university- level research, teaching, learning and different collaborative multidimensional developments.The Finnish National Innovation Strategy is indeed calling for new concepts for collaboration between universities and industry that focus both on strategic, primary research and on innovations. “Otafokus” Here, we provide one example of how an academic institution can systematically approach the needs of rapidly changing conditions and of companies. It is a concept developed by our university’s continuing education centre, the Dipoli Lifelong Learning Institute (TKK Dipoli), which has coined the “Otafokus”14 model. Otafokus has its roots inTKK Dipoli’s long-standing provision of continuing education services to technology- oriented companies.We have been privileged to become the pivot where the professional development needs of related companies and the real world test-beds for technical university knowledge creation, application and dissemination have been put into a melting pot, which we have been stirring 13 SP stands for study credits. 14 The name refers to the village Otaniemi where a substantial technology hub has grown around TKK and the State research centre.We focus on the academia-industry axis. It is the backbone vitalising the current knowledge economy in the region and spurring the national economy as well. Figure 2.The basic structure of aTKK Dipoli professional development programme.13 Structure ofthe programme INDUSTRY ROADMAP – Increasing General Knowledge of The Industry DEVELOPING PERSONAL TOOLBOX UNIVERSITY - COMPANY MODULES IN WEEKS VIRTUL COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND NETWORKING TKK 2 TKK 10 TKK 11 FINAL WORK 13 Company 5 Company 10 Company 6 Building own networks Company practices Special assignments Development projects Personal directives Operative company visits Participing industry events, seminars and forums OTAFOKUS OTAFOKUSDIPLOMA,60sp
  32. 32. In-depth32eLearningPapers Aalto University. 2009. www.aaltoyliopisto.info/en/news/funding-to-aalto-university-s-aivoaalto-research-project Academy of Finland andTekes. 2007. FinnSight 2015 - Science and Technology in Finland in the 2010s, www.finnsight2015.fi Government´s Communication on Finland´s National Innovation Strategy to the Parliament www.tem.fi/files/21010/National_Innovation_Strategy_March_2009.pdf Kao, J., 2009. Tapping the World’s Innovation Hot Spots. Harvard Business Review, 87 (3), 109-114. Knowledge practices laboratory 2007. www.kp-lab.org Markkula, M., 2007. Europe Needs to Invent its Future – Desired Changes Do Not Just Happen. In: A. Boonen and W.V. Petegem, eds. European Networking and Learning Future, The Europace Approach. Antwerp: Garant, 335-341. Markkula, M., 2009. Unpublished Aalto University discussion paper. Miller, R. Shapiro, H. and Hilding-Hamann, K.E., 2008. School’s Over: Learning Spaces in Europe in 2020: An Imagining Exercise on the Future of Learning. European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC47412.pdf Nonaka, I.,Toyama R. and Byosiére, P., 2001. A Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation: Understanding the Dynamics Process of Creating Knowledge. In: M. Dierkes, A. Berthoin Antal, J. Child and I. Nonaka, eds. Handbook of Organizational Learning Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 491-517. Paavola, S. Lipponen, L. and Hakkarainen, K., 2004. Models of Innovative Knowledge Communities and Three Metaphors of Learning. Review of Educational Research, 74 (4), 557–576. Proposal for Finland’s National Innovation Strategy 2008. www.innovaatiostrategia.fi/files/download/Nationalinnovationstrategy_EN-20080704.pdf References with our own pedagogical and learning technology recipes. The objectives and content of each Otafokus programme are defined to meet the needs common to the industry group in question, while also paying attention to the individual needs of participating companies. Students are selected byTKK in close co-operation with the recruiting companies. TKK offers a multidisciplinary and international environment for the implementation of programmes in any industry sector.As part of Aalto University, the multidisciplinarity of study programmes will be enhanced. The typical structure of any Otafokus programme is illustrated in Figure 2. The Otafokus concept simultaneously serves three demands long expressed in debates on the practical course of developments: facilitated work- based learning, blended learning and integrating theory into practice. Formulating the concept and fleshing it out has been quite a collaborative effort involving many committed stakeholders and organisations in a long-standing development effort. Read more www.elearningpapers.eu/vol15
  33. 33. In-depth 33eLearningPapers A new web 2.0 learning environment: Concept, implementation, evaluation Keywords eLearning 2.0, personal learning environments, platform, trial This contribution presents and evaluates a new learning environment model based on web 2.0 applications. In a theoretical overview, we introduce the concepts of eLearning 2.0 and Personal Learning Environments, along with their main aspects of autonomy, creativity and networking, and relate them to the didactics of constructivism and connectivism.The requirements and basic functional components for the development of our particular web 2.0 learning environment are derived from these aspects. The section describing the implementation of the environment in a trial at the Darmstadt University of Applied Science focuses on the specific didactic contribution made by the particular learning modules to the overall learning arrangement. Our learning environment was tested and evaluated during the “Social Software” course held in 2007/08 as part of the information science program at the Darmstadt University of Applied Science. A questionnaire-based survey reveals interesting facts regarding the success of the practical implementation of the web 2.0 arrangement with respect to the motivation and learning outcome of students.The survey was supplemented by some informal feedback provided in a concluding discussion.With these results in mind, this paper concludes with some remarks on the potential of the learning environment in broader educational contexts. Authors Ingo Blees and Marc Rittberger German Institute for International Educational Research blees@dipf.de rittberger@dipf.de Concept Changing technologies and educational change The web 2.0 represents a qualitative leap in web technologies that have made the internet more creative, participative and social. But has this development also triggered a revolution in learning? Do education and learning need to be re-thought in view of the continuous change to information and communication technologies, and do we need new concepts and designs for working and learning environments? The thesis that “web 2.0 instruments (social software) become increasingly relevant as they further the exchange of knowledge and the development of skills in networks and beyond the net in an optimal way” (Erpenbeck Sauter, 2007, p. 162) is widespread and present in many variations amongst scholars and educators concerned with the design of learning environments and eLearning. But how can the didactic potential of new technologies be put to use for learning processes in the knowledge Summary
  34. 34. In-depth34eLearningPapers society, wherein increasingly important skills, such as methodological and media skills, must be acquired in addition to the knowledge itself? In his illuminating and trend-setting lecture,“A Portal To Media Literacy”, cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch (2008) assumes that the information and communication culture of students has changed due to new web technologies. He contrasts these new technologies to the anachronistic conditions and teaching concepts existing in educational institutions, and states the hypothesis that learners should be able to effectively acquire the knowledge they require by applying the media they use anyway. However, this requires that appropriate learning and teaching settings enable learners to develop the media literacy they need for knowledge acquisition as well as methodological competency – particularly as regards self-governing and productive learning. According to Wesch, the main challenge to future learning is “creating platforms for participation that allow students to realize and leverage the emerging media environment.”Wesch (2008: 27:30) This view is also prominently held by Downes (2005), who coined the term eLearning 2.0, conceived as an “interlocking set of open-source applications [where] learning is becoming a creative activity and [where] the appropriate venue is a platform rather than an application.”1 Wageneder Jadin (2007) provide the following extended definition of eLearning 2.0 with reference to Downes: “We can talk of eLearning 2.0 applications if users apply web 2.0 media, i.e. social software, such as wikis, weblogs or RSS in collaborative learning activities for autonomously producing their own learning contents and use them for their own learning objectives.This definition clearly outlines a central feature of an eLearning 2.0 setting: learners are autonomous in acquiring knowledge.” The implementation of collaborative and activating applications of the social web for eLearning 2.0 purposes refers to the related model of Personal Learning Environments (PLE).At a descriptive level, a PLE allows learners “to access, aggregate, configure and manipulate digital artefacts of their ongoing learning experiences” (Lubensky, 2006).As regards web 2.0 tools, this implies a “collection of free, distributed, web-based tools, […] linked together and aggregating content using RSS feeds and simple HTML scripts” (Fitzgerald, 2006)2 . Downes postulates that the values of web 2.0 and the idea of PLE are essentially identical, namely “the fostering of social networks and communities, the emphasis on creation rather than consumption, and the decentralisation of content and control” (2007. p. 19). Hence, there is a trend in contemporary learning towards more activity, self- productivity and self-governing, to networking learners and their learning spaces and to a shift of accentuation in the nature of learning from the product towards the process.These developments are expressed by the learning theories of constructivism and connectivism. From a constructivist perspective, learning is a constructive, active, emotional, self-organised, social, situational process.3 Siemens (2004) introduces a further significant aspect of learning in his learning theory termed connectivism.A focal aspect of connectivism concerns the use of networks. Learning in the connectivist sense requires open learning environments that enable connections and exchanges with other network partners, who will build up productive learning communities. Requirements of a web 2.0 learning environment The idea of “learning networks” leads us from connectivism back to Wesch’s demand for a concept of learning The implementation of collaborative and activating applications of the social web for eLearning 2.0 purposes refers to the related model of Personal Learning Environments (PLE) 1 Emphasis by the authors of this article. 2 For a description of PLE, see also Bernhardt Kirchner (2007, p. 27ff); further PLE sources are Downes (2007),Attwell (2007),Wagner (2006) and van Harmelen (2006); an early model for PLE known as “Future VLE” can be found in Wilson (2005).An overview of the different types of PLE can be found in LTC (2008). 3 See Erpenbeck Sauter (2007, p. 157). On the relationship between theories of learning: instructional design, cognitivism, constructivism and connectivism; cf. also the overview in Erpenbeck Sauter (2007, p. 152), following Baumgartner and Kalz (2004).
  35. 35. In-depth 35eLearningPapers Microcontent • Topics, Tags, Categories • Reports, Disputes • Media RSS Input RSS Output portals.The pedagogical approach associated with PLE results in the notion of a portal as being a particularly apt model for designing learning environments (Downes 2007; Kerres, 2006). The perspective for eLearning 2.0 lies in the adoption of the portal concept. An eLearning 2.0 environment would thus be a signpost to finding proven quality learning content on the internet. Besides containing metadata and references to online resources, the learning portal or learning environment can also deliver self- produced learning content or online tools suitable for learning. Furthermore, the learning environment should offer a “mechanism” for collecting and integrating content and tools in a goal- oriented way (Kerres, 2006).4 Following Kerres’ (2006a) essentials of a web 2.0 learning portal and his guidelines for “an eLearning scenario following a ‘web 2.0’ approach” (Kerres, 2007), a clustering of characteristics results in the following four requirement groups for a web 2.0 learning environment: Openness, permeability: - The learning environment is not an isolated island, but a learning portal. 4 This integrative mechanism is also named as essential to a well-functioning PLE by Siemens (2004), Downes (2005; 2007) and Attwell (2007). Figure 1. Overview of the learning environment Social Bookmarking • Literature • Web resources • User- Actions • Network- Effects RSS- Feed • Tagging • Metadata • Folksonomy Mashup: Journal-Alert RSS-Feeds Google News Technorati Journal 1 Journal 2 Journal 3 RSS-Alerting Monotoring Aggregation Filtering Knowlegde Base Collaboratively created reference database Learning Jorunal agile information management: sharing experiences and ideas Learning Central Wiki as the central for the formal organisation of learning activities as well as the content-related integration and distribution of learning materials and learning cutcomes Feed-Input • References • Weblog • Journal-Alert Planning Organisation Exercises Topics • Articles • Dossiers • Resources
  36. 36. In-depth36eLearningPapers Participation: - Learners and teachers actively participate in the development of the learning environment. Learners can integrate known instruments that are already in use. - Learners and teachers work with the same platforms and tools, for preparing units of learning, working on them and distributing them. - The participants use a free choice of tags and they incrementally develop a “folksonomy”, reflecting their stock of interests and knowledge – the learning units are thus structured and made navigable. Motivation: - The learning environment should make the individual engagement of every learner visible in a transparent way. - The learning environment should promote the establishment of a community of learners, where learners and teachers can meet one another in person. - Teachers show their presence in the learning environment: they deliver resources and make contributions and suggestions, for instance by participating in discussions. Monitoring, feedback, evaluation: - Teachers track/pursue individual and shared learning activities. - Teachers offer regular feedback and assess contributions in an appropriate fashion for encouraging motivation. In the course of the analysis of our trial presented in Section 2, we will show how these requirements are fulfilled by the different learning environment modules. Functional elements of the web 2.0 learning environment A web 2.0 learning environment can be implemented in a variety of ways. Decisions on implementations often depend on one’s personal experience with software, learning objectives and existing media skills.The unpredictable character of developments in the area of specialised, stand-alone software solutions implies that “learning environments should be realised independent from specific tools” (Kerres, 2006, p. 7). Hence, it would seem appropriate to adopt a modular concept with more abstract definitions of the functional areas of the learning environment, which, in the learning setting presented here, are applied using exemplary applications that are interchangeable with equivalent functions.The functional areas of the model web 2.0 learning environment introduced below are presented in Figure 1: − Learning centre: used for the formal organisation of learning activities, the integration of content and the distribution of learning material and outcomes.The learning centre is implemented in a wiki platform, in this case a MediaWiki. − Knowledge base: all kinds of resources, including texts and audiovisual media, are collected here.The tagging process results in a folksonomy for the domain of interest.The common use leads to networking effects.The knowledge base is implemented by means of a social bookmarking service, in this case CiteULike. − Learning journal: here, the learners can record interesting encounters with the thematic areas without having to meet the formal requirements of working in the learning centre and the knowledge base.This area is suitable for any kind of short contribution, such as announcing interesting links or texts or inserting audio and video contributions, with the option of commenting on or tagging them using the folksonomy terminology.5 5 The total number of tags on a bookmarking platform is known as a folksonomy (folk + taxonomy).
  37. 37. In-depth 37eLearningPapers 6 For the problem orientation and closeness to reality of learning and skills acquisition, see Erpenbeck Sauter (2007, p. 163). − Alerting service: a number of different information providers are continually checked for updates, which are aggregated and filtered by certain thematic areas.The RSS format functions as a descriptive language for the exchange of data. RSS also offers the integrative mechanism necessary for a learning portal. To improve integration into the learning arrangement and promote motivation: 1) elements of the web 2.0 learning environment, particularly the wiki platform, are used in both the online phases and the face-to- face sessions (Cubric, 2007 and 2) the learners are actively involved in conceptualising, developing and implementing the learning environment – hence one of the requirements, namely participation, is already put into practice. Implementation This section explains the four functional areas of our web 2.0 learning environment introduced above, wherein the wiki is described in more detail. It describes how the wiki can be used as an instrument for the active, flexible and social construction of knowledge, thus allowing for problem-oriented, explorative learning6 . The wiki platform constitutes the learning portal that integrates content from all of the learning modules into the learning environment, making it accessible in a structured way. It serves not only as a knowledge repository, but also as a working environment. Learning matters in the wiki The wiki can be designed as a comprehensive and complete document and media repository providing all of the learning material in a clear and freely accessible way (Kepp et al., 2008; Himpsl, 2007). These kinds of learning material consist of learning resources that are available on the Internet (as elucidated above), including literature, web resources and audiovisual media.The media can be directly played in the wiki itself once the respective technical extensions have been installed, which, like the wiki as such, are available as Open Source products (Reinhold Abawi, 2006; Blees, Reinhold Rittberger, 2008).The widespread opinion that wikis are exclusively or predominantly limited to working with texts is ill-founded (Erpenbeck Sauter, 2007); wikis have developed so that they are suitable for implementation in multimedia learning environments. The outcomes of the learning processes themselves, i.e. the (interim) results of learning activities, are aggregated in the wiki in the form of an e-portfolio (Salzburg Research, 2006; Schaffert et al., 2006).The wiki presents test tasks and solutions, presentations, graphical images, minutes, reports and transcripts of interviews the learners have conducted themselves as well as tests carried out in projects, all categorised by field. The distinction between external learning content and that contributed by the users themselves corresponds to the difference between static and dynamic content.While static content includes all the items accessible by external links and uploaded items linked to wiki documents and media, the dynamic content constitutes the actual wiki sites themselves, where collaborative writing processes are taught and “learning content” is practised. Owing to the principles of dynamic generation and change, the wikis are highly interactive at both levels of individual objects and their organisation, thus “making a crucial Figure 2.Wiki portal homepage 


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