Developing an Online Course Based on E-Learning 2.0 Concepts

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E-learning 2.0 differs from traditional e-learning.  Instead of learners simply receiving, reading, and responding to learning content in traditional e-learning, e-learning 2.0 allows learners to create content and to collaborate with peers to form a learning network with distribution of content creation and responsibilities.  In addition, e-learning 2.0 allows learners to easily access content through search, aggregation, and tagging.  It provides learners with opportunities to interact with the content and share their thoughts and comments with not only the instructor but also with other learners.  E-learning 2.0, therefore, is evolving to one of the most exciting, dynamic, and challenging fields involving teaching and learning online.

I delivered a presentation entitled “Developing an Online Course Based on E-Learning 2.0 Concepts” at the 2010 SITE (Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education) International Conference in San Diego on March 31, 2010.  The following presentation shows my current effort of designing, developing, and implementing a graduate course in the blended learning format at my university.  Besides including the common components of an online/hybrid course offered by traditional LMS such as Blackboard, the e-learning 2.0 components (blog, podcasts, social networking site, and Wiki) are created and integrated into the course.  Though the teaching of this hybrid course based on e-learning 2.0 concepts is still in process and data collection is under way, the feedbacks from students so far are very positive and encouraging.   I think the e-learning 2.0 instructional approach allows the instructor to empower learners and create exciting new learning opportunities.  It allows students to easily access course content, interact content with others, construct new knowledge, and collaborate with others to form a learning network.  Students can communicate with others and access knowledge in ways that encourage creative and reflective practices that extend beyond traditional online learning.

Please stay tuned and follow my blog.  I should complete the data collection and data analysis after the summer.  Then, I will be happy to share the results of my study regarding students’ feedback on their attitudes and the effectiveness of the e-learning 2.0 instructional approach.

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About Steve Yuen

I am a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.
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13 Responses to Developing an Online Course Based on E-Learning 2.0 Concepts

  1. jennstyron says:

    Hi Dr. Yuen,

    Interesting presentation! I would have to say as a student of your hybrid course based on E-Learning 2.0 Concepts, education is transforming. The ability of Web 2.0 tools to allow you as well as your students to interact and collaborate truly provides a unique learning experience. In addition, we have been able to utilize these tools as well as view how our colleagues adopt these tools which allows us 1)practice at utilizing Web 2.0 tools and 2)ideas and networks for future collaborative projects.

    As a student, I certainly appreciate your use and integration of these tools and believe that they will prepare me to become a successful IT professional in the future. In addition, this course has allowed me to view the pros and cons of both Web 2.0 tools as well as institutional LMS systems. I believe as funding continues to decrease in the higher education arena Web 2.0 tools can be adapted to support online/hybrid learning with less cost to the institution and the student. While there are challenges when utilizing only Web 2.0 tools, institutions should heavily consider the integration of such tools as a means to be more cost effective.

    Great post!

  2. Steve,
    I reviewed your slides to see what your Moodle site for the course looked like. It definitely has a wide array of interactive opportunities for students. My question – and it is a neutral one, not one intended to challenge what you’ve done – is how much is TOO much?

    I attended the March SALT conference, and saw some similiar attempts to engage students with a wide array of Learning 2.0 tools. The question arose as to whether students/learners are overwhelmed with too many learning vehicles – and, consequently, don’t leverage any of them well. They end up doing the bare minimum (e.g. accessing/replying to posts) and don’t even realize all the other learning options available to them.

    Your thoughts?

  3. Steve,

    Nice succinct set of slides. I especially enjoyed seeing the grabs and callouts of your ‘ecosystem’; looks to me like you have a really good set up.

    A couple of thoughts/ questions popped into my head:

    I’m not quite clear from the slides if your system’s completely open, or if it’s replicating its own mini ecosystem. In other words are you using YouTube, Facebook, and so on or your own creations – or a mix of the two. I’d be interested in hearing your rationale.

    One other things strikes me a lot about academic e-learning solutions is the limited, or often zero, amount of coureware. Often only a set of web pages presents any informational content. Is this the case with yours? Don’t get me wrong, I for once know courseware is not god’s gift, and the 2 or 3 hour course is just plain crazy, but 10 minute chunks that present only a few concepts actually has its place – especially to novices.


  4. Christine L. Mark says:

    As with all your presentations, the recent one on Web 2.0 tools and e-Learning is certainly captivating. I agree that most LMS, such as Blackboard, are driven by agendas that often have little or nothing to do with student learning. I have worked with both the ‘real’ Blackboard, as well as the ‘Web Ct Blackboard’ and while they are good at testing and warehousing, they are not often facilitative of real learning. In my face-to-face courses I have tried to supplement the traditional delivery of content with Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs, webpages, and Ning. In my current situation, the Ning seems to be emerging as the best tool. Indeed, many of my students have gotten into content creation, social networking with classmates, and sharing information, although some have clearly not embraced the technology.

    As you allude, funding in the next 20 years can only be marginal at best as tax revenues decline and costs of infrastructure increase. Clearly, more and more online courses will be developed and offered to students, unfortunately in the short term probably with old-fashioned LMS systems. Administrators must find a a way to open up the instructional delivery landscape to allow teachers the ability to use and intermix Web 2.0 tools to create a fluid, evolving course that encourages content creation and sharing by the learners while facilitating the ease of content retrieval. It will be interesting to see if the current financial pressures foster new ways of combining delivery tools or if they perpetuate the traditional distance education model.

  5. tdedeaux says:

    I have never been a big fan of course management software, largely because of how incredibly clunky and awkward it is. Even using DSL, I feel like it’s 1999 and I’m using dialup again.

    CMS tend to move very slowly, and they also tend to look awful. The Internet of today is generally a fairly aesthetically pleasing place, a few horrible designs aside, but CMS courses tend to be gray, low-res, clunky, and generally look like something from the 1990’s.

    Knowing that the university spends several hundred thousand dollars a year on them just adds insult to injury, especially now, when budget cuts are creating a hiring freeze and threatening layoffs.

    I’ve really been very impressed by the Web 2.0 tools, which seem, in my experience, to be able to collectively do everything CMS does (including, if you use Classmarker, giving secure multiple-choice tests that are graded automatically), for free, with faster load times and more elegant interfaces.

    I’m also impressed to see all the things Web 2.0 tools can do that CMS can’t, like social bookmarking, tagging, wiki editing, and so on.

  6. Jil Wright says:

    I wish more professors would get into the swing of e-learning 2.0. Not only is there a greater sense of community, but it also allows students to create content themselves, which is my favorite part. When I take courses in WebCT they seem so static and ancient. When I think back to the courses I took online in 1999-2000, I see absolutely zero improvement in the LMS we use at USM. With WebCT you never get to really see the other students in your courses, so there is definitely a disconnect. I am sure some people do well with that disconnected feeling. I thought I was that way until interacting in a social network for a course. I believe that e-learning 2.0 concepts make for a better course environment, while also preparing learners for the real world. Technology changes so quickly that if you are not up to speed on what a blog is, how to create podcasts, and collaborate, you are going to get left in the dust sooner or later. I think that is especially true in education, but also in many other fields. Course social networks make sense. Spending tons of money on terrible management systems do not, in my opinion. I wonder why there is such a delay to change when it comes to the people who make decisions regarding buying a LMS or using social networking and web 2.0 tools? I guess it’s easier on the back end for things to be tracked down if need be to use a static LMS, but I really think it’s that people just hate getting out of their comfort zone! As a student, I’ve loved our courses on Ning. I hope that there is a good alternative to Ning since they are going to start charging for their services. I can’t say that I blame them. It would make much more sense for an institution to pay for Ning’s services than a clunky old LMS. Why drive the minivan when you can have a sports car. LOL

  7. Roslyn Warren says:

    I personally like the learning 2.0 over over methods. However, I do feel that there should be a limit to what professors use in any given semester. Sometimes there is an overadoption of technology…and too much of a good thing is not so good. There are just so many things to expose students to and it can become overwhelming if things are not organized. Perhaps this study can be explored in a class that does not directly explore Web 2.0 tools. The purpose of this course, I believe, is to expose students to as many tools as time permits. So we are ready to use these tools and learn how we can use them for instructional purposes. So, one consideration would be to explore the exposure of e-learning 2.0 in other environments to see if similar results occur.

    I really enjoyed the presentation and look forward to your summary of this study. Feeling a sense of connectedness is important to me so I tend to favor the social networking component moreso than a strictly Blackboard environment. None of the interactivity in Blackboard (aside from the email and discussion forum) are truly engaging. Social Networking is colorful and enhances the learning process because it includes audio and video stimulation, collaboration tools, and makes everyone appear more accessible than merely threaded discussion. So, to answer one authors concerns about “how much is too much”, If the learning space is organized then we (students, particularly speaking for adult learners) are all for it. Yes, the content is in several places (wikispaces, wordpress, teacher website, social networking website) but the learning design is quite clear.

  8. I am looking forward to the final results of this research! As a student in this very course mentioned above, I feel that social networking definitely lends a hand in creating more of a community atmosphere for learners. Especially a course that is in a hybrid format, the network “connection” isn’t lost when students part ways. I also feel that social networking sites successfully implement the Web 2.0 technologies that you discussed above. I’d never really thought about it, but all of the tools we use to socialize and collaborate are Web 2.0!

    I agree with other’s mentions of Blackboard and other LMSs being more “cookie cutter,” simply designed for online course formats and basically easy submission of assignments. While LMSs do incorporate discussion boards, the format of a SNS is much more inviting, comforting, and conducive to the learning environment that students need. Having the power to upload and contribute their own audio, music, or video files, SNSs encourage this type of “shared” learning. Students are more accessible and instructors have the opportunity to view the learning taking place, encourage, or even contribute to discussions and video postings. It has been especially interesting this semester as I notice students posting videos about the content related to our course. This, in my opinion, seriously has the power to take learning to a completely different level. “Students are active participants” has never made more sense than it does to me now! I have a feeling that SNSs are beginning to revolutionize e-learning. I am excited and eager to see how it will begin to evolve the entire e-learning process.

  9. 鄭伊真 says:

    在各式的教學法中, 有一種教學方式是合作學習法, 讓學生組成異質的小組, 共同合作完成老師交代的任務. 文章中提到E-learning 2.0提供學習者與老師或其他學習者互動的機會, 分享所學與想法, 增加學習者主動權而非被動的聽課, 創造了許多新的和令人興奮的學習成果. 我覺得E-learning 2.0便是秉持合作學習的精神, 以及融合新興科技的未來教學趨勢. 但並非指在課堂上應用許多web 2.0的工具就是好的教學, 若老師未去思考為什麼要用?適不適合用?怎麼用?的問題, 其教學效果說不定比傳統教學差, 有賴老師善用之.

  10. 鄭伊真 says:

    在各式的教學法中, 有一種教學方式是合作學習法, 讓學生組成異質的小組, 共同合作完成老師交代的任務. 文章中提到E-learning 2.0提供學習者與老師或其他學習者互動的機會, 分享所學與想法, 增加學習者主動權而非被動的聽課, 創造了許多新的和令人興奮的學習成果. 我覺得E-learning 2.0便是秉持合作學習的精神, 以及融合新興科技的未來教學趨勢. 但並非指在課堂上應用許多web 2.0的工具就是好的教學, 若老師未去思考為什麼要用?適不適合用?怎麼用?的問題, 其教學效果說不定比傳統教學差, 有賴老師善用之.

  11. Gallayanee says:

    I never offer any fully online course since I believe that developing an effective online course is very difficult task for teachers. It takes time and effort for instructors to design efficient methods to bring an online class from passive to active learning environment. It would be better off for me to teach offer face-to-face class. After reading this blog entry, I learn that an e-learning 2.0 course incorporate variety of web 2.0 applications to facilitate students to learning process. E-learning 2.0 concepts have altered the role of instructors from expert to facilitator. In addition, e-learning 2.0 promotes both self-motivated and life-long learning concepts. Therefore, I agree with Dr. Yuen that e-learning 2.0 enriches online learning. Not only brings instructor and students closer together, but E-learning 2.0 also creates learning community among students. Because of this blog entry, I realize that developing an online course based on e-learning 2.0 concepts is not such a daunting task as I imagined before. Yet, it’s still required carefully plan and time from my part if I want my students to experience benefit of e-learning 2.0 fully.

    In addition, I can see why student feedbacks in a hybrid course based on e-learning 2.0 concepts are positive and encouraging. Similar to online class, students in a hybrid course also create their learning community where their foresting connection. With e-learning 2.0 concepts, students could make contribution in class learning process. They are not a receiving end in the learning process. Learning becomes reciprocal process not a one way direction.

  12. keenon wynn says:

    I am encouraged to see that the emphasis e-learning on line will be the exchange of ideas and the ability to respond to instructors and peers. That has been my biggest concern regarding e-learning as been instant feedback. With the emergence of web 2.0 it has gotten easier to collaborate with one’s peers on both the student and teacher level. Collaboration in no longer a “teacher only” word nor should it be! When set up with a SNS as your base of operation it is hard not to get work done. It allows for your collaboration needs to be met. With communication my biggest concern I feel that a SNS will allow for quick feedback

    There are a Varity of tools from wikis to collaborative bookmarking that are intended to making it easier to work together no matter the distance between work partners or workgroups. The best part about most of these tools is the price…It’s hard to beat free! With most SNS having a multitude of communication tool from group e-mails to chat or IM it almost could be considered a one tool to fix all. It has come in very handy in my hybrid classes and I think that I may actually like it a little better than Blackboard because of the adminastrative that would be alloted to me; from a teacher aspect of course.

  13. 電子學習2.0顯然地不同於傳統的電子學習。我們可以電子學習2.0,接收,閱讀,和傳統電子學習,讓學習者創建內容,與其他人形成一個學習網絡。此外,電子學習2.0讓學習者可以互動,加深學習效果,與教師或其他學員分享他們的想法和意見。它可以讓學生輕鬆地訪問課程內容,與他人互動的內容,構建新的知識,並與他人合作,以形成一個學習網絡。學生可以與他人和獲取知識的方式,鼓勵創造性和反思實踐超越了傳統的在線學習。

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