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Putting theory into practice: The creation of REALs in the context of today's universities

By Sally Kitts and John Hancock

Abstract

Rich Environments for Active Learning (REALs), as described by R. Scott Grabinger and Joanna Dunlap, are comprehensive educational systems based on constructivist principles that present an intellectual and practical challenge to university lecturers. As teachers and researchers, academics are concerned with improving the learning potential of teaching strategies and, to this end, the theory of the REAL provides inspiration and ideas based on sound theoretical principles. Yet in the context of the current pressured climate, having the time and resources to put such an extensive, theory into practice can seem little more than a pipe‐dream. It is argued that using a computer‐based application such as the Hypermedia Learning Tutorials (HLTs) as the heart of a REAL allows lecturers to take positive steps towards the creation of comprehensive, flexible, integrated learning environments. The concept of the HLT is discussed and a practical application in the field of advanced second‐language acquisition is described. Based on conceptual analysis and the results of preliminary student evaluation, it is argued that the HLT encompasses both in theory and in practice the chief qualities of REALs and can form the basis for their creation in a wide variety of disciplines

Topics: LB Theory and practice of education, LC1022 - 1022.25 Computer-assisted Education
Publisher: University of Wales Press
Year: 1999
DOI identifier: 10.1080/0968776990070202
OAI identifier: oai:generic.eprints.org:297/core5

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