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Reuse as heuristic : from transmission to nurture in learning activity design

By John Sweet and Rachel Ellaway


In recent years a combination of ever more flexible and sophisticated Web technologies and an explosion in the quantity of online content has sparked learning technologists around the world to pursue the promise of the 'reusable learning object' or RLO with the idea that RLOs could be reused in different educational contexts, thereby providing greater overall flexibility and return on investment. In 2002 the ACETS Project undertook a three-year study in the UK to investigate whether RLOs worked in practice and how the pursuit of reuse affected the teacher and their teaching. Teachers working in healthcare-related subjects in Higher and Further Education were asked to create an original learning design or activity from third-party digital resources and to reflect both on the process and its outcomes. The expectation was that teachers would be the ones selecting and reusing third-party materials. This paper describes how one of the ACETS exemplifiers reinterpreted this remit, challenged the anticipated transmissive model of learning, and instead, gave their students an opportunity to create their own original learning designs and learning activities from third-party digital resources. By describing the educational enhancements, the resulting heightened levels of critical thinking, and sensitivity to patient needs, 'reuse' will be shown to be an effective heuristic for student self-direction and professional development

Topics: LB, LC
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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