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Can We Escape the Trough of Disillusionment?

By Gerald Friedland, Wolfgang Hürst, Lars Knipping, Max Muhlhäuser / February 2009

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  • Mon, 22 Nov 2010
    Post by barker

    multipling the quantity of the ports wich makes it able to use both a euro connector and a mpeg4 in order to recieve various tv channels by using a room antenna in 90's has been a new wave in recieving and choosing different waves. freindly reguards.

  • Sun, 17 Dec 2006
    Post by Virginie Clayssen

    hi Mr Feldstein, I did translate your post in french and publish it on my blog for french readers. If there is any problem with this translation, thanks to send me an e-mail.

  • Mon, 22 May 2006
    Post by Michael Feldstein

    The missing word in my second sentence should be "cognition".

  • Mon, 22 May 2006
    Post by Michael Feldstein

    Rory, I''m afraid you''ve missed my point entirely. My point is that learning only happens through, and that cognition is not the same thing as data transmission. Having a digital object with metadata *might* stimulate cognition, but it won''t do so just because we call it a learning object. My point is that, without explicit thought about how the digital object in question will provoke a particular cognitive process in a learner, we''re shooting blind. As for the expert you want me to produce, let me return the challenge with another challenge. Show me where in MERLOT people who submit learning objects must describe the cognitive process the object is supposed to provoke or the method by which it will provoke that process. Where is *that* metadata? I''m talking about practice, not just theory. I''m not opposed to teaching through self-paced digital content; in fact, I was writing about learning object design in this very publication way back in 2002: http://elearnmag.org/subpage.cfm?section=tutorials&article=5-1. Judging from the vehemence of your response (as well as your bio page at Athebasca), it appears that you have staked a bit of your own personal identity on the value of learning objects as well. I agree that there is a dog in this fight, but I don''t think it''s a straw one.

  • Sat, 20 May 2006
    Post by Rory McGreal

    Michael, of course we learn by doing. This is not a revelation, but to state as you do that “We don''t learn from things.” is unsupportable if not nonsensical. We learn about everything from things. Yes, by doing, but doing with “things”. Things can be physical or conceptual. I have no problem with the term “instructional objects”, but many would claim that their lessons are NOT instructional. So, if you encapsulated them in some form, they would be available for use for learning NOT instruction. And yes, you are correct, such objects have been around under other names for some time. The point as I see it of “learning objects” is NOT to challenge any specific view of learning but rather, much more simplistically to facilitate the exchange and reuse of ANY type of digital learning content/application in ANY application on ANY computer. Why is this a problem? Metadata too has been around for a long time e. g. library cards. They help us find content for learning. What is the problem with digital library cards (metadata)? You state: “many types of learning require more than just the transmission of content.” I believe that ALL learning requires more than content transmission. But there is NO learning without some content either physical or conceptual. You feel that this is “why teachers have never been replaced by books on tape and why they never will be replaced by podcasts.” I think you should wake up and smell the coffee. Teachers are still around but in many ways they have been “displaced” rather than replaced. They must now more than ever be facilitators of learning rather than transmitters of content as in older models. Also, more people are learning more skills and attaining more knowledge WITHOUT teachers than ever before in history. You state: “Learning is an activity. Teaching is an activity designed to stimulate learning. Put these two activities together in a feedback loop and you have "interactivity." “ AND if you put a child with a toy with no teacher there is interactive learning without the teacher. Put me with your article and I am learning interactively without a teacher. You state: “I believe the term "learning object" has become harmful. It hides the same old, bad lecture model behind a sexy buzz phrase. If we''re really serious about stimulating learning, then we should think in terms of something like a cognitive catalyst.” I WORRY about you if you think 1. that “learning object” is a “sexy buzz phrase”. It has been around for some time now and sexy is is NOT and never has been. Also I really worry for you if you think “cognitive catalyst” is sexy! (? And reading your description of a “cognitive catalyst” , to me it is a LO under another name. It would not be the only type of LO but it could be rendered interoperable as one. Would you not want your cc’s to be interoperable among different applications and system??? You state: “Content is important…… Taken by itself without the learner and the cognitive process, a "learning object" is the pedagogical equivalent of a sentence fragment. It is only occasionally appropriate and often fails to communicate.” Of course, but if you can use your cognitive catalyst on any device using any system isn’t that better than one that is only usable in one environment?? Michael thx for your stimulating provocation. Perhaps you could help me. I have been searching for the person or persons who is claiming that LOs work on their own without interactions as we see them above. Do you have a reference? I feel people are creating straw dogs to attack, but maybe there is someone out there

  • Thu, 18 May 2006
    Post by Mark Oehlert

    I feel your pain. My background is in history and it has always bothered me that everyone and their brother thinks because they heard someone talking head say something about the Founders - that they know about the history of the US. Kind of invalidates all the years of grad school and research and writing you know? I''m not the biggest fan of arguing over semantics but I really think that the choices that marketing departments probably have made in this industry have really hurt. This gets to why its so hard to determine the ROI of e-learning - simply because that''s the wrong thing to try to measure. You''re either trying to measure the effectiveness of an instructional model of the change in performance of a student. Hmmm...

  • Thu, 18 May 2006
    Post by Michael Feldstein

    John, the excellent point you make merits further consideration by the industry. The formula giving students learning objects and assessing them on simplistic behavior learning objectives is nothing more than long-disproved Skinnerian behaviorism. We need something better. Mark, you''ve put your finger on the crux of the problem with the way we think about teaching and learning--whether or not that learning happens to be "e". The reason that "e-Teaching" is a less salable term than "e-Learning" is because people fundamentally don''t believe there''s such a thing as pedagogy (or androgogy, or whatever). And the reason they don''t believe there''s any such thing as pedagogy is because they don''t believe (or don''t think about) the cognitive process inside the student''s head that intermediates between the transmission of information and the acquisition of knowledge (i.e., learning). Lacking a concept of pedagogy, a teacher is simply someone who tells facts with enthusiasm. But if we recognize that there are these intermediating cognitive processes, and that there is a craft to constructing experiences such that these cognitive processes are more likely to be engaged by the student, then "teaching" becomes a word with substance again.

  • Thu, 18 May 2006
    Post by Mark Oehlert

    Right on Michael. I also hope people don''t skip past that first paragraph - powerful stuff - people learn. E-learning isn''t something that can be sold, more accurately, its actually when people use something electronic in the process of learning. All learning is "mobile" unless someone is bed-ridden. The more accurate (but less saleable) terms would actually be something like e-teaching, e-instruction or EPSS. No learning management systems exist outside learners'' heads. Take away that foundational "object" and the whole semiotic house of cards tumbles!

  • Wed, 17 May 2006
    Post by John Jenkins

    Could not agree with you more. That is why the U.S. Navy has recently stressed Performance, Performance, Performance. Alas we still kept the old Learning and Terminal objectives. Nothing like beating a dead horse - again.

  • Wed, 17 May 2006
    Post by Jim Beeler

    Mr. Feldstein you are correct in that it appears we need to personalize learning, the act of learning, as opposed to the learned object. Mr. Nichols, I disagree. What failed in the 60s and 70s was an assumption that all will learn equally given the chance. Aside from a small percentage, everyone learns...the issue becomes in what time frame? Self-pace has worked for as long as print. An enormous amount of people learn from reading books. Some from watching video. The self-paced you refer to is, for the most part, a failure to learn within requisite time. Learning occurred, just not within the time allowed for the schoolhouse.

  • Wed, 17 May 2006
    Post by Mike Nichols

    Thank you sir...it seems that technology is the master, and we chase it where ever it goes...while at the same time we abondon stable products that have worked well for decades. Technology is our "master" seems like...BUT we (people & the mission) should be the master and technology should be the "slave" to the mission... We tried all this self-pace stuff in the late 60 and 70s...didn''t work then, and won''t now...we don''t do our research, and are expecting different results, but we are doing the same stuff....the definition of what?