Subjects, objects and outcomes of (e-)learning activity system

Teemu Leinonen at FLOSSE Posse writes about Subjects, objects and outcomes of (e-)learning activity system. He cites Graham Attwell:

Graham wrote that he would vote the ‘learning application’ to be the object in the e-learning. I do not agree with him. I think in a learning activity system the object should be something as abstract as ‘knowledge objects’ (problems, own hypothesis, theories, etc.) that are interpreted, modified and mixed by the subject’s – the members of the learning community that contains both more advanced subjects (teachers, tutors) and less advanced subjects (students). The objects are under consideration of the subjects.

The instruments used to work with the knowledge objects are (1) methods of working (pedagogical models, group work techniques, study/research plans etc.) and (2) tools (paper and pen, notebooks, books computers, etc.). So, what are the outcomes of this kind of learning activity system? If the system works well the outcomes are meaning, conceptual change, problem solving skills, critical thinking – deep understanding of the domains under study.

This specification has actually been implicitly (I know we should write more about this!) behind the design of Fle3 – the pedagogical tool for collaborative learning – developed by my group. (I hope you are not getting tired of my writings about it

Anyway in this kind of learning activity system, Fle3 is the instrument, students and teachers are the subjects and knowledge is the object. But, I have noticed that the lower level nodes are making this kind activity system’s operations hard to work. Often Fle3 just do not fit to the existing human activity system. Rules – the national curriculums and laws – do not support this kind of activity systems in schools. The wider community – teachers, parents (student, too) – are afraid that the schools will end-up to be places of playing with ‘knowledge objects’ and there is no more serious lessons and discipline that will result as ‘real learning’ = recalling of facts. Teachers are skeptical if the students will learn anything when you give them the right to be the subjects with a voice in the system. The request to become a subject alongside your students is also major change in the division of the labor. And the selection task of education becomes more complicate to carry out.

There may be some ideas here that are relevant to our SOLE (Secondary Online Learning Environments) project.

(Via FLOSSE Posse.)