Embedding Experiential Learning and Constructivism into E-learning Courseware

Fiona Chatteur, Andy Dong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Creating e-learning courseware design so as to make best use of learning theories can add complexity to an
already complex design task. By using pedagogy distilled from two learning theories as a design philosophy, this
research outlines how to embed these theories into “design for pedagogy” patterns for e-learning. These design
patterns cater not only for the designers of e-learning courseware, but also for those tutors/academics that use it. This
paper discusses the development of the “design for pedagogy” pattern and a reflective inquiry based on experiential
learning on the task of creating a tool to help write the pattern, a “pattern pack”. The “pattern pack” uses an
experiential learning approach to teach pattern writers how to extract pedagogically-based design solutions and
teaching practices from courseware and peer-reviewed literature. It is used to write a pattern for e-learning forums.
Writers need knowledge of the pedagogical theories, current research on best practice and examples of forums from
which to extract visual and interactive design and pedagogical elements. The “pattern pack” contains instructions,
background readings and two sets of cards. One set of cards identifies design elements seen in e-learning courseware
(menu navigation, threaded discussion pages, etc.) and the other identifies pedagogical practices based on experiential
learning and constructivism (abstract conceptualization, active experimentation, reflection etc). E-learning forums are
examined and a hierarchy is created using the cards, like a flowchart. The cards enable the organization of the visible
design elements linked with the supporting pedagogy. The hierarchy is recorded for each of the three forum examples
and writers reflect on the hierarchies. Recurring design and pedagogical elements are identified. These are in turn
organized into a hierarchy and this is used to write the design for pedagogy pattern.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication11th International Conference on Experiential Learning
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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