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Pedagogic approach to online learning

We employ a flexible approach to learning and knowledge media design, determined by careful analysis of requirements, resources and constraints in any particular situation.

The process includes an analysis at the start of each project which identifies key data such as target audience profiles, course aims, required learning outcomes, relationship with any other courses, preferred learning and teaching styles, available infrastructure and resources.

Working from this analysis, we can advise the client on the most appropriate pedagogical mix drawing from the various traditions of didactic, behaviourist, constructivist and social constructivist approaches to learning.

While mastery of factual content may be handled through a simple didactic exposition and test model, more conceptual knowledge and skills development needs a more discursive approach, often supplemented by, or built around, activities of various kinds.

Our Learndirect materials need to be highly controlled for the main part to ensure that learners receive the clearest possible instruction, so we have employed a strongly didactic approach, allowing for more exploratory activity only within specified, tutor moderated, modules.

In our training materials for Reuters we combined a highly prescriptive didactic model with a more exploratory approach to allow learners the opportunity to find out about the roles of colleagues with whom they had to interwork. Learning was reinforced by summative assessment knowledge tests and practical work book based exercises.

Within our Electronic Campus modules we have employed much more discursive and exploratory approaches, in keeping with undergraduate and postgraduate level study.

These include, for example, sophisticated simulations that allow students to explore online the consequences of different ideas and courses of behaviour and online discussion groups where individual and group interactions constitute a major part of the curriculum.

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