Definition

Learners exist in accessible networks, and connect to the experiences, concepts, people, and ideas that they need. The process of learning requires that we make connections to our prior experiences, elaborate concepts in our minds by making additional connections, and see implications of what we have learned by connecting to related possibilities. Technologies enable connections by creating flexible groupings and flexible types of communications that could not otherwise occur by:

  • Prompting active student engagement in the learning, so learning is deeper and more permanent than just remembering what you have been told
  • Scaling up or down to allow whole school/college, whole class, small groups, temporary groups, and groups containing external members
  • Providing groups with easy ways to complete ongoing processes, share materials and ideas, and work on the same thing together at the same time
  • Having flexible modes of communication, and allowing a variety of types of text including audio, visual, written, video, hypermedia (links) etc.
  • Offering more than one way to connect, so that groups can choose the process that suits their learning needs, rather than being forced into methods of communication that harm their learning goals

Example

Anne’s class is working together with two other classes on a common case. The classes have different disciplinary ways of thinking about problems and different skills and background knowledge, but the disciplines will work together interprofessionally often. They use a common digital meeting space to work together, and sometimes meet at the same time. The teams have different topics grouped together in channels, and these have associated files, vidoes, and links. Once the initial work breaking down the case/problem is completed, and data has been gathered, the teams reform in new structures to plan how to successfully address the issues.  They are assessed by their instructors and outside evaluators who get formal presentations about the team’s progress at intervals. The presentations are also planned and delivered using the collaboration space.

Breadth of Options (3E)

Below are examples of using learning technologies to help students connect together to apply learning. For more examples of using learning technologies under the 3E Framework, see Illustrative examples of using learning technologies with the 3E framework.

Enhance

Extend

Empower

Students work across classes and disciplines to collaborate on a project proposing potential solutions to a real-life problem chosen by the instructor(s).

Students work across classes and disciplines to collaborate on a project proposing potential solutions to real-life problems chosen by the students. The final format of the project(s) is also chosen by the students.

Students work across classes and disciplines to collaborate on a project proposing potential solutions to real-life problems chosen by the students. The final format of the project(s) is also chosen by the students. The projects are shared with experts in the disciplines who contribute feedback prior to the final work being shared publicly.

More Information