Emergent complexity in learning and teaching by combining simple learning technologies

J. Rosbottom, Jonathan Crellin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of a monolithic virtual learning environment compared with a more diverse assembly of software elements adapted for learning? Is the whole greater than the sum of the parts when simple learning technologies are utilised in combination? Can a rich, relatively complex, learning environment emerge from a combination of relatively simple, individual learning elements? These questions are addressed in this paper, and we describe some of the outcomes we have observed when students use a learning environment developed using a number of loosely related web technologies together with more traditional teaching methods. Our strategy for the development of teaching and learning is to combine well understood tools involving a website, web forms, audio and video tools and RSS to produce an interactive learning system that can be taken in various directions depending on the needs and interests of the learners and the teacher. We believe that combining these simple elements can produce a learning environment that is robust,maintainable, controllable and is tuned to the needs of the students and the teachers. Our approach encourages experimentation, keeping what works and easily discarding what is unsuccessful or requiring further development. This paper describes the continuing evolution of our approach, and the reactions of learners. We compare our approach based on the use of simple tools with development using a virtual learning environment (VLE). The paper addresses the conference theme of enhancing the scope of technologies beyond their usual application limits.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventFifth International Conference on Human System Learning - Marrakech, Morocco
Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …


ConferenceFifth International Conference on Human System Learning
Period1/01/05 → …


  • HCI
  • VLE
  • Learning


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