Learning Networks

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Book: Learning Networks by by Linda Harasim, Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Lucio Teles, and Murray Turoff.


Summary from http://kamccollum.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/learning-networks/

Harasim et al:

"According to Harasim et. al., there are seven models of learning approaches that one can take in the design of learning networks:

1. Electure (Each of my lessons includes a 3-6 minute video, presentation, and/or podcast orienting students to the week’s topic and activities)

2. Ask-an-expert (I’m not explicitly using in my course, though I am going to encourage my students to contact practicing educators by commenting on blogs.)

3. Mentorship (I have not assigned my students to mentors or asked them to find mentors on their own.)

4. Tutor support (I’m providing my students with online office hours through instant messaging)

5. Access to relevant information (I’ve provided links to help guides and to reference materials for each topic. I’m also trying to suggest search terms for individual students to pursue on their own.)

6. Informal peer interaction (I have provided student discussion groups through a Ning network to encourage informal peer interaction.)

7. Structured group activity (I am requiring my students to participate in several structured group activites before they start working on thier individual projects.)" (http://kamccollum.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/learning-networks/)

Underlying Values

Harasim et al:

  • “The goal of making it possible for anyone, anywhere, at any time, at any age to engage in the learning process.”
  • “The value to the learning process of active and collaborative learning.”
  • “The ability of computer mediated communication systems to support the full range of human and social relationships.”
  • “The belief that improvement of society is tied to a concept of lifelong learning.”



"Harasim et. al. identified three models of networked learning in higher education, training and informal learning. Adjunct mode was the most common use of learning networks in 1994, the date of the book’s publication, and based on my experience studying the use of course management systems, it probably still is. In adjunct mode, learning networks are typically optional and are used to extend classroom debate, increase access to the instructor, and submit assignments electronically. In mixed mode, learning networks are fully integrated into the curriculum and are a regular part of course activities and the course grade. In online mode, computer mediated communication provides the primary environment for course dicscussion and interaction." (http://kamccollum.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/learning-networks/)