Page 60


combination of texts and media rather

to be guided to ‘right answers’ – they

than texts only (which he called the

need to develop their own evaluative

Multimedia Principle). Problem-based

judgement skills so that they can

learning is one well-known technique

judge their own work and that of their

that leverages the power of stories –

colleagues. They will not have tutors

learners engage with carefully designed

to mark their ‘assignments’ in the

scenarios, in other words, stories,

workplace. Cultivating learners’ abilities

applying their knowledge to solve real-

to critically engage and evaluate their

world problems.

own and peers’ work based on agreed criteria or standards is one of the

Design tips for social learning:

most important life skills that higher

• Use case studies that represent

education can nurture. To become 21st


• Clearly state the aims and benefits of the team/group task to learners – What are learners going to achieve in this activity? • Negotiate and clarify how the team/group task is going to happen – What digital tools are used for collaboration, communication and project management? What are the roles and responsibilities of each member?

authentic problems to encourage

century ready, students need to be

learners to hear the perspective

able to navigate complexity, not only

of others and then discuss

through understanding disciplinary-

Design tips for social learning:

learning opportunities (e.g. prior

and collaborate.

related knowledge, but through a finely

• Create # for a course/class

knowledge/experience, gender, age

• Take advantage of various types of

honed ability to work with others.

multimedia that appeal to diverse

• Set up teams/groups that represent a mix of learners for diversity and

(for example, #LNG101) and

and location).

encourage learners to continue

With the proliferation of available digital

learning styles and can be used

Design tips for social learning:

conversations and exchange

tools, educators often simultaneously

to explain traditionally boring/

• Frame teachers as facilitators who

ideas/resources on key concepts

feel both excitement and trepidation

complex key concepts in visually

guide learners through questions

explored in class (e.g. Twitter and

– the sky is the limit, but where do

compelling ways.

and prompts, instead of directly


we start? We suggest that the place

• Invite learners to openly share their stories using both text

feeding answers and information. • Encourage peer learning through

• Design assessment that scaffolds

to start is with design. Good learning

students’ understanding and

and teaching, whether online or on-

and rich media that reflect their

sharing of stories, reflections,

creation of digital identity via social

campus, is purposeful and crafted.

understanding of the topic explored

resources and questions.

media profiles (e.g. LinkedIn).

Good teaching starts with a careful

• Encourage learners to follow and

exploration of who the learners are,

in learning and how to produce and

connect with researchers and

what they need to achieve and how

digest feedback.

practitioners in their field of study

they can achieve it. Digital innovation

via social media (e.g. Google

is not about the latest trending tool.

Scholar and LinkedIn).

It is about the ubiquity of networked

– social learning is not just exchanging words.

2. Promote peer and selfregulated learning

• Talk about the power of feedback

When online learning is designed

3. Get social with social media

through an intentional social lens, the

Social media, which has grown

traditional model of transmission of

communication. Effective digital learning is enacted through designing

exponentially over the past decade,

4. Orchestrate team/ group work

knowledge from teacher to student

can extend conversations and

Contemporary digital tools are

activates networks. Networks connect

becomes redundant because students

learning opportunities beyond the

designed for collaboration. Google

learners to each other, to history and to

are implicitly located at the centre

usual classroom. Most social media

Docs allows multiple writers to

the great span of ideas – to the stories

of learning. In a world where much

platforms have features such as

contribute and track their writing work

that make us human. n

information is now at anyone’s

like, follow, share and reply, which

online. Google Hangouts or Skype

fingertips through a simple Google

recognisably resonate with many

can host online virtual meetings to

search, the role of educator needs to

students’ everyday experiences with

connect and discuss ideas in real time.

within Deakin Learning Futures at

be reconceived. The educator must

social media. Because of the open

Trello invites people to communicate

Deakin University and works on

become a guide, facilitator and curator.

and social nature of social media,

asynchronously and manage their

various innovation projects around

incorporating this approach into

tasks and projects. Orchestrating team

digital learning. Her research

develop expertise carefully over time

education provides authentic learning

or group tasks with specific goals can

interests include self and peer

and in this they will depend on the

experiences, allowing students to

provide a great opportunity for learning

assessment, digital literacy and digital

assistance of more knowledgeable

explore and connect with real-world

directly through interactions with

social learning.

others. But all students must be

networks. In so doing, learners are

others. The trick in online team/group

A/Prof Marcus O’Donnell is

encouraged to engage in the process

also required to apply digital literacy

tasks is to design tasks that genuinely

Director, Digital Learning at Deakin

of learning, not just with content

and develop their digital identities.

allow learners to contribute through

University where he leads a number

knowledge. Skills like critical thinking,

They need to make judgements about

various roles and responsibilities

of ‘cloud-first’ learning redesign

problem solving and teamwork are

what is credible and think about

assigned to them. All of these free

projects. His research interests

constantly at the top of employers’

how to represent themselves as

online tools are ones that students will

includes digital learning innovation,

most sought-after graduate

distinct professionals through their

likely use in their working lives.

contemplative pedagogies and

capabilities. Students need not just

digital profiles.

Design tips for social learning:

student resilience.

Of course, students need to


058-061_ETS81 Teaching Tools.indd 60

for social learning, which, in turn,

Dr Chie Adachi is a Lecturer

21/11/17 4:07 pm

Education Technology Solutions Issue #81