Emerging frontiers of learning online: digital ecosystems, blended learning and implications for adult learning

Finger, Glenn and Sun, Pei-Chen and Jamieson-Proctor, Romina (2010) Emerging frontiers of learning online: digital ecosystems, blended learning and implications for adult learning. In: Adult learning in the digital age: perspectives on online technologies and outcomes. Information Science Reference (IGI Global), Hershey, PA, United States. ISBN 9781605668284


The potential for online education for adult learning have been well argued, and in recent times there have been eLearning initiatives to realise the potential offered by online education. Adult learning institutions, particularly Universities, have adopted and introduced infrastructure to support Learning Management Systems (LMS), Local Area Networks (LAN), Learning Management Content Systems (LMCS), and Virtual Learning Environments (VLE). Following discussion of those eLearning environments, this chapter will suggest that the limitations of those digital systems is leading to the next phase with the development of digital ecosystems conceptualised as learning platforms which keeps learning central, enables interoperability, and forms a base for building upon through use of new technologies and increased capabilities of educators to use information and communication technologies (ICT) for curriculum, pedagogy and assessment (Ingvarson & Gaffney, 2008). Digital ecosystems enable the integration of student administration, LAN (requiring teacher and student logins and passwords), VLE, content repository, community links, utilise Web 2.0 (social networking) technologies, and can have the adult learner as the central focus of the design of the platform and its functionalities. Subsequently, the chapter draws upon the findings of a research project (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2007) which identified the critical functionalities for eLearner satisfaction to provide suggestions that the architecture and design of an eLearning system should be informed by the adult learners’ perceived usefulness of the system (Pitnuch & Lee, 2006). More recently, the presentation of face to face teaching and online learning as alternatives has been superseded by conceptualisations of blended learning. Through presenting these learning environments in terms of their possibilities and limitations, and the emergence of blended learning, implications for adult learning will be synthesised.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 1. Permanent restricted access to chapter due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2010 02:17
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2016 03:13
Uncontrolled Keywords: digital ecosystems; blended learning; adult learning; ICT education
Fields of Research (2008): 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0805 Distributed Computing > 080503 Networking and Communications
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130101 Continuing and Community Education
Fields of Research (2020): 46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4606 Distributed computing and systems software > 460609 Networking and communications
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390405 Educational technology and computing
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390301 Continuing and community education
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-60566-828-4.ch001
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/7279

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