The Internet is a powerful tool.
It has provided us with myriad opportunities to review the way we look at education. Social media and web 2.0 has increased the level of engagement at a global level and allowed high quality information to be written, read, heard, seen and shared. This sense of global community education is the very essence of the modern day version of asynchronous learning.
Asynchronous learning is a student-centered teaching method that uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people. Asynchronous learning is based on constructivist theory, a student-centered approach that emphasizes the importance of peer-to-peer interactions
We are seeing an increased number of engaged, interested readers who are enjoying learning for the sake of learning. It has led to the development of ‘anyone-anywhere-anytime-anything‘ learning …picking apart the standard educational models
Working online, and without a syllabus has allowed us to provide a complimentary strategy to solution driven problems (Problem Based Learning) and physical scientific constructivism (contextual learning) and be a little more creative in our educational approach. We have the opportunity to go beyond conventional classroom learning and develop a community based teaching model based on asynchronous contextual online learning. This will allow more time for reflection on complex ideas, which is great for continuous professional development.
With this is mind, we have a number of new projects underway at LITFL…
- Basic Science in Clinical Context - Starting with Clinical Anatomy and the Physiology Philes
- Global Medical Education Project allowing social engagement, knowledge acquisition and content sharing across the web by doctors, nurses, paramedics, and students of life
- The Rapid Fire clinical context project covering anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and physiology in 90 second vivas relating directly to a clinical case
Finally the iMac box structure is being built…slowly
- According to Hull’s (1993) definition of contextual learning, learning occurs only when learners connect information to their own frame of reference
- Karweit (1993) defines contextual learning as learning that is designed so that students can carry out activities and solve problems in a way that reflects the nature of such tasks in the real world. Research supports the effectiveness of learning in meaningful contexts (Carraher, Carraher & Schleimer, 1985; Lave, Smith & Butler, 1988).
- Resnick (1987) points out that schools emphasize symbol manipulation and abstraction instead of the contextualized learning that is used in the world outside of school. She says the problem is that the symbols are detached from their real-world referents. Because they are decontextualized, they have no meaning for students.
- Design for Contextual Learning: Web-based Environments that Engage Diverse Learners
- Critical investigation of the problems with PBL [PDF]
- Definitions of contextual learning
- Asynchronous and Synchronous eLearning [PDF]