Lean-In Technology, Safety Nets and Psychology

Maureen Wakefield, ITForum, Feb 05, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Online learning is a "lean in technology" according to this paper, meaning that the demand mouse clicks forces the student to 'lean in' to the computer to click the mouse and type responses. But how often, and on what basis, do we make students lean in? And of course the answer is that it varies depending on the learner. For example, "Instructional designers creating lean-in online course must be able to recognize learners who are aware of their own metacognitive processes." They require a different set of interactions from those who need to be taught to be self-reflective. In general, argues the article, designers should "allow for the road less travelled," but at the same time, it should "provide a safety net" for those who might lose their way.
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