Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
I think this is a useful item even if I disagree with the theoretical background it presupposes. Susan Smith Nash outlines a discourse theory approach to e-learning, sketching textual components (such as surface code, textbase and situated text) and levels of discourse, all leading to an understanding of how the mind comprehends, or makes, meaning. You can tell the theory is a bit of a stretch when you encounter something like this: "Negative transfer can happen when there are no points of contact and students relate things to the wrong items." Now we can understand what that means, but try to envision the process - what would a 'negative transfer of information' look like? Imagine a 'negative phone call' or 'negative letter delivery'. These sorts of questions are what lead me to say that learning is an interaction rather than a transfer of information.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 12:17 a.m.