Learning: More Than Just Knowledge

Stephen Downes, Jun 11, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

In this, the fourth in my series of papers for the Australian Flexible Learning Community, I raise the question of how we create learning from online knowledge networks. It has to be something more than just accessing the content, but what? While IMS defines learning design by analogy with a play, I argue that a more appropriate metaphor would be a game. This, indeed, is the crux of the divide between the old, and the new, approaches to learning. "The difference between learning design as a ‘play’ and learning design as a ‘game’ is this: in the former, the learners are actors, playing a role, and to more or less a degree, following a script. In a game, however, the learners are agents, seeking to achieve an objective, and to more or less a degree, employing their abilities."
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