The architecture of learning
So how does Learning 2.0 fit into this landscape? In order to deconstruct Learning 2.0 - Stephen Downes was the first to coin the phrase eLearning 2.0 - we first need to decide what we mean by Learning 1.0. For me, Learning 1.0 (if there ever was such a thing and it can be equated to Web 1.0) represents a relatively passive individual learning mode where expert generated content is pushed at the learner. It represents a top-down, hierarchical delivery of content (and content really is king in this mode), which ideally demands specific (observable) behaviours from the learner that can be measured and assessed objectively. Behaviourism and Cognitivism are theories that could comfortably be applied to describe the activities seen within a Learning 1.0 scenario. Bloom's taxonomy is also a framework that might be applied to underpin and explain the levels of activity that would ensue from Learning 1.0 type activities. It is reminiscent of the 1980s Computer Assisted Learning model, where learners sat at a computer, received linear sequences of content, responded to it by answering multiple choice questions, and were presented with remedial loops or 'relearning' when they failed to reach the required standard of understanding.
By contrast, Learning 2.0 is recognised by more active and participatory modes of learning, and they are rarely isolated learning activities. As Web 2.0 has evolved, we have seen an increasing amount of interactive content becoming available. This content is generated not only by the experts, but also increasingly by the learners themselves, and tends to be organised by the community rather than by the experts. It is not a hierarchy and it does not obey top down rules, but in more likely to be a heterarchy. The emergent properties of content organisation are folksonomies, and are the product of loose organisation that is bottom-up rather than top-down. One of the best theories to describe how learning is organised in Web 2.0 environments is social constructivism, because learners increasingly rely on social interaction, and appropriate tools to mediate dialogue. Collaborative, shared online learning spaces such as wikis and discussion forums are characteristic meeting places where content can be created and shared, and the community also organises and moderates this content using specialised services such as aggregation, curation and tagging tools.
When we talk about web versions, we inevitably travel down a road where significant step changes in the evolution of the web mark new ways of using it. If there really is a Web 1.0 and a Web 2.0, then we can expect eventually to see a Web 3.0, and can expect to see new forms of learning and social interaction advancing as a result. In my next blog post, I will try to describe what we can expect from Learning 3.0 using a similar explanatory framework.
Photo by Steve Wheeler
The architecture of learning by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.