THE LIVING LABORATORY EXAMPLE 2: STUDENTS-AS-DESIGNERS LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Description of the Learning Environment: Students-as-Designers

Instead of a sociotechnical system discussed in Example 1, this example illustrates a student-centered, project-based, and technology-rich learning environment. It is intended to demonstrate how the living laboratory is reflected through the design research in a naturalist setting of a day-to-day classroom of a high school computer class. Through two ethnographic studies (Ge, Thomas, & Greene, 2006; Thomas, Ge, & Greene, 2011) of iterative design, this example showcases how an ethnographic research approach can be used as a powerful tool to examine and interpret the rich social and cultural aspects of a learning environment. This ethnographic study features the evolution of a technology-rich learning environment, particularly how the researchers, teachers, and students worked together to overcome challenges during the cultural shift from the traditional learning environment to an OLE. In this environment, high school students played the role of instructional designers in creating learning activities and resources for a virtual digital learning environment, which was designed to be used by younger students of elementary school students.

 
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