Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Frames of Reference

A number of pedagogical models, frameworks and toolkits are available to assist with course profiling and mapping. Each has its own merits. Some are more sophisticated and comprehensive than others. This can mean they are more complex and time-consuming to work through or that they allow the user to drill down further into areas of guidance and wider choice fulfilling a further purpose of developing staff understanding.

One approach to looking at e-learning design and its evaluation is to consider the focus in terms of discrete elements. There are many different models to help think through the pedagogic considerations, starting with a broad range of teaching and learning activities such as:

• Acquisition - reading, lectures
• Practice – exercises, problems
• Discussion – seminars, tutorials, online group work
• Discovery – field trips, practicals, primary resources
• Assessment – essays, exams, quizzes

You might find Gagne’s “nine instructional events” (1985) a useful way to set out the nature of the student learning or assessment activities your resource or activity supports:

  1. Attention
  2. Objectives
  3. Recall
  4. Stimulus and content
  5. Guidance
  6. Elicit response
  7. Feedback on performance
  8. Assess performance
  9. Enhance/transfer. Laurillard (2002) offers a ‘conversational’ model to map out the nature of communication and interaction between students and tutors:
    • Discursive – discussion of goals and conceptions
    • Adaptive – relating feedback on work to these conceptions
    • Interactive – acting to achieve a goal and receive feedback
    • Reflective – reflecting on actions in light of conceptions

Conole & Oliver (2002) developed a “media adviser” to model the use of technology, using a structure based on Laurillard’s technology review model (see Evaluation methods below):

• Narrative – print, lecture, video
• Interactive – hypermedia, web resources, interactive TV
• Adaptive – simulations, tutorials, games
• Communicative – CMC, conferencing
• Productive – microworlds, publishing, modelling Greg Stoner (LTDI guide) proposes an “integration model” based around how technology is selected and used:
• Initiation
• Analysis & evaluation
• Selection
• Design integration
• Implementation
• Monitoring & adaptation

Further models include a focus on learners, material, technology, curriculum design, tutors – there are some examples of this in the table below, some of which are outlined below.

 Focus  Examples 
 Learners  Hammond, M (1999); Laurillard, D. (2002)
 Material  Macdonald, J., Heap, N. and Mason, R. (2001)
 Technology  Dutke, S. and Reimer, T. (2000)
 Curriculum Design  Clarke, L. (2002) Roach, Blackmore & Dempster (2001); Dempster &  Blackmore (2002)
 Tutors  Salmon, G. (2002)

Table 1 : Focus for a variety of papers