I’ve just been browsing an article discussing Web 2.0 and Education 2.0.

A bit heavy for a lunchtime read, so I haven’t travelled to the article’s depths, but it has triggered some thoughts.  The articles describes a transition in educational philosophy that is driven by the growth in Web 2.0 functionality (leading to social collaboration potential).   In reading the article, I remembered the query made by a colleague recently – What do you do when students don’t want to learn in this manner?

I don’t think I’ve seen anyone really exploring this question.  In much online literature social constructivism, facilitation, and collaborative learning are assumed as the implicit methodology of online education.   Are they necessarily the best strategies for student learning, or are they just the hot trend in education at present?

I don’t really believe the second suggestion here.  It does make sense to me to utilise the collaborative potential of web 2.0 in the appropriate setting, but I’m not convinced that any of these attributes are optimal in all situations.  It’s my experience that constructivist learning scenarios work well in some cases, but I wouldn’t teach all of my subjects and classes in that way.  Sometimes it works for me to act purely as a facilitator of student discussions, at other times it works for me to be more directive and assume the traditional teacher’s role.  Sometimes collaborative learning is great, but some students may learn better as individuals.

What about student expectations?  I think we need to be aware that some students may not be used to the self-directed collaborative learning environment, and we need to have some strategies for dealing with this phenomena.  In a classroom it’s a lot easier to see if a student is not comfortable with a particular style of lesson, and issues can often be eased by the facilitator explaining the rationale for the exercise.  How do we see this online?