small.pngWelcome to the Absolute Idiot's Guide to E-Learning Pedagogy page! This is yet another room in the work-house where you get your building blocks for the terrific e-learning course or project you are going to build!

This video serves as an introduction to our topic:

DNA Pedagogy from Youtube


Watch the movie. Then reflect on the questions given below in connection with the theme of the movie - a DNA pedagogy for the 21st century."
1.It's the kids' fault if they didn't get it." What do you think about this idea?
2.What do you feel about this being the thinking that is ingrained in most teachers?
3. What do you think is the new DNA pedagogy?
4. Reflect on whether you are willing to give it a go.


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"How do you define "pedagogy"? ("Pet-your-doggie?") The word really means "to lead a child." But the narrow meaning is teaching someone to teach. It's essential that the "learners" teach. Talking about it isn't enough." -

-Marianne Uszler, Emerita, University of South California

What is E-learning Pedagogy?

E-learning - has been defined as "Education via the Internet, network, or standalone computer. E-learning is essentially the network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. E-learning refers to using electronic applications and processes to learn. e-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM..
Pedagogy - has been defined by the Webster New World College Dictionary(2005) as the profession or function of a teacher;teaching, the art of teaching esp. instruction in teaching methods.
Pedagogy is often the act of putting theory into practice.

What are the pedagogies used by educators for elearning?

E-learning pedagogy is based on the same educational theories used in the face to face classroom. These theories fall into the broad categories of Objectivism and Constructivism.


  • Learning is transmitted knowledge! Teaching should be directed, systematic and structured.
  • Inquiry approaches are too slow to be practical; learning has to be teacher directed.
  • Students should all pass tests; standardization means accountability.


(Globe pictures from Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on linked to
  • Knowledge is constructed, not transmitted! Let students to activities that help them generate their own knowledge.
  • Directed instruction is teacher centred; hands-on instruction is student centred.
  • Let students show what they have learned in different ways, not just on written tests

(Adapted from figure 2.2 Two Epistomological "Planets": Objectivism and Condstructivism
in Foundations of Effective Technology Integration Models: Theory and Practice.)

Objective Learning theories

Behaviourist theory - B.F. Skinner - Skinner was a psychologist who suggested that learning is an activity that happens inside the mind and can be inferred only by behaviours. These behaviours could be shaped by reinforcement. If you notice that, when students get their answers right on an educational internet site, the computer gives them a reward or comes up with a word like 'Well Done,'' the designers are using Skinner's idea of positive reinforcement - to encourage desired behaviours.

Information Processing Theory - Atkinson and Shiffrin - Information processing theorists see the mind as a computer. It has three types of stores:sensory registers, short term memory and long term memory.

Cognitive-Behavioural theory - Robert Gagne - He believed that learning was shaped by providing optimal conditions for learning.

Constructive Learning theories

Social Activist Theory - John Dewey - Dewey said that learning happens because of social experiences. Therefore, school curriculum should be based on students' interests and be intergrated.

Scaffolding Theory - Lev Vygotsky - Learning is a cognitive building process and is shaped by the differences within individuals and culture. Learning is achieved through scaffolding or building on what learners already know.

Child Development Theory - Jean Piaget - He suggested that learning happens though neurological and social maturation.

Discovery Learning - Jerome Bruner - Learning is the growth of the mind through interaction with the environment.

Multiple Intelligence Theories - Howard Gardner- People have different kinds of intelligences and one's type of intelligence shapes one's learning.
The types of intelligences are: Linguistic, Musical, Logical-mathematical, Spatial, Body-kinesthetic, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Naturalist
(Roblyer, 2006)


A new theory put forward by George siemens is emerging and could be seen as the theory of the future in e-learning.

Principles of connectivism:
  • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  • Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
  • Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.

Integration Strategy

So how does one integrate these theories into E-learning?

Model of Technology integration by Roblyer(2006)
Choose directed technology integration strategies when:
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  • Skills and content to be learned are clearly defined, concrete, unambiguous and a specific behavioural response can indicate learning.
  • Students need individual tutoring/practice to learn and demonstrate prerequisite skills.
  • Students need to acquire skills as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Some activities to consider :
Directing them to individual learning websites
Wikipedea search
Choose inquiry based technology integration when:
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  • Concepts to be learned are abstract and complex; teachers feel that hands-on, visual activities are essential to help students see how concepts apply to real-world problems and issues.
  • Teachers want to encourage collaboration and/or allow alternative ways of learning and showing competence.
  • There is time to allow unstructured exploration to motivate students and help them discover their own interests.
Some activities to consider:
Using search engines
Social networking
(You can click on e-learning tools on the menu bar on the left to find how to use these tools)
University of Tasmania
University of Tasmania

(Diagram from Research/pedagogy.htm)
A message for those who are having second thoughts about using E-learning:

Youtube Ban Comic
Youtube Ban Comic

Cartoon from Open Thinking & Digital Pedagogy, powered by WordPress using a modified Autumn Concept 1.0 theme, originally created by Ed Merritt.

So as you can see, there's no way out!

If you want to know more about e-learning pedagogy why not visit the Virtual pedagogy home page of:

June Kaminsky - This site provides a good overview of e-learning pedagogy

Moodle and Pedagogy - This site introduces you to moodle and e-learning pedagogy.

rat.pngThank goodness you found me!! Sometime I get lost in all this E-Learning stuff. As a thanks for helping me out, give me a click and I'll show you a dance video my cousin Raymond made. Don't worry about the end bit. He made a full recovery.


Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on
linked to Accessed 22.04.2008. Accessed 22 April 2008 Accessed 22.04.2008

Open Thinking Pedagy homepage Accesssed 22.4042008
Pedagogy, e-learning and knowledge development. (n.d) online resource. Website: Accessed 2 April 2008 Accessed 3 May 2008

Research/pedagogy.htm| Research/pedagogy.htm. Accessed 22 April 2008

Roblyer, M. 2006. Integating Educational technology into Teaching. New Jersey. Pearson Education Inc

University of CaliforniahomepageAccessed 22.04.2008 2008|Internet Accessed 18 April 2008

Webster's New World College Dictionary, 2005. Ohio.Wiley Publ.