Can we help e-learning to scale up in schools by casting students as e-designers? The GENESIS Project

Year: 2005

Author: Schaverien, Lynette

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Despite its initial promise, e-learning has been slow to scale up in schools. One possible but neglected reason for this slowness might lie with the nature of e-learning systems themselves. We describe an ARC Linkage Project, the GENESIS Project (Generating e-learning systems in schools), a project that sought insights into this hypothesis by means of a novel e-learning mediated strategy. First of all, students (aged seven to fifteen years) generated a large pool of significant questions of passionate interest to them. Then they decided, by consensus, on one cluster (How and why do we think and how come we are not born with the knowledge we know now?), explored that question cluster themselves and conceived an e-learning environment where they and other students might continue to engage with that cluster. Once the environment had been built, students explored its worth for learning. In this paper, each of the three partner schools considers whether, and if so, how, key aspects of the GENESIS strategy have scaled in their contexts. We conclude speculatively, drawing implications for the nature and, in particular, the educational significance of learning and teaching technologies in our age.