"The underlying logic of contemporary on-line learning and teaching environments has been informed by a systems approach to design. Despite the considerable effort devoted to their evolution and the focus of this effort on flexible learning, on-line learning and teaching systems appear to be limited to the task of transmitting information. In her essay on the evolution of ICT-based learning environments, Rosa Maria Bottino describes this orientation as, firstly one that sits in opposition to constructivist theories, and secondly one that fails to sufficiently accommodate social interaction and practice contexts within the learning and teaching environments. Bottino goes on to critique the information transmission model of ICT-based learning and teaching systems, and suggests that approaches that privilege learners as active participants should be pursued:
'One of the major forces which has driven change has been the assumption that meanings are lost if learning is simply seen as the transmission of information. Learning is progressively considered as being based on an active exploration and personal construction, rather than on a transmissive model' (Bottino 2004).
In the current milieu of on-line learning and teaching environments, ICT architects appear to be caught in a bind between a requirement to provide generalised system features and a will to embrace contemporary educational strategies. In the light of a systems approach to design, a compromise appears to have been made that privileges administrative robustness and security over (student) agency and engagement. Baltasar Fernandez-Manjon and Pilar Sancho have further described aspects of this problem as one where 'the requirements of a commercial learning environment are too diverse to be provided by a single monolithic system' (Fernandez-Manjon and Sancho 2002). The result is that the ability for students to collaborate and maintain autonomy within such centralised systems has been limited to superficial sharing of data over networks within closed publishing contexts. Without a serious interrogation of the underlying imperatives governing a systems approach to ICT design, learning and teaching within these environments is destined to remain locked in the administrative mode."
(Simon Perkins, 2005)
2). Perkins, Simon C. (2005) "Towards a socio-constructivist approach to learning and teaching within OLT environments". In OLT 2005 Conference, September 2005.
Baltasar Fernandez-Manjon & Pilar Sancho (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Wiley's definition of learning objects [can be defined] as "any digital resource that can be reused to support learning". The idea behind learning objects is clearly grounded in the object-oriented paradigm: independent pieces of instruction that may be reused in multiple learning contexts and that fulfil the principles of encapsulation, abstraction and inheritance. Therefore, they have been historically described as Lego pieces, because as Legos do, learning objects can be assembled into lager instructional structures and reused for building other structures. But there is a substantial difference, learning objects are not at all combinable to any other learning object. It is very likely that assembling learning objects without any instructional model will hardly be educationally useful.The Instructional Use of Learning Objects. Agency for Instructional Technology and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology