Over the past fifteen year period, online learning environments have blossomed from the simplistic presentation of knowledge towards a more enhanced conceptual framework through which real learning and understanding has the potential to successfully occur. Further, the growing interest in and enhanced growth of three-dimensional learning environments offers the opportunity towards humanizing the face of distance learning. The varying character of learning environments within today’s andragogic learning environment supports the opportunity towards addressing the functions and responsibilities inherent within the learning environment, as well as the opportunity to reflect the emergence of potential opportunities towards social equity, justice and change. Engaging learners within differing learning environments, from the text-based presentation of knowledge to the multimedia-enhanced course management system and the dawning three-dimensional online learning environment, offers the opportunity towards humanizing the functions and responsibilities inherent within the learning environment and offer the emboldened emergence of social equity, jusice and change. This shift in online learning environments supports integral components of societal communications, connections and meaning-making, and supports the shift from the Information Age towards the Conceptual Age (Pink, 2005) within the Knowledge Economy.
|Keywords:||Distance Learning, Web-based Learning, Web-enhanced Learning, Cognitive Load, Higher Order Thinking Skills, Communication, Interactive Activities, Semiotics, Multimedia, Information Age, Conceptual Age, Knoweldge Economy, Social Equity, Social Justice, Social Change, Responsibilities|
Associate Professor, Instructional Technology, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, USA
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