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E2 Digital education

for Enhanced
Editorial products
WP6: Develops
training contents for
publishing in the
digital environment
Didactic Model (Draft 1)
Italy
by Politecnico di Torino

E2 WP6

Executive summary
The document analyses the various forms of an e-Learning didactic model and
methods. Then, the paper describes the phases of design/planning of the econtent of a module of training.
The contents development for e-training is one of the main problems which
affect the e-learning research. The multiplicity of e-didactic typologies (standalone e-learning, assisted e-learning, e-cooperative learning, blended learning,
info-learning, small-learning) and the specificity of the related didactic
methodologies build the development of contents supporting the traininglearning process very articulated, defining the need to customize specific
planning and development models for the E2 LOs contents and presentation,
and specific professional skills necessary for this development.

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Tables of Contents
Introduction.........................................................................................................4
A theoretical topic of Didactic Model: a brief summary from the literature.........4
The Didactic Strategies.......................................................................................6
The designing of the e-Content of a Module........................................................7
Model, Methods and Didactic Strategies.............................................................8
References & Bibliography................................................................................10
Annex 1.............................................................................................................11

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Introduction
Taking into account the model, method and strategy that should drive the
development of the Learning Objects (LOs) we can thus begin from the initial
suggestions that emerged in the kick-off meeting, which consider the training
environment as expressed in the image below.

The trainee, or our target group(s), is placed in a milieu in which it is important


to consider the different possibilities of learning that are available to the
subject. These possibilities consist in the object of learning, the process of
learning and the subject of learning situated in a learning context such as
vocational training.

A theoretical topic of Didactic Model: a brief summary from


the literature
In a didactic model three possible directions of education coexist: the monocognitive, the meta-cognitive and fanta-cognitive perspective:
1. The mono-cognitive perspective interprets the intellectual education as
cultural literacy, intending to assure everybody the skills necessary to
organise content, to know the words meaning and to manage the
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investigation tools in different disciplines.


2. The meta-cognitive perspective aims at providing trainees with the

scientific thinking methods, in order to assume, formalise and solve


problems
through
observation,
formulation
of
hypotheses,
experimentation and assessment. In other words, it intends
to enhance in a systematic way the use of direct investigation tools
(attitudes,
methods,
techniques)
allowing
conceptualisation,
generalisation and transferability of cultural objects.
3. In the fanta-cognitive perspective the trainee can build original processes
of understanding/review and discover not only new or different cultural
objects, but also new or different approaches to them. They can be set up
thanks to the valorisation of subjectivity.
In specific, the didactic direction centred on mono-cognition, leads the future
trainees to deal with existing knowledge. His attention is predominantly
directed to the product, it is made of notions and abilities that are necessary
for the individual to manage specific problems. The problems that have to face
are on the one hand the quality of the knowledge suggested, which cannot be
encyclopaedic knowledge and must be fully updated in line with the evolution
of the argument chosen for the LOs and the target (as specified below, in this
document); on the other hand, the quality of didactic mediation that must
assure to every student the effective possibility to have access to knowledge
and must be able to use teaching individualization strategies able to motivate,
respect times and styles of individual and differentiate in the various situations
and for various and differentiate publishing company (according to their
interests and needs).
The didactic direction that tries to assure the achievement of meta-cognitive
competences interprets essentially education as a critical construction of
culture of the individual student and the group, with particular attention to the
process. The process is the organization of conscious and transferable learning
tools. New electronic tools allowing you to obtain information so easily, can
surely risk not taking account of meta-cognitive competences, because of the
huge quantity of ready for use knowledge of the net that risks to make the
meta-cognitive competences seeming useless. All the new electronic tools have
these valences to a great extent because are tools of mediation between
individual and knowledge, between individual and material, cultural and social
realities which work on the base of rules that the more you know and dominate
them the more useful are. The technological problem is planning and using a
didactic which makes use of computer applications in a critical way avoiding
the decline that result from a simple use of the machine that make the
machine to work alone, if you dont guide it.
Finally, the fanta-cognitive direction characterizes a training experience
centred on the subject, on the use of his experiences as starting point and tool
to rearrange originally knowledge and ways to use them in daily life. So
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individual experiences are both the starting and, at the same time, arrival point
of training experience. The problem is to enrich them, structure them, open
them to novelties through an action of awareness directed to the subject that
make him conscious of his limits and of his resources.
In this direction is surely possible to use the new tools towards experiences
that dont aim to isolate the subject in the self-referential world of his feelings,
but aim to stimulate the subject towards an ability to see, feel and express that
is at the same time more original and creative and more able to understand the
feelings of other people. Belongs to this scenery the use of hardware and
software that can fully exploit the ability of individual to extend the aesthetic
dimension: the applications of computer that can be used as perceptive
prosthesis, the programs to create sounds and images, the endless possibilities
of virtual reality, the places of
simulation in and out of game contexts.

The Didactic Strategies


The didactic model for the developing of E2 Learning Objects implies the issue
of integrating the presence of different didactic strategies. The origin of the
proposed model is represented by the opportunity to define three main
typologies of LOs that, according to the model presented previously, are
centred on: (1) the object of learning ; (2) the process of learning, (3) the
subject of learning.
The typology of LO centred on the object of learning belongs to the logics of
the so called descending career. His planning results from specific contents
of discipline (or from the field of knowledge) that is object of learning. His
educational objective is of informative-reproductive kind because it hopes to
give to the E2 trainees units of knowledge (beyond their specific nature: can be
simple or complex professional competences or abilities...) that have to be
learnt and reproduced in a certain way in respect to the given suggestion. The
reference model in a conventional educational environment is that of didactic
Unity. Its most rigorous implementation modality is surely that of Mastery
Learning, that grants the highest level of individualization.
The typology of LO centred on the process of learning gives importance to the
logics of a constructive approach of learning. It goes from the meta-cognitive
perspective of the development of ability, to the continuous activation of the
ways of the so-called scientific thought: that are ways of construction of
knowledge that use specific methodologies of research (or critical forms of
taking, formalizing and solving a problem). In other words they encourage in a
systematic way the use of tools of direct research (attitudes, methods,
techniques) that open to the possibility of conceptualisation, generalization,
transferability of produced knowledge and of modalities that have been used to
produce them.
The typology of LO centred on motivations and emotions of the learning
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subject tries to face a problem that traditionally is not taken into account in the
traditional training environment, but all along is considered fundamental for
educative research: the importance of motivational and emotional aspects in
the determination of effectiveness (in terms of quality and quantity) of the
learning path. This kind of LO tries to activate abilities that arent easily
measurable with objectifying procedures, because are scarcely predefined and
strongly linked to the field of individuality. The didactic modalities that are
considered more important are those of cultural animations: strategies that
encourage the student to make reflections that go beyond the level of objective
competences and professional abilities to arrive to the level of personal
meaning of that particular knowledge for the learning subject. These
reflections form a group of determined competences that anticipates and goes
with the learning process in all its forms.
As we have seen, these three typologies of LO come from different
interpretations of learning and as a consequence have different educational
objectives. Inside a challenging didactic model the problem to face is not
decide which is the best typology in absolute, but define in
the most accurate way the specificity of the individual typology in order to plan
the realities of
course in which are integrated the LOs of the three types according to
proportions and differed successions that take account of other possible
criterions:
disciplinary specificities of learning object
stated purposes of the course of study
age and competences of participants
features of the context.
Underlying idea of the problematic model is that is not possible to have a good
training quality in experiences that of course dont have any LO of one of the
three typologies.

The designing of the e-Content of a Module


After the theoretical advices, when the e-Content of a Module must be created,
the E2 partners must, first of all, design them and plan their development.
The models, methodologies and techniques of e-Authoring we are introducing
have a general value, but obviously it is necessary to affect specific
specializations regarding a different application of the e-Learning to the
training. This is worth in general for the e-Didactis that must be specialized in
the different disciplinary context.
This design entails not only attention to the fundamental content, topical and
communicative aspects, but also, the technical aspects of the operational
realisation of the Content and their organisation to guarantee a correct eEditing of the same.
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The phases of design/planning of the e-Content of a Module are, generally, the


following:
(1) Structural design of the Module;
(2) Design of the Textual Content, Multimedia Content, Tests and Deepings
(Documents, Glossaries, Hypermedia and Web Site);
(3) Publisher Design of the Documental In-Depths).
Phase 1 includes the following activities:
- definition of the module time-length
- planning of the module in chapters and chapters in paragraphs
- definition of the multimedial contributes forms
- definition of the in-depths publishing forms
- definition of the test form
Phase 2 includes the following activities:
- design of the Textual Contents, Definition of the documental fonts
- definition of the time production, planning of Production of the Multimedial
Contributes
- design of the Tests Typology
- definition of the In-Depths Typology, definition of the link techniques to Web
Site and other
Hypermedial Contents
Phase 3 involves the following activities:
- publishing design of the Documental In-Depths
- definition of the Technical Format of the Documental In-Depths
- protection Criteria of the Copyright
The didactic model developed for the project may include the use of a blend of
assisted self-study and collaborative learning, in order to provide users with as
much flexibility and autonomy as possible in organizing their learning activities,
as well as to promote an active role for learners through a process of peer
teaching and information exchange or through consultation with experts in
each specific field.
The course content could be structured in progressive modules.
The internal structure of each unit will be designed following a three-step
model:
1. introduction (where a virtual tutor presents the topic and aims of the unit),
2. presentation (audio-video presentation enriched with interactive activities
and links to additional material, regulatory material, and glossaries),
3. practice (allowing users to assess their own progress, with prompt
feedback).
Two different delivery models may be adopted:
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completely online, based upon a combination of self-study materials


(didactic units), self-assessment (tests and exercises), sharing tools
(forum, chat), information and support (bulletin-board, news and teaching
materials);
blended, including virtual classroom activities, in addition to the
instruments provided for completely online training.

Model, Methods and Didactic Strategies


A Didactic Method represents the shape of carrying out of any moment of the
process of Learning.
There are several Didactic Methods. Here are the main ones: Frontal Lecture;
Autonomous Learning; Exercising; Case Study; Simulation/Dramatizing;
Research/Guided Discovery; Visit on site; Reading of Daily Newspapers and
Reviews; Internet Navigation; Cooperative Learning; Problem Solving; Problem
Posing; Training on the Job. We can also add a further Method defined Check
(intermediate and final), that we can consider to be a didactic method since
it represents the necessary conclusion of any Path of Teaching-Learning, but
also an essential intermediate check (we have provided a glossary in the
attachments of the document).
Each of these methods has its own peculiarities and promotes a certain
modality of learning, and, moreover, we have to decide what is the best
method to use for the E2 LOs.
In fact, in the training process it is important not only what is learned, but
how it is learned. The Didactic Methods allow us to reach, contextually either
the Cognitive Objectives of the lowest level on the taxonomic scale, such as
knowledge and understanding, or those of a higher level, such as analysis and
evaluation. But they also promote the acquisition of skills and competences
relating to communication and relationships.
In addition to Didactic Methods we have, as already mentioned, Didactic
Strategies defined as
follows:
A Didactic Strategy is the integration of several didactic methods within an
Educational Action or one part of it.
Obviously, is not the only possible definition of a Didactic Strategy, but we
think that it is more appropriate in order to avoid the confusion between
strategy and methodology.
Finally, the integration of Didactic Methods can be achieved in a number of
different ways and this integration can concern either the development of a
part of the Didactic Action or can be used as a unitary strategy for the entire
training path. Here are some examples of Didactic Strategy (for each we
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indicate one possible sequence of Didactic Methods):

References & Bibliography

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Annex 1
Here we give a short description of each Method in order to introduce a kind of
glossary of didactic methodologies:
Frontal Lecture
This is the so-called professorial where an educator illustrates the concepts
and knowledge. Obviously this explanation can happen by using
communicative and relational dynamics and methodologies that can more or
less reinforce the didactic feature of the lecture itself. But at any rate the
Frontal Lecture represents a direct communication of the contents of the
knowledge to be transferred.
Autonomous Learning
This is an autonomous process, performed by the Learner, to acquire
knowledge. It is study at home and it consists of an action of the Learner
that, by using the didactic materials at his disposal or found autonomously (in a
library, in a bookshop, on the internet etc.), acquires the knowledge which is
the object of the learning process.
Exercising
This is an activity that usually follows a face-to face Lecture and integrates the
Autonomous Learning of the Learner through the application. Often the
Exercising activity immediately follows an activity of Autonomous Learning.
Sometimes, it follows an activity of Autonomous Learning and of Applicative
Exercising, a new face-to face Lecture representing a kind of reinforcement of
what has been previously explained and then learned and applied by the
Learner.
Case Study
The Case Study is a real problem (usually wide-ranging and complex) chosen
in the field of the subject/s of study and through which a solution is also found
(both real and applied as well). The Case Study is used to allow the Learner to
analyse deeply and with the help of the Trainer, the solution found for a
complex problem by using the tools that the Learner is learning.
Simulation/Dramatizing
Simulation is one of the most interesting methods to foster active learning.
Many types of simulation for learning exist: the Role Games, Decision-making
Games, Virtual Laboratories. In all these cases, what is used is a technological
environment, usually computer-based, but not only, where a certain operative
context is simulated (in the case of the informatics the simulation can, through
the use of virtual reality, even have sophisticated effects). Furthermore, some
Special Laboratories can represent environments, where complex processes or
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events are simulated. In these contexts the Learner can work by using the tools
that the environment offers. Obviously there are also simulations occurring
without the use of technology. Dramatizing is a particular kind of simulation in
which the Learners find themselves in an operative context where they are
asked to play a role, a function etc. Dramatizing is essentially the acting of
real events.
Research/ Guided Discovery
This is the usual methodology used, especially, in any kind of laboratory (also
virtual ones). The research-guided discovery moves from the statement of an
objective to be reached and some rules to be applied in order to achieve it, by
using the resources given by the Trainer. Obviously, the research process is
completely free, but supported by the Trainer (in some contexts with the
collaboration of a Tutor), who supports the choices, suggests in case of
uncertainty, corrects the mistakes of the process etc.
Visit on site
This is a classic method characteristic of active didactics. We can have
several types of visits addressed to different kinds of Didactic Objectives, but
they all have the purpose of putting the Learners in contact with one or more
real situations and contexts in the field of the subjects of study in order to help
them find in the real contexts what they have already learned in captivity.
Reading Daily Newspapers and Reviews
The informative method is a didactic method widely used in the contexts of
the so-called non-formal and informal information, but it is increasingly
being used also in the field of formal3 education. Its purpose is to promote
the contextualization of theories, models, laws, rules etc...in real situations but
also to increase the amount of information related to one or more subjects of
study.
Navigation on Internet
Navigation on Internet can be used for two different objectives: informative
objectives and research objectives. In the first case it is a new modality of
application of the previous method (Reading of Daily Newspapers and
Reviews), whereas in the second case it represents a method of constructing
reading characteristic of active didactics and formal education.
Cooperative Learning
Cooperative Learning is a methodology applied when the Educator wants to set
the Learner up in a cooperative learning context. The method has its own
application rules that range from the modalities of making groups to the
methodologies of management and observation of the work. The method
promotes the accomplishment of the Educational Objectives either of a
cognitive or of a behavioural and relational kind. Cooperative Learning is based
on providing one or more groups with a Problem or a Case Study or a Problem
of Research/Guided Discovery or, also, a Role or Decision-making Game. The
groups have to deal with the problem and solve it.
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Problem Solving
The methodology of Problem Solving, one of the most interesting
methodologies of Teaching-Learning, is used when it is required that the
Learner doesnt learn a series of concepts in a passive way, but through a
structured path moving from the origins, within himself, of a need for
knowledge. Problem Solving Methodology starts with the statement of one or
more problems when the Learner does not have the knowledge necessary for
their solution (it is precisely this knowledge which is the object of learning). The
attempt at finding a solution and the possibility of failure, stimulate in the
Learner the need for learning how to solve the problem. This prepares the
ground for the subsequent Frontal Lecture (called Systematization) that
provides him with the tools needed to solve problem and consolidates the
learning process.
Problem Posing
This method consists of asking the Learners to define solvable problems in a
determinate context with a specific acquired knowledge. It has been observed
that these kinds of activities strongly consolidate what has been learned since
it leads the Learners to reason, we could say, on the contrary, by using the
knowledge not as something to be acquired but as something to reason
about.
Training-on-the-Job
This Method is applied by placing the Learner in a real operative (working)
context, where he has to operate by applying what he has learned during the
processes of Formal Education. This method is also defined Stage.
Check
The Check is applied both during a Teaching-Learning Path and at its
conclusion; it can have many shapes (Interviews, Essays, Open Problems,
Tests, etc..).

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