Students experienced delight from the use of ICT, social learning and the online programme with its learner-centred, digitally minded approach.
Delightful learning in the literature
Definition of delight
This identifies some effective teaching strategies for online teaching and learning implemented by the teacher, who is called a 'facilitator' to reflect the learner-centred, digitally minded approach, in which the teacher's role is a facilitator of students' learning. In the previous chapter, the findings showed that the facilitator had used a learner-centred, digitally minded approach. Additional strategies used by the facilitator are divided into four categories: strategies for orientation, socialisation, the online environment, and online learning.
The affective and cogntive domains
Literature also defined emotions as part of the affective domain and learning as included in the cognitive domain (Krathwohl, Bloom, & Masia, 1964). The affective and cognitive domains are also included in the learner-centred principles (APA, 1997).
Delight in the literature
In this study, the word 'delight' was not so important as the feeling and emotion of delight, pleasure and enjoyment that this research was seeking to examine. Therefore, the word 'delight' was used and included other synonyms of delight, such as motivation, engagement, enjoyment, pleasure, enjoyed and liked.
In the review of literature about online learning communities, 'delight' was not often mentioned, except when associated with Ultralab, a learning and technology research centre. Ramondt and Chapman (1998) describe 'True delight' as the fourth stage in the development of two online communities. In this research project on the Learn-Now programme, data was collected over four terms in a year to investigate whether or not delight was evident after a period of time.
Evidence of delightful learning
The factors that contributed to students' delight in their learning, were identified using indicators for 'delight' and 'learning' to help identify the phenomenon of 'delightful learning'. Some indicators for 'delight' were when students used positive words or comments, punctuation (GREAT!!!!), were engaged in the Learn-Now programme activities during 'out-of-school' hours, and enjoyed working together on collaborative activities. Indicators for learning were when students initiated learning activities for themselves or others, were able to work independently as well as collaboratively, reflected on what they had learnt and were engaged in self-directed learning activities.
The students' pleasure and delight was very evident from the beginning. The students emphasized words, used exclamation marks, capital letters, positive words and emoticons to express their delight and enjoyment. The students also showed engagement in their learning activities, evident from them accessing Blackboard outside school hours. Students gained delight in the use of ICT, social learning and the online programme.
Delight in the use of ICT
The students enjoyed using various information and communication technologies, and in particular, synchronous tools. Students increased the speed of their typing and improved their skills in using the Internet and communication tools. They learnt how to navigate Blackboard and enjoyed using its collaborative tools to contact students from other schools. Students got enjoyment from improving their computer skills and knowledge of software programmes and using them creatively. They also enjoyed exploring and learning new skills, for example, computer texting and writing in html coding to add colour and movement to text. They got a great deal of pleasure from practising and sharing these skills in the social areas.
Delight in social learning
Some students enjoyed the online learning because it was a novelty. There were numerous comments from the students about how they enjoyed and liked the clubs, projects and businesses. They enjoyed them because they were collaborative, and involved real-life situations and life skills. Students also enjoyed taking responsibility for their own learning and having fun in their learning. There were a lot of reflective comments that linked fun with aspects of their learning activities.
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