Overview

A learner-centred, digitally minded approach contributed to effective online teaching and learning, and students' delight in their learning.

The aim of this research project was to investigate the effectiveness and 'delight' in online teaching and learning. It examined the teaching strategies and factors that contributed to primary school students experiencing delight in the Learn-Now programme. This descriptive case study used qualitative methods to examine the phenomena of 'delight' in its natural setting.

The 'Learn-Now' programme was an eLearning extension programme designed and facilitated by Jo Clouston for students (aged 9-13 years) who joined and created projects, clubs and businesses. The online environment included Blackboard (a software platform that provided information and communication areas with collaborative tools), MSN, email, telephone, fax and some video-conferencing.

A learner-centred, digitally minded approach contributed to effective online teaching and learning. The Learner-centred Principles (APA, 1997) were designed as a framework for a learner-centred approach, and in this study, many of the principles were evident including the affective and cognitive factors.

The online learning programme featured relevant, meaningful learning activities within authentic contexts, and involved inquiry and collaborative learning. The online teacher was a facilitator of students' learning, which reflected a learner-centred, digitally minded approach. She implemented effective strategies for: orientation, socialisation, the online environment and online learning. Learning activities focused on students' social and collaborative skills, developing relationships and trust within the community. The students in the Learn-Now programme found enjoyment and delight in the use of ICT, social learning and the online programme, which had a learner-centred, digitally minded approach. These factors and teaching strategies contributed to students' delight in their online learning.

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