The ecology of e-learning

Course Outline

A few words about the course:

This course is designed for people interested in the future of education and the “learning society,” including people who may wish to join education as a profession, practicing teachers interested in exploring future directions for a vocation that is currently undergoing transformation, and community and workplace leaders who regard their mission to be in part “educative.”

For three decades and longer we have heard educators and technologists making a case for the transformative power of technology in learning. However, despite the rhetoric, in many ways and at most institutional sites, education is still relatively untouched by technology. Even when technologies are introduced, the changes sometimes seem insignificant and the results seem disappointing. If the print textbook is replaced by an e-book, do the social relations of knowledge and learning necessarily change at all or for the better? If the pen-and-paper test is mechanized, does this change the nature of our assessment systems? Technology, in other words, need not necessarily bring significant change. Technology might not even represent a step forward in education.

But what might be new? How can we use technologies to innovate in education?

This course explores seven affordances of e-learning ecologies, which open up genuine possibilities for what we call New Learning – transformative, 21st century learning:

  1. Ubiquitous Learning
  2. Active Knowledge Making
  3. Multimodal Meaning
  4. Recursive Feedback
  5. Collaborative Intelligence
  6. Metacognition
  7. Differentiated Learning

These affordances, if recognized and harnessed, will prepare learners for success in a world that is increasingly dominated by digital information flows and tools for communication in the workplace, public spaces, and personal life. This course offers a wide variety of examples of learning technologies and technology implementations that, to varying degrees, demonstrate these affordances in action.

Interested in this course?


Day 1

  • What constitutes the e-learning ecosystem
  • The theory of the “seven affordances”

Day 2

  • Ubiquitous Learning
  • Active Knowledge Making
  • Multimodal Meaning

Day 3

  • Recursive Feedback
  • Collaborative Intelligence

Day 4

  • Metacognition
  • Differentiated Learning

Day 5

  • The transformative dimension of e-learning ecology
  • Open discussion
  • Course evaluation

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, participants will:

  • Gain knowledge on the term and deeper meaning of e-learning ecology
  • Be able to embed the principles of e-learning into their teaching and in the school curriculum
  • Know how to design pedagogical material based on the e-learning pedagogical principles
  • Be able to use differentiation techniques in order to facilitate everyone’s learning
  • know how to implement active learning strategies when teaching online
  • Be able to cultivate metacognitive skills to their students along with other critical 21st century skills
  • Help students cultivate and elaborate their cooperative skills
  • Understand the importance of recursive feedback when teaching online
  • Be able to approach and implement the transformative dimension of e-learning

Methods & Tools

The methodology of this course is based on active learning strategies. The instructional approach is also used in order to provide the theoretical framework but all modules include task-based activities and group work promoting collaboration and synergy among trainees.

Evaluation- feedback

Participants fill in a course evaluation form providing thus feedback on what they have been taught.