Categories that are in this study and are using qualitative content analysis of situated learning, activity theory and cognitive tools obtained in the
Table 1 are provided
Table 1. Categories of the Components of the Conceptual Model in Situated Learning, Activity Theory and Cognitive Tools
Definition Example Coding rules Theory Mediating tool Mediated tools include artefacts, signs, languages, symbols and so forth and are psychological tools through which people communicating, experience and building reality ( 25). Students using multimedia software such as AutoPlay and Builder to build multimedia Identifying Cognitive tools suitable for building multimedia Activity Theory Object The object is the goal that is identified by the subject and to which the activity is directed to ( 25). Producing instructional multimedia The object is of importance as it identifies the activity Activity Theory Subject The subject is an individual or individuals that want to perform their activity ( 25). Although students are the main subjects but by considering the use of activity theory for analysis, all the individuals in organisations and private companies produce instructional multimedia content (community of practice) Importance of analysis of learners or individuals from a society Activity theory, situated leaning theory and cognitive tools Division of labour How tasks, power and situations within a community are distributed ( 26). Individuals that are part of the multimedia production team; from graphics, animation, to photographers and cameramen Importance of identifying different expertise in community Activity Community One or multiple individuals that have a goal or common goals ( 26) Community of teachers, Community of multimedia Importance of context Activity Output An idea, a situation status or a negative or positive feedback ( 26) Learning to produce multimedia Importance of output Activity Rule Existing rules and interactions within an activity ( 26) Intellectual property rights, … Importance of learning existing rules within an activity Activity Learner as a designer Providing learners the opportunity to represent knowledge through the use of cognitive tools ( 10) Building a multimedia project in the field of science Learner is active in building knowledge Situated learning cognitive tools Modelling Modelling can range from simple to complex skills and activities. Modelling for cognitive activities is a more complex process and should include mental, cognitive processes and details of the work in process ( 10) Stages of audio and video production Show details of a process, a phenomenon, … Situated learning Scaffolding A form of aid for learners from teachers or from other students for the purpose of supporting learning. In this scenario the teacher helps the learner to master a task or concept that initially they had problems understanding ( 27). With the scaffolding the learners have the opportunity to learn a skill or gain knowledge on how to use them, beyond the cognitive level. Aiding the learner beyond their learning capabilities Situated learning Coaching The use of pedagogical agents or specific avatars for training and guidance to learners’ problems, as when required ( 27). Supporting learners Situated Learning Dynamic learning communities Learners may take on different roles depending on their requirements. For example, an individual in addition to being a learner can at the same time be a teacher or coach. Taking the role of a video producer/ editor within a task or taking the role of a film producer/ editor within other tasks Dynamic role of learners within a society. Situated Learning Legitimate peripheral participation Initially learners are considered as legitimate peripheral participants and do not have access to all resources and gradually they interact with other members with more expertise to be able to gain full participation and become a legitimate participant. Newcomers become familiar with tasks or that have restrictive roles and gradually tasks become more complicated and they are linked with experts in building multimedia Gradual participation from learner Situated Learning Building knowledge tool Learner as a designer by using technology as a tool to analyse the world, access information, manipulate and organize their own knowledge and by presenting all that they know to others ( 10) Use of concept mapping tools, modelling, production, etc. in order to build a curriculum and in general to build educational multimedia Importance of building an artefact in learning Cognitive tools Community of practice Communities of Practice are groups of people that are in the same industry (e.g. Art) or profession. These communities focus on a range of knowledge and through the process of sharing knowledge and learning through the experience of other members of the group and over time they increase their expertise within a particular area ( 22) Taking into account a group of people that work in a particular field. For example, in building multimedia all programmers that are content producers who produce multimedia are part of a society. The importance of identifying people who are going to join learners in the future Situated Learning Authentic learning Learning in an environment similar to the lives of students and society It results from learners expect in the form of a multimedia company that engaged in design to any real responsibility Focusing on authentic activities Situated Learning Assessment Assessment in situated learning requires a combined assessment to identify the people in different situations and especially putting the learner in real world situations. Identification of learner performance in order to design multimedia, produce and edit video, sound and. Importance of situation assessment Situated Learning Operations Operations in the context of the activity are influenced under current conditions. Producing and editing images, acquiring video clips, combing audio visual resources Focus on component of activity Activity Theory Action Sets of operation constitute action and action is affected by goal and its collection composes an activity. Set of actions that are needed in order to produce images. Sets of actions that are desired in order to make a video clip. Focus on component of activity Activity Theory
The combination of instructional design learning environments using the activity theory, situated learning and cognitive tools: According to the principles of situated learning, individuals are performing an activity within a particular field of knowledge and their activity, in a community, in such a manner that the individual must, from the very beginning, become familiar with their community that comprises of experts or skilled professionals in their area, such that they too can gain such expertise. Therefore, a situated learning environment should include the characteristics of elements, rules, objective tools, and should be a community of practice whereby the individual is supposed to be part of. In addition, in the theory of situated learning, individuals need to be trained in such a manner that they can make use of their knowledge in real life situations. In other words, the learning environment is influenced by characteristics of the environments of both community and life.
Henceforth, in order to design a learning environment based on the theory of situated learning, there should be full recognition given to the community of the profession or special skill and in addition to using activities that have application in increasing acquired knowledge and skills to real-world situations. In this regards, the first step in the proposed model is designing face-to-face, online, or blended learning environments of community in which the subject and domains of knowledge are associated with.
After receiving information about the framework of community, designing learning environment should be started. According to the theories presented, the learning environment and three-factor such as tools, learner, and activity are closely related and are highly important. The learning environment can include factors such as presenting resources of information, modelling, coaching scaffolding, and changing the roles of learners whereby in return for the interaction between the three-factor tools, learning, and activity will be provided at every stage.
Figure 5 shows a summary of this model.
Figure 5. Integrated and Conceptual Model
1) Analyzing community of practice with activity theory: As described, analysis of the characteristics of community in situated learning theory is of great importance. For this purpose, the first step in the design of learning environments is the analysis of the community in question. As mentioned in learning theories, one of the most useful applications of the activity theory, is the analysis of different systems including community and where community as well as other communities or different system that includes a set of actions that occur with a specific purpose in a particular context and can be analysed using analytical tools activity theory.
As given in the examples of
Table 1, if a learning course multimedia is required to be designed and produced thorough the use of technology or computer software or through the help of web-based instructions, experts from the species field should be interviewed such that the characteristics of the community in the online learning environment can be reflected. In this regards, the factors including objectives, subjects, tool, rules, community, division of labour operation, and action of Table 1 can be considered such that the activities of a community within a specific field can be analysed and the design of course can be presented.
After analysing the results, the community, design, and or teacher can, with a better insight, design their learning environment. Henceforth, learners can perform activities similar to professionals of the same field and gradually be part of the same community.
Although, analysing community can be complex, the teacher and or designer with the use of techniques such as interviews with members of community, considering the activities performed by the experts and Web pages of educational institutions in different academic fields (these institutions usually provide a list of outputs of learning activities within their graduate section) can gain necessary information of the community in question.
2) Designing learning environment: by reflecting the analysis that was performed in the previous stage, a learning environment can be designed that presents experiences within an environment similar to those experienced by experts of the same field. In other words, the analysis performed should be reflected in all sections of the design and in addition to this, in order to relate to real world situations, tangible and applicable activities must be used.
As mentioned in the beginning of this section, this learning environment model consists of three-factors such as tool, learners, and activity and as a result of their integration they have supporting factors including modelling, information resource, coaching, and others similar to these, that will be presented by the given environment when felt necessary to support given activities. In the following, Learners analysis, Tools analysis, and Activity analysis as well as the supporting factors are described.
- Learner’s analysis: Before starting the course, the learners required knowledge and skills must be identified. In addition, their talents and characteristic, experiences and background information, interests and technical skills must be examined and analysed.
- Analysis and design of learners’ activity: Activity can be categorized by its cognitive, psychomotor, emotional, social levels and to offer special tools for each activity. Jansen (1994), Kim and Reeves (2007) present taxonomy of cognitive tools.
Presenting real problem: after analysing activity they must be presented. Presented issues and activities have to define real world activities
Discover and Explore: before commencing an opportunity is given to the learner to explore their learning environment, to recognize it, to find resources as well as the opportunity to act within their environment or to solve problems without participation or guidance. This can be enhanced through the use of virtual (online) environments or computer simulations.
Participation and interaction with others: after the discovery of individuals, learners can participate with other people and with the formation of learning communities and directions from coaches they can work on specific issues.
Interaction with pedagogical agents: learners during an activity and at every stage of their learning with the aid of their coach or training agents or web-based educational software can communicate and receive relevant feedback.
Interaction with current subjects, objects, and tools: in each activity the leaners should be given the opportunity to ensure they gain the greatest benefit of learning from authentic fields and objects and from necessary tools.
Building knowledge and its experiences: Finally, the opportunity has been made available for learners through the use of available tools in an environment for building and developing knowledge.
Articulation: the opportunity has been made available for learners to discuss their experiences for each other and with their coach and through this manner learners can learn various skills such as cognitive, social, and metacognitive from each other.
Peer assessment: after the learners start their activities or when learners have sent reports to one another, there is an opportunity for them to judge and criticize each other’s evaluations.
Leadership and supervising peers after becoming experts: after learners become experts they can become team leaders and henceforth will have reached a mastery level.
- Analysis and Design of Learning Tools: First, tools that can help specific learners and their special activities must be identified and a collection of these tools must be acquired and presented them at an appropriate time.
-- Common factors that support activities, tools and learners
- Authentic context: in this stage, the analysis done in the previous stage for the identification of the community and required field of area the authentic context is designed similar to real world contexts.
- Information resources: resources made accessible to learners such that they can solve required issues. This resource can be presented in any form and is available when required.
- Access to expertise performance and modelling process: learners must have access to the performance of experts such to formulate a model from them. Modelling can range from simple to complex skills and activities. Modelling for cognitive activities are more complex and should include all mental and cognitive processes as well as details of tasks. Modelling should be done in authentic context to allow for easy transfer of learning. In technology based environments, the design through the use of videos, animations or instructional agents can show the various steps of doing a particular task as well as various activities
- Support for collaborative knowledge construction: In order to perform activities such as role play, building knowledge, and working with tools can be arranged such that individuals participate by engaging with one another.
- Learners’ familiarity with multiple roles and perspectives: according to theories of situated learning; learners should be given the opportunity to explore different perspectives and roles. For example, in the form of role playing activities, learners in different roles and their activities can be examined and or to give them this opportunity such that after gaining a certain level of expertise, they gain an award or certificate and by changing roles give guidance and supervision to other peers and newcomers and or to use the benefits of environment.
- Coaching: through the use of training agents or self- teachers and coaches for directing and solving problems that learners may have as when needed.
- Scaffolding: by creating scaffolding to facilitate leaners to gain awareness of a skill or its application beyond their cognitive level.
- Assessment: by considering the models and theories of situated environments that have been presented, within such environments learners experience different roles at different levels in different groups with different activities and with different situations and therefore design should be examined in such a manner that learning is evaluated in all stages.