FDOL 2014

Mapping FDOL Learning Experiences


This first week of the course has been a great learning experience for me. Sure, I work with digital tools and platforms but it is a completely new experience to be part of a course that is  open in both the meaning of participation and usage of tools but also with the PBL-perspective where we as a group decide what we want to learn, how to work and how to present our findings. 

I think it is interesting to reflect on the courses different media categories and how they support our learning experiences. I usually work with the Media wheel, an illustration created with and used in different projects with my colleagues Lotty Larson and Marita Ljungqvist.

This is how we usually explain the visualization: the Media wheel is inspired by Laurillards different media categories for learning, where students learning experience is placed in the centre.  Diana Laurillard argues in her book Rethinking University Teaching (2002) that different kinds of media have different affordances for different kinds of student learning experiences. She lists five different forms of media: Communicative, Adaptive, Interactive, Narrative and Productive media.


For instance Narrative media tell or show the learner something (recorded lectures, ebooks)
Interactive media responds in a limited way (like a quiz)
Adaptive media are changed by what the learner does (simulations, virtual worlds etc)
Communicative media makes it possible to communicate (forums, chat) 
Productive media is media that makes is possible for the learner to create (google drive, wikis etc) 


The second image above  is how the course could be illustrated with the Media Wheel. The narrative media media is for instance the articles and movies we are provided with and the growing repository we are creating on diigo . 

Communicative media: the reason for the many tools within the communicative sector is that the tools support different kinds of communication: asynchronous and synchronous.  Asynchronous media are exemplified with the google plus communities, where you have time add or read a post and reflect before you answer. Twitter works as an information and what-is-happening channel –and as a chat on Wednesdays (can´t wait to join the next one!) The google hangouts are examples of synchronous media, a place where the communication happens instantly. The hangouts supports the PBL-groups discussions and fuels the thinking and collaboration processes.

I have intentionally made the line between the communicative and productive media categories very thin since the communicative process is also very creative and productive. In our PBL group we started to discuss how to present our findings and one suggestion was to create a presentation with tools from google drive. We could, of course also work with infographics with such Canva, create screencasts with screencast-o-matic or a non-liniar presentation with Prezi. The WordPress blog works as the tool for reflecting and writing on your own learning and experiences. 

To map out the activities and the corresponding tools and try to explain the course from a learning experience perspective is part of the learning process for me. The visualization, does give an overview of  the learning experiences afforded to course participants  –  It does not, however show how and if the learner experience is teacher- or learner controlled, what actions are taken to create involvement – where and if feedback and support are provided and how dialogue is ensured. Factors that are important to consider when designing learning activities and structuring learning material. 

Having read Coomey and Stephenson (2001)  I now wonder how  the model could grow  to include the DISC themes and the paradigms. One advantage with the Media wheel is the simplicity, but still – it would be interesting to rethink it´s practice – the next weeks of experience will have to decide! 

Coomey, M., & Stephenson, J. (2001). Online learning: it is all about dialogue, involvement, support and control-according to the research. London: Kogan Page.

Laurillard D (2002) Rethinking university teaching: a framework for the effective use of educational technology (2nd edition) London: Routledge




10 thoughts on “Mapping FDOL Learning Experiences

  1. The media wheel nicely illustrates different media categories for learning: narrative media, interactive media, adaptive media, communicative media, productive media etc. I think this is a useful overview of how digital tools and platforms can be utilised in the learning precesses. Thank you for an interesting reflection!

  2. Great conceptual framework Maria. Thank you!
    What options can advice to interative and adaptive media?

    • Hi Eliseo, happy you liked it!
      Interactive media is media that responds in in a limited (preprogrammed) way like for instance quizzes, polls or flashcards.

      Most VLE´s (virtual learning environments) has a quiz generator for creating multiple choice questions of their own, but otherwise you can for instance use ProProfs. Another way to use interactive media is to let your students create, tag, evaluate and rate questions in a social environment such as Peerwise.

      If you want to add interactivity to your classroom you can use polls within your lecture. You create questions with a free tool like for instance Mentimeter. The question can be inbedded within your powerpoint presentation or seen directly online. Let the students vote individually on their mobile devices, and when the result has displayed they can discuss the concept and the question, and perhaps after that – vote again. This way students can test their understanding, discuss the concepts, reevaluate and then test again.

      Alastair Creelman on our course also mentioned a tool called Tricider, a social voting tool which seems promising!

      Flashcards is also a way of testing your knowledge, much used in language studies. You have the question on one side and the answer on the other – one example is cram.com where you as a student also can share your created cards.

      Adaptive media is a bit trickier since it is media that changes with what the learner does – like a simulation. This type of media is often special made for the subject such as flight or erosion simulations or it could be a setting in a virtual world such as second life. You could perhaps also see a role play as an adaptive media form, then many of the communicative medias listed above could be used as a platform.

  3. Today I use my smartphone to read on WordPress. It is OK. I like your presentation of media categories, quite informative.

  4. Dear Maria,

    I enjoyed reading your post and like the way you dissected learning experiences and listed digital tools to facilitate those aspects of learning. I was also missing interactive/adaptive media from you graph, but you listed a number of options in your reply to Eliseo. Reading the post and reply’s I noticed that I am not familiar with many of those tools. Would it be an idea if we create a google community to list digital tools. I like the way you categorise based on Laurillards list of learning experiences , Communicative, Adaptive, Interactive, Narrative and Productive. I would be happy to help out with creating such a list.

  5. Hi Jan! Happy you liked the post, and why not, we could collect either in a google community or in diigo In diigo you can create and share link collections and also write about best practice. Should we brainstorm on alternatives a bit on a the google hangout? /Best Mia

  6. Pingback: Topic 3: Flexibility – creating affordances for learning experiences | hedbergskan

  7. Pingback: Summative reflection | hedbergskan

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