In Researching Current Issues, the authors argue that the best approach to teaching “is to ground all learning as much as possible in tasks, activities, and problems that are meaningful to the student.” (Tiene, D., & Ingram, A., 2001) Simple albeit profound, learning is about the student! If the student learns something important to them, then they will learn not only what interest them but many peripheral facts as well. Ahhh! That’s why I can listen to tapes on how do use a particular software, go through the exercises, and still not retain the knowledge! Not only does it put me to sleep after a while, but if the exercises do not mean anything to me personally, I have a motivation problem and forget what I have learned quickly. That’s why I work better as I follow along if I am working on a real-world project. So, selfishly, I get the project done, and I also learn the task of running the software!
This would also work if I was given a task to make a web page on cloud computing. I would need to research cloud computing and I would have to learn the skills necessary to construct a web page. In addition, if my assignment is to share the web page with the class and to discuss it with others, then according to Mason, R., & Rennie, F., (2008) I have pursued my “‘selfish interest’ of passing the course while at the same time adding value to the learning of other students.”
Mason, R., & Rennie, F. (2008). E-learning and social networking handbook: Resources for higher education. New York, NY: Routledge.
Tiene, D., & Ingram, A. (2001). Researching current issues in instructional technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.