Designing online learning environment: Web 2.0 Connected Learning

We’ve looked at interests power the drive and influencing learners to develop their motivation. Hamilton & Jago highlighted interests connected learning does not just rely on the innate interests of the individual learner, but views interests and passions as something to be actively developed in the context of personalised learning pathways that allow for specialized and diverse identities and interests. Moreover, Waterman proposes that an individual can influence and develop what motivates them make by making better choices. He would argue that when an individual is aware of what choices are a choice motivated by personal expressiveness and what is an instrumentally expressed choice they can make a better choice. Where a students is aware that they are more motivated by a kind of learning activity that is triggering and enriching their interests.

Learning in the context of peer interaction is engaging and participatory, which would enhance learners to develop motivation. Hamilton & Jago also place a value on intrinsic motivation but delivered through meaningful feedback eg, children included – need to experience feedback-rich contexts where they see intrinsically important consequences to their actions. Dwerk et. al. doesn’t seem to support the idea that intrinsic motivation can be developed and influenced. Their model asserts that an individual has implicit and quite fixed theories of self and will follow one of two patterns of behaviour. A different approach to learning and motivation is to teach students about the intrinsic value of the content/process/skill they are learning. Shifting focus from intrinsic motivation to motivation to learn is an important point made by Brophy. In other words, peers and experts gives feedback to one another and can contribute and share their knowledge and views.

What is in common between Kaplan and Brophy’s main ideas are that motivation is focused around the individual and that it resides in people. Brophy focuses on the individual where Kaplan views motivation as part of a system involving cultural, social, and individual processes. Kaplan and Brophy both agreed on that learning involves meaningful work and it is worth learning. This is explained by Brophy in terms of the affordances that the work provides. This concept links back to the work of Gibson and the Ecological Psychology perspective of affordances and effectiveness.  The concept of affordances also links to Vygotsky’s ZDP concept where learning should activate schema networks for valued purposes, and connecting with students’ current interests and agendas.

Furthermore, interest suggest that educator can help students sustain attention for tasks even when tasks are challenging, this could mean either providing support so that students can experience a triggered situational interest or feedback that allows them to sustain attention so that they can generate their own curiosity questions; select or create resources that promote problem solving and strategy generation. The process of engaging content is likely to continue as long as there is support, other people may facilitate such support, and support may be provided by the affordances of the tasks or domain in which a person works.

Connected learning environments are populated with connected educators who share interests and are contributing to a common purpose. Today’s social media and web-based communities provide exceptional opportunities for learners, parents, caring adults, teachers, and peers in diverse and specialised areas of interest to engage in shared projects and inquiry. Cross-generational learning and connection thrives when centered on common interests and goals.

I’ve created a mind map using Mindmeister and shared with the public -THAT’S YOU, YOU AND YOU. It presents an exemplar showing that as “connected educators”, how can we create a meaningful learning environment to connect, motivate and engaging learners. I tried to embed the mind map on my blog, since I didn’t upgrade with premium – no pay no HTML codes embed service, therefore, we cannot have a cool, synchronised interactive mind map place within this blog. Never mind, nothing can stop my sharing spirit – please feel free to comment or add any ideas you may have by clicking on this link – Connected Learning


  • Brophy, J. (2008). Developing students’ appreciation of what is taught in schools. Educational Psychologist, 43(3), 132-141.
  • Dweck, C. S., & Legget, E. L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95(2), 256-273.
  • Kaplan, A., & Flum, H. (2010). Achievement goal orientations and identity formation styles. Educational Research Review, 5(1), 50-67.
  • Hamilton, E., & Jago, M. (2010). Toward a theory of personalized learning communities. In M. J. Jacobson & P. Reimann (Eds.), Designs for learning environments of the future (pp. 263-282). New York: Springer.
  • Smith, C (2010). Surviving Web 2.0 Professional Educator; v.9 n.1 p38-41 March 2010

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