With this activity it seems apparent for me to reflect back to my university course again and the module that included the assessed forum. As this was an assessed assignment it would assume that the organisation is key for most people. However, it was apparent that participants were simply dropping in and out of the forum whenever they had chance. The motivation for most people was that it was something they had to do to get their degree, (not ideal but true). Most liked the idea of the assessment being broken down into many parts and the fact they did not have to write another ‘boring’ assignment. However, many people did not enjoy the idea of learning about a new technology and a new way of being assessed. For me then, the people who engaged with the forum were mainly taking a surface approach, using it as a means to an end. Although some participants did delve deeper into the activity.
Upon trying to recall a TEL activity that addresses diversity issues, I seem to be really struggling. This is no doubt because I am fairly new to the field. However, I do have a thought surrounding the simplistic nature of digital theory. Thinking to Prensky’s theory around Digital Natives, and yes although he has moved on from this, we still seem to use the terms frequently. His terms for me have created a sort of oligopoly of digital students. However, for me it is a much more complex, diverse group. The idea of students needs to be problematised in terms of the digital age, not just two extremely simple groups. Arguments for what the problematic nature may be are probably going to be very different, but acknowledging the diversity of students is the first step.
A key learning theory that I have used and wrote about before is constructivism, with close links to scaffolding theory. This is one of my preferred ways of learning, as in building upon previous knowledge. By creating an online resource which caters to different levels, it will allow the participants to be able to build upon their previous knowledge. This would then cater for a diverse participant range as they would be able to work at a level that is suitable to them. Although I have no experience of this type of learning in TEL environment, I have used this in many other area, especially museum education, and the principles are quite transferable.