Developing a Web 2.0 pedagogy to engage the net generation learner in a community for learning in higher education
The widespread availability of technologies, such as laptops and mobile phones, and the increasing adoption of Web 2.0 technologies (e.g. wiki, blogs and podcasts), suggests that Web 2.0 as a powerful educational tool has come of age, providing challenges as well as exciting opportunities to meet the individual needs of an increasingly diverse range of learners. Since this work began over five years ago, Web 2.0 technologies have been incorporated into institutional resources across different managed and virtual environments, and opportunities for funding across the HE sector has been made available in an effort to provide ‘the best possible learning experience’ for our students. This paper presents a Web 2.0 pedagogical model which is underpinned by social constructivism and the principles of ‘good teaching and learning practice’. This model continues to be used across a number of subject disciplines in Higher Education. The model is presented and its impact on the learner experience over a number of years is measured. Evidence of the impact on the learning experience is provided from the results of a pre and post test questionnaire which was distributed prior to and shortly after application of the model. The results indicate the technology’s benefits and its barriers-to-use. To test for significant differences in the questionnaire responses a Wilcoxon Signed- Rank test was performed. In addition, content analysis was carried out using the learners’ own reflections as documented in their blogs, thus providing insights into the perception of their learning experience, and validating the findings from the pre- and post test questionnaire results. This paper will add to the debate on the learner experience using web 2.0 technologies, collaborative learning and assessment underpinned by social constructivist theory.