Let’s vote on it.
I am going to tick two of the boxes here by being both ‘sincere’ and ‘immediate’ in my response to Laurillard’s conversational framework because this is one big, scary elaboration of Yacci’s simple ‘communication loop’.
My first instinct was to recoil in that I felt I was being pigeon-holed again into the mechanical restraints of pedagogical design. Then I calmed down. I explored, I clicked, I scribbled, I ruminated and thought to myself that this model is not so wild and can be tamed. There is the instructor on the left, student on the right, lots of exploring going on inbetween, feedback, dialogue, several lightbulb checks and a little path with signposts to follow to take you from the beginning to the end. Start with the story, assess whether the learner has got the gist of it and if not clarify and elucidate that bit more. In the middle of the story ensure the learner joins in the tale and is clear in the telling. Get them to act it out a bit, play with it in their hands, toss it around a bit. Find out what other learners think about it. Get them to join in and challenge the story. With a clear goal in mind the learner seeks to complete the story, with the director (instructor) on hand to re-assure and provide feedback. The script is amended, the performance adapted until the learner is confident the story can be told to the end without fault. The director nods and the learner produces the end result. Curtains down.
Although I doubt that Laurillard would agree with my over-simplification and dreadful use of metaphor.
I do, in fact, quite like this model.The use of technology to explain it, with Cheryl’s excellent voice-over to further elaborate on it and guide us through, is in itself, a good example of how multimedia can help interpret complex concepts. The breakdown of media types to complement the learning process is quite a useful tool but a bit too prescriptive for myself. What do other people think?
I believe Laurillard developed this “model of teaching with aim of applying it primarily to the use of technology in higher education” http://tinyurl.com/ycx5t49 which explains its very precise nature. Online simulations may work very well with HE learners studying academic subjects like engineering or medicine but may be less useful to a group of disaffected, young vocational learners studying a practical subject. Then again, perhaps some of the kids I have in mind would love to get their hands on an interactive game in which you change the spark plugs without having to go near a car! But where would the money come from to get such useful simulations?
What I have found useful about this “conversational framework”, despite my reservations about the black and white breakdown of technologies for each step, is that it has simply highlighted the importance of interactivity and dialogue between teacher (facilitator) and learner as the bedrock of successful teaching and learning. How technology can facilitate this interactivity is the big question and one which I have yet to answer but one I will answer, once I have explored the concept collaboratively with colleagues.