TEL Communities

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TEL Communities
Definitions: Theoretical background relevant to technology facilitated social learning
Research evidence: Systematic literature reviews on the theme of technology facilitated social learning

Pedagogy: General teaching strategies and frameworks for technology facilitated social learning

Column 4 moves towards application to practice by looking at a number of pedagogic strategies for technology facilitated social learning. Key points include consideration of the way in which online learning communities represent a continuous crossover between the real and the virtual spheres; and the idea that learning within the community is everyone’s responsibility and that this can be described by the cognitive apprenticeship and technology stewardship models. The R2D2 model emphasises reflection and doing, and Heick’s model of technology integration describes stages towards self directed learning. Active Blended Learning has become a model at the University of Northampton, that puts an emphasis on strong links between on and offline activities, active online tasks that result in concrete doing or producing, on social learning, and on student generated content.


Bonk, C.J. and Zhang, K., 2006. Introducing the R2D2 model: Online learning for the diverse learners of this world. Distance Education, 27(2), pp.249-264.Burnett, C., 2016. Being together in classrooms at the interface of the physical and virtual: implications for collaboration in on/off-screen sites. Learning, Media and Technology, 41(4), pp.566-589.

Collins, A., Brown, J. s. & Newman, se (1989). Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching the crafts of reading, writing, and mathematics. Knowing, learning, and instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser, pp.453-494.

Garrison, D.R., Anderson, T. and Archer, W., 2003. A theory of critical inquiry in online distance education. Handbook of distance education, 1, pp.113-127.

Available at:

Heick,T. (2014, October 26). 4 Stages of Edtech Integration from a Student Perspective [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wenger, E., White, N. and Smith, J.D., 2009. Digital habitats: Stewarding technology for communities. CPsquare.