PRESENTATION: It is only quite recently that the value of basing learning on Socratic dialogue has been embedded in much educational practice. However, this dialogue omitted the richness of peer-peer learner interaction. The new communication technologies may provide ways of overcoming some of the practical problems of implementing both Socratic (tutor-learner) and learner-learner interactions to promote learning.
The seminar (perhaps, more a workshop) will invite participants to express their own experiences in supporting learning. Issues will include the value of group work and the role of tutors in such ways of learning.
There are many ways in which communications technologies can provide an environment for enhancing all forms of learning interaction. Before those environments can be designed it is essential to take a view on the value of interaction as a key element in learning.
- What role does interaction take?
- How do participants contribute?
- How can communications technologies support our beliefs about learning processes?
Last, but not least, is the question about what do we hope that our students will learn is that (as traditionally) content or should we focus more on processes?
Robert (Bob) Lewis retired from his post as Professor of Knowledge Technology in Information Systems and Services at Lancaster University in 1996. He was previously Professor of Information Technology in Education in the Department of Psychology and is now Honorary Professor in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster. His career started as a geophysicist, working in the Antarctic and later in Edinburgh University. He spent some years in teaching before joining the Centre for Science Education at Chelsea College in London. He became Reader in Computer Assisted Learning before leaving London for Lancaster in 1981.
In 1982 he was invited by Blackwell Science Publishers in Oxford to launch a new journal in the field of learning supported by technology. The Journal of Computer Assisted Learning first appeared in 1983 and he remained its Editor until the start of 2003 by which time it had achieved high international citation recognition.
He has been involved in national and international agencies worldwide and was awarded the Silver Core for his editorial and other contributions to the International Federation for Information Processing in 1983. In retirement he continues to support research students in Lancaster, Thailand, France, Taiwan and Hong Kong and is engaged in international projects and societies based in Switzerland, Taiwan, Singapore and the Franco-phone regions of Africa.