- Faculty Focus | Higher Ed Teaching & Learning - https://www.facultyfocus.com -

Help Students Develop Lifelong Learning Skills with Web 2.0 Tools

A University of Colorado at Denver student in Joni Dunlap’s learning design course has a question about embedding music into a slideshow presentation for an assignment he was working on. He tweets about it and immediately hears back from people in the community of practice who offer resources that help him quickly complete the task.

The example is powerful because not only did the student learn what he needed to know – in this case how to embed music – but he learned something else as well. He learned the value of engaging and collaborating with professionals who work in the field or who share similar interests.

During the recent online seminar Web 2.0 Tools for Lifelong Learning in Online Courses, Dunlap, who serves as both an associate professor of instructional design and technology and the assistant director for teaching effectiveness at CU-Denver, explained how she uses a variety of Web 2.0 tools to help students develop lifelong learning skills.

“Given ever-changing societal and professional demands, lifelong learning is recognized as a critical educational goal,” said Dunlap. “I know we all hear it from employers begging for institutions of higher education to produce graduates with this skill set. But I see it as sort of great timing for us to be thinking about lifelong learning because of the emergence of really powerful Web 2.0 technologies and tools that have potential to support this particular instructional goal.”

Here are some of the strategies Dunlap recommends for developing lifelong learning skills in students, and the Web 2.0 tools that can be used to support that learning:

While it’s easy to get swept up in the hype around new technologies, Dunlap offered these five recommendations for using Web 2.0 tools effectively.

  1. Select Web 2.0 tools based on learning objectives, not because they are cool.
  2. Establish relevance for students.
  3. Define clear expectations for participation.
  4. Model effective Web 2.0 tool use.
  5. Recognize the limitations and possible drawbacks of using Web 2.0 tools.