Structuring institutions to exploit learning technologies: A cybernetic model

Liber, Oleg (1998) Structuring institutions to exploit learning technologies: A cybernetic model. Association for Learning Technology Journal, 6 (1). pp. 13-18. ISSN 0968-7769

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The adoption of learning technologies has not fulfilled expectation in any sector of education. Arguably, it is the structure of educational institutions which is the main obstacle. Schools, colleges and universities were designed to allow the delivery of education by the few to the many at a time when the key technology was the printed page, and many of the organizational instruments that facilitated this are still with us today: timetables, classrooms, syllabuses and so on. These permit a particular style of education to take place, but result in a system where the complexity of learning needs is ignored New technologies can provide new organizational devices that recognize this complexity. These require careful design and imply a significant restructuring of institutional organization. This paper addresses how the tools provided by management cybernetics, in particular Stafford Beer's Viable System Model, allow the analysis of structural mechanisms and how they impact on organizational complexity. It describes how these tools can be used to redesign educational organizations, including identifying key points where technologies can be used to create structures that permit a more flexible exploitation of the opportunities offered by learning technologies. The current JTAP project Toolkit for the Management of Learning is offered as an example of a set of software tools that emerge from such a cybernetic analysis.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC1022 - 1022.25 Computer-assisted Education
Divisions: ALT-J Journal
Depositing User: Justin Smith
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2009 10:35
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2011 09:20

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