The web-site is now in readonly mode. Login and registration are disabled. (28 June 2019)

Social web learning design

Martin Weller and Lim Green-Hughes talk at LAMS09 conference, 7th July 09

Cloud created by:

Gráinne Conole
7 July 2009

What we know about learning

  • It’s complex
  • It’s messy – don’t know what the boundaries are, who is teacher/learner, etc
  • It varies – what works for me, might not work for you, different subjects different approaches

There are a lot of theories and there are alot of specially built tools to represent this  and support the design process such as LAMS, Phoebe etc.

But is there an alterative approach - more infomal?

What we know about social media?

  1. <embed></embed> is the universal acid of the web – we should build around it. Embed functions blurs the boundaries between what is content and what is dialogue
  2. Simple with reach trumps complex with small audience
  3. Sharing is a motivation to participation
  4. Start simple and let others build on top
  5. Providing limitations frames input: video site with 12 sec limit, twitter – 140 characters
  6. Complexity comes from the network and not the app, it’s the way users interact with the site that is important

Some examples

  • Trailfire: can create trials across the web – can embed a tag on every page and comments
  • 9Steps: Limit what people can do, teach everything in9 steps. Series of content, links, videos, discussion points and quizzes. Finishes with an embedded chat tool. Can put together very quickly. Simplicity triumphs over complexit
  • Instructables: sharing informal knowledge around things

Other examples: Playlists and SocialLearn:


  • Is there a tradeoff between simplicity and shareability worthwhile?
  • Is this a false dichotomy?,
  • The Knowledge management lesson – complex systems were developed and never used, people now using simple tools such as YouTube and Twitter as informal knowledge management systems,
  • Can you generate complexity/variation through bottom up?
  • Only good for zombies?


Extra content

Embedded Content


Contribute to the discussion

Please log in to post a comment. Register here if you haven't signed up yet.