Situated Learning: How to use social media for e-learning


Before the web-conference all attendee’s will receive an email containing a questionnaire. They will be asked;

What are your expectations from today’s meeting?

On a scale of 1-10 how familiar are you with the term ‘Situated learning’?

Do you use social media to market your e-learning courses?

“Lead with marketing not learning” (Stephen Walsh [KINEO])

This webinar addresses new blends and marketing strategies, and ask the question ‘what about social learning?’

“Continuous learning meet the learning campaign” (ASTD, 2014)


Know the different cognitive tools used to start your learning campaign.

Know how these communication facilities and collaboration software resources can grow your eLearning.

Know about constructivist educational principles and be able to apply them to situated learning.


Herrington & Oliver, (1995; 1998) identified nine discrete characteristics of; ‘Situated and Web-based Instructional Design of Elearning’.

1/ Authentic concepts

2/ Authentic activities

3/ Access to expert performances and the modelling of processes.

4/ Multiple roles and perspectives

5/Collaborative construction of knowledge.

6/ Reflection to enable abstractions to be formed

7/Articulation to enable tacit knowledge to be made explicit.

8/ Coaching and scaffolding by the teacher at critical times.

9/ Authentic assessment of learning within the task.


‘Seven Spaces of Social Media’, (Matt Locke)

1/ Secret spaces – Text/email

2/ Group spaces – Facebook/Discussion boards.

3/ Publishing spaces – Blog/Twitter/WordPress/Flickr

4/Performing spaces – Gaming/Virtual reality.

5/ Participating spaces – Web-conferencing.

6/ Watching spaces – TV/Lectures/Ted talks.

8/ Data spaces – Big data analysis.


Meanings: Association; Signifier; Index.


Explore the timing of information exposure. What does it mean for marketing? How often must you repeat a message before people buy into a product or service? E.g. repeat cycle of minutes/hours/days/week/or years and years.

BRAIN and MEMORY: Seven tips that improves Elearning (Kohn, A. ASTD Conference). Recommends you should, “Connect with the learners three times; spaced learning”.

Recommended reading: BRAIN RULES, 12 principles for thriving at work, home and at school, (John Medina, 2008)

Recommended Elearning tools.

“It’s about using marketing tools to spread the learning content” (ASTD, 2014)

After the meeting attendees are invited to contribute to building a resource bank by clicking on this link.

Contact detail:


WordPress: http://errolcharles.wordpress





Introduction: ‘Lead with marketing not learning’

This article by Stephen Walsh (17th April 2013, City &Guilds Kineo) was both refreshing and liberating, because it made sense to me as an e-learning professional. There is a clear and di-rect link from the learner to the content as a strategy, targeting the learner and thus going where they are, i.e. social media.

This involves using a ‘Situated Learning model’ and various Social media tools. One of the primary aims for an instructional designer is how to change behaviour and attitudes through the use of engaging and compelling interaction, this also being the goal of a mar-keting professional. So it makes sense to ‘lead with marketing not learning’.

Stephen Walsh makes the point, “engagement can’t just happen within the walled garden of your learning programme, you’re in the marketing and persuasion game there are no walls”

What is content marketing? ‘Content marketing is a marketing technique for creating and dis-tributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable action” see, CMI (Content Marketing Insti-tute). Also see, Ultimate EBook – 100 Content Marketing Example (Joe Pulizzi, founder of CMI)

Authentic contents

Situated learning environments reflect the ways in which the knowledge and learning out-comes are to be used in real-life settings beyond the classroom. For this reason, a situated learning environment needs to provide an arena which preserves the complexity of the real-life context with ‘rich situational affordances’. From a design viewpoint, the setting needs to provide learners with a variety of resources reflecting different perspectives. (Brown et al, 1989; Collins, 1988; Gabrys, Weiner, & Lesgold, 1993; Harley, 1998; Moore et al, 1994; Resnick, 1987; Winn, 1993; Young, 1993)

Authentic activities

The learning activities that are designed for situated learning must have real-world relevance. This relevance can be achieved by the development of ill-defined rather than the more com-monly used prescriptive activities. Authenticity is enhanced through the use of single com-plex task to be investigated by students rather than a series of fragmented task. In some in-stances it is useful to create opportunities for students to define for themselves task and sub-tasks required to complete an activity. Authentic tasks require a sustained period of time for investigation and needs to provide learners with the opportunity to detect relevant infor-mation from among that which is irrelevant (Brown et al, 1989; Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (CTGV), 1990a; Griffin, 1995; Harley, 1993; Tripp, 1993; Winn, 1993; Young, 1993).

Access to expert performances and the modelling of processes

In real-life settings, learners often learn through interaction with those who are more experi-enced and with experts. Such interactions provide learners with access to expert thinking and modelling processes. Often learners learn through interaction with other learners with different levels of expertise and the opportunity for sharing narratives and stories. The de-sign of situated learning environments benefits from the development of instructional activi-ties involving the observation of, and participation in what is termed, real-life episodes (Col-lins, 1988; Collins et al., 1989; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Resnick, 1987).

Multiple roles and perspectives

A depth of knowledge that is gained from access to different perspectives and representations of the material that is to be learned. This form of learning activity is characterised by learn-ers dealing with information presented from various points of view or being given the op-portunity to express different points of view through collaboration. Alternately the learner is given the opportunity to immerse themselves within a learning environment that is suffi-ciently rich to enable multiple investigation of the resources and repeated examination (Bransford, et al., 1990; Brown et al., 1989, CTGV, 1990a; CTGV, 1993; Collins et al., 1989; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Spiro, Feltovich, Jacobson, & Coulson, 1991a; Spiro, Feltovich, Ja-cobson, & Coulson, 1991b; Young, 1993).

Collaborative construction of knowledge

Much of the learning that occurs outside the walls of formal institution takes place through activities and task that are addressed and attempted by a group rather than an individual. Col-laborative learning requires the organisation of learners into pairs or groups and involves appropriate incentive structures for whole group achievement. Whereas previously many computer-based learning environments were deliberately designed for individuals working in isolation, situated learning environments are characterised by activities with learners learning with and from one another in co-operative and collaborative ventures (Bransford

et al., 1990; Brown et al., 1989; CTGV, 1990a; Collins et al., 1989; Resnick, 1989; Young, 1993).

Reflection to enable abstractions to be formed

Reflection is a learning strategy that encourages and enables students to consider and deliber-ate on both their learning and learning processes. It is facilitated by task and context with high degrees of authenticity. In computer-based settings, it is facilitated when students are able to return to any element of the program if desired, and to act upon the outcome of their reflections. Other strategies that can be used to encourage reflection include providing learners with the opportunity to compare themselves with experts and with other learners in various stages of accomplishment (Brown et al, 1989b; CTGV, 1990a; Collins et al, 1989; Resnick, 1987).

Articulation to enable tacit knowledge to be made explicit

The purpose of articulation is to create inherent, as opposed to constructed, opportunities for the learner to explain their understandings and constructed meanings. The task that are re-quired to create the appropriate contexts for articulation are complex and involve collabora-tive groups, which enable first social then individual understanding. Strategies often used for this purpose include the public presentation of arguments by learners, an activity requiring articulation and defence of students’ ideas and their learning (Bransford, et al, 1990; Col-lins, 1988; Collins et al, 1989).

Coaching and scaffolding by the teacher at critical times

Situated learning often provide distinct roles for teachers as facilitators and coaches for the learners. In these roles the teacher is able to provide different forms of support for learning, particular support in the form of scaffolding. The forms of design strategy that have been used for this purpose include the use of complex, open-ended learning environments where no attempt is made to provide scaffolding or coaching. In such settings more able partners in collaborative environments are often able to assist others with scaffolding and coaching. Often designers of situated learning setting involving computer-based applications create opportunities for articulation by the teacher implementing the program to provide coach-ing and scaffolding assistance for significant portion of the period of use (Collins, 1988; Collins et al, 1989; Griffin, 1995; Harley, 1993; Resnick, 1987; Young, 1993).

Authentic assessment of learning within the task.

Many writers have argued the need for authentic assessment, assessment which is character-ised by fidelity of context where students have the opportunity, as they would in real life to be effective performers with their acquired knowledge, and opportunities to craft polish per-formances or products. Authentic assessment requires significant student time and effort in collaboration with others and, as with authentic learning activities, requires complex, ill-structured challenges that involves judgement and a full array of tasks with the assessment seamlessly integrated with the activity. Authentic assessments have multiple indicators of learning and require attention to the validity and reliability of the measures to enable ap-propriate criteria for scoring varied products (McLellan, 1993; Young 1993; Young, 1995).

‘Six spaces of social media’







In addition there is a seventh space.



Behaviours: Private, intimate communication, normally with only one or two others, often using private references, slang or code Expectations: Absolute privacy and control over the communication between users, and no unauthorised communication from third parties (eg spam) Examples: SMS, IM


Behaviours: Reinforcing the identity of a self-defined group, and your position within the group, e.g. ‘stroking’ behaviour to let the group share a sense of belonging, or mild competi-tiveness to signal hierarchies within the group (e.g. who has the most friends, posts, tags, etc) expectations: A shared reference point for the group – e.g. a band, football club, school, workplace, region, etc. Rules about approving membership of the group, and icons for the group to signal their membership (badges, profiles, etc.) Examples: Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Bebo, etc.


Behaviours: Creating your own content or showcasing your talents to an audience outside of our usual social group Expectations: The ability to control the context and presentation of our creative content. Ways to receive feedback, comments and advice from other users. Example: Flickr, YouTube, Revver, LinkedIn, WordPress, Creative Commons, etc.


Behaviours: Playing a defined role within a game structure. Experimenting through simula-tion, rehearsal and teamwork to achieve a goal. Iterative exploration or repetition of activities in order to perfect their performance Expectations: A clear set of rules that is understood by all players. Clear rewards for success or failure. The ability to test the boundaries of the game structure, or to perform extravagantly to show off your talents Examples: MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), Sports, Drama


Behaviours: Co-ordination of lots of small individual acts to achieve a common goal. Shared belief in the goal, and advocacy to encourage participation by others. Expectations: Rules or structures that help co-ordinate activity towards the goal. The ability to create micro-communities within larger participation groups – e.g. a group of friends going on a political march together, or a workplace group created to train for a marathon Examples: Meetup, Threadless,, and MySociety


Behaviours: Passive viewing of a linear event as part of a large group. Organising a group to attend an event, and sharing experiences afterwards Expectations: Spectacle, entertainment, a feeling of thrill or joy. A shared sense of occasion, or of being taking out of your everyday existence for the duration of the event. Mementos or relics of the event (e.g. programs, tickets, recordings, photos, etc.) Examples: Television, Cinema, Sports, Theatre, etc.

So using these six spaces to try and get people to think outside of platforms, technology, gen-res or formats, and to think instead of what users might be *doing* in these spaces, and what they might be doing it *for*. Using these spaces as the inspiration for designing interactions should help us to think about how users’ *feel* about the services they use, and what kinds of implicit expectations they have of the service and other users. It asks questions for people de-signing services, or projects that are based on these services. Who is in control of what ele-ments of the service? What kind of conversations are users having, and with whom? What kind of behaviours are accepted, and how are they rewarded? What kind of behaviours are rejected, and what are the punishments?

I’m sure there are many, many variants of this kind of analysis around the web, but I’ve found it really useful as a way of helping people think of the ‘register’ the project is operating within, to design from the point of view of the user, and to make sure we don’t cross implicit boundaries that will offend them or discourage participation.


The use of ‘Big Data’ analytics.

“Big data in eLearning: The Future of Elearning Industry”

A) Offering invaluable feedback

B) Allowing eLearning professionals to design more personalised eLearning courses.

C) Targeting effective eLearning and eLearning goals.

D) Tracking learner patterns.

E) Expanding understanding of the eLearning process (eLearning Industry; by Chris-topher Pappas).

SECOND SEGMENT (questions from the audience)

Applying Situated learning to social media

‘Continuous learning meet the learning campaign’, is a about new blends and marketing strat-egies (Cammy Bean, 2014) ‘The Accidental Instructional Designer: Learning Design for the Digital Age’.

The idea of a learning campaign, as with an advertising campaign, makes a lot of sense. The real secret to behaviour change (goal for our learners) may be a sustained campaign that as, multiple content touch points over a sustained period of time that keep reinforcing

key messages, in order to create motivation and desire to act, and the tools and skills to put that into place”.

Target your learners they are your market

Finding your hook, we need to consider;

A) Why grabbing the learner’s attention early is so vital?

B) What strategies and tips you use to hook your audience?

C) How do you keep people motivated to stick around?

Different types of cognitive approaches and design models; how they can be used:


When you want to make a big impact in a short amount of time

When you want to create an asset that you can reuse in bigger programs

When you want to spark conversation and share ideas


For a more expert audience who knows the basics and want to dig deeper

For an audience who wants more control over their experience; this allows people to make adult decisions about where to spend their time


refresher training on a new process or workflow so people can drill down where they need to

for more expert or advanced learners who already know enough on a topic


what questions they might have

when people need to quickly get their hands on information and tips

as refresher training

if it’s a skill people won’t use very often and thus won’t have practiced to the point of habit

when the risk of doing it wrong is high and you want to make sure people have a guide they can follow to do it properly


to create awareness about a new policy or program that’s rolling out

as part of an on boarding program for new hires

as part of a broader learning campaign that includes other assets training down the line, such as tutorials or more detailed how-to do’s


for a lot of e-learning programs

when teaching technical policies, processes and procedures, and some soft skills that require practice

if you need a solid model for a rapid design process

as a checklist to make sure your programs covers some basic steps that will ensure better knowledge transfer and retention


almost any time

in both infomercials to add context to a short video, or in an overall narrative force in a knowledge and skill builder


when you want to give people a choice in how they go through the program

when you think people will know it all and be eager to prove themselves without hav-ing to go through all the content


to model an overall process from start to finish in the best possible way

when you want people to consider key decision points in a process

if you don’t have time to create a full-branching program


for demonstrating soft skills

to prepare people for classroom sessions where they will be expected to role play situ-ations in front of an audience to get specific feedback on their own performance

to model optimal performance


as performance support tool (think YouTube video of someone showing you how they fixed that leaky tap)

when you want to illustrate the thinking that goes into solving a problem ( like ex-plaining how to fix a complex software system)


when you want to show a particular point of view to your audience

to show thought processes behind complex problem solving skills, allowing people to extrapolate the experts situation to their own


to let people experience different outcomes or try different approaches

when it is important that people experience the importance of wrong choices (rather than just being told)

for the contextual practice of a skill

to explore how different attitudes can change the outcome of a situation


to teach complex problem solving skills

to create a learning experience in which the learner has to dive right into a situation

for a more experienced audience who already feels it “knows” the subject

(Cammy Bean, 2014)


Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology; ‘Conversational Frame-work’ (Diana Laurillard, 2012), using Bloom’s Taxonomy as a ‘Design Model’

• ADDIE (Analysis; Design; Development; Implement; Evaluation)

• SAM (Successive Approximation Model)

• CCAF (Context; Challenge; Activity; Feedback). Situated learning, using scenarios (Leaving ADDIE for SAM Field Guide; Richard Sites and Angel Green, 2014)

ZONE of APROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT, defined as the distance between the child’s (adult’s) “actual development level as determined by independent problem solving” and the higher level of “potential development as determined through prob-lem solving” under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers, (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86)

Pedagogical Pattern Collector Design Model (example of an e-learning tool)

‘Bloom’s Taxonomy learning outcomes’ (see PDF)

THIRD SEGMENT Apply a learning campaign strategy to Situated Learning, “it isn’t about mar-keting the learning itself, but using marketing tools to spread the learning content”

“Who are you trying to reach? With what message? Where do those people hang out? How are we going to get action? What is the campaign theme? How will we know if it’s working? These are the questions asked in content marketing and as a learning professional, so should you”. “Creating relevant and valuable content, that is, meaningful; memorable and motiva-tional. Therefore social tools like Facebook pages and Twitter accounts make content mar-keting an even more powerful tool, in terms of the marketing professionals aims to:

Attract and convert prospects into advocates and believers, even raving fans.

Using a range of channels and techniques that are specifically designed to reach the target audience(s).

Create a sustained campaign that evolves and responds based on early feedback, and brings about measurable results”.

A learning campaign that attracts and engage learners and drives behaviour change by de-ploying a spaced learning calendar, using social media and performance support tools.

SPACED LEARNING: space learning overtime helps to enforce stronger memories and better encoding

“Today’s technology-based tools enables training re-enforcement through spaced learning, and the use of smart LMS to deliver content over time to individualise through spaced sched-ules and with greater personalisation based on learning needs”. Thalheimer, (2010) research has established that if you want to help people remember, use these three proven methods;

Align the learning and performance context: Use realistic, contextual practice exer-cises and scenario-based questions to mimic the real world and ensure better transfer on-the-job.

Provide retrieval practice: Provide practice opportunities that mimic the real world situation in which the learner will have to retrieve and use this information.

Provide spaced repetitions: Instead of dumping all the content and practice opportu-nities into one single learning event, space them out over time to help forge stronger memories and better encoding.

Elaborate to enables better retention of memory

• Semantic encoding-Meaning

• Phonemic encoding-Comprehension

• Structural encoding-Visual shapes

The more elaborately we encode information at the moment of learning, the stronger the memory.

We remember much better the more elaborately we encode our encounters, especially if we can personalise it emotionally, using stories.

Slide 38 Repeat to remember

“You can improve your chances of remembering something if you are able to reproduce the environment in which you first put it into your brain. This condition is called context-dependant or state-dependant learning”, e.g. sound, smell, colour associations.


Every brain is different, adopt multiple roles and perspectives, engage your learners using a range of channels and techniques, (see, Howard Gardner; ‘Frames of Mind: The theory of Multiple Intelligence).

Slide 40 Visual

Vision trumps all other senses’, a picture grabs attention and it is easier to encode. ‘We pay lots of attention to colour; orientation; size and we pay special attention if the object is in motion


WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) “We need people to care about the content (content market-ing), not because we simply want them to like our e-learning design, but because we want them to take action. Action at the end of an e-learning program may want you to go out and do something, for example, set up an account on a social networking site and send a practice message, or trial a new software program”.

Remember to repeat

‘You didn’t learn something by hearing it once’. How often should you have to repeat some-thing for it becomes fixed in your memory? Explore the timing of information re-exposure, and what does this mean for marketing? Arthur Kohn recommends you should, ‘connect with the learners three times:

1. Two days after the session, quiz them on a piece of critical information, e.g. ‘ac-cording to the instructor what was the most important first step?

2. Two weeks later, ask a question to elicit elaborate recall, e.g. according to that lec-ture on xxx how can you imagine using that information in your organisation? Use either a written response or possibly social media tools, e.g. group sharing such as Google Hangout or the discussion forum on your internal network.

3. After two weeks engage with them yet again to ask; can you give examples of how you’ve used this in your organisation, (feedback) (Arthur Kohn, 2013,ASTD con-ference)


It isn’t about marketing the learning itself, but using marketing tools to spread the learning content.




Your aim to make the learning experience, meaningful, memorable and motivational, can be achieved if the learner makes an emotional connection to the content. By associating the learning to a real-life experience, e.g. stories, will enable a deep encoding and easier recall of information, personalising the event for the learner. Consider how the ad-men use a learning campaign to generate sales, i.e. AIDA: Attention; Interest; Desire; Action. As an e-learning professional wanting to sell e-learning to your learners, apply the same technique. ‘It needs to be compelling and needs to grab the learner and sustain their interest’ (Cammy Bean, 2014, pg88).


‘Images take less effort to understand, (Cammy Bean, 2014, pg.146)’. Signifiers attach no real association emotionally or otherwise to learning, (operant conditional responses) relying

principally on the use of symbols and signs, and the abstract meanings that we give to them, e.g. black, white.


Applying index enables categorisation of information, easier encoding for remembering e.g. animals (cats, dogs, pigs) Plants (Vegetables, fruits, flowers) etc.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s