The Five-Stage-Model: Gilly Salmon


For online learning to be successful and happy, participants need to be supported through a structured developmental process. The five-stage-model provides a framework or scaffold for a structured and paced programme of e-tivities.
The five-stage-model offers essential support and development to participants at each stage as they build up expertise in learning online.


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The componential model


Amabile tries to come up with a map for describing creativity in organizations. The scheme, however, looks more complicated that it is and the whole argument is rather simplistic. Nevertheless, its rationale is clearly based on a specific definition for creativity that goes as follows:

Creativity: the production of ideas or outcomes that are both novel and appropriate to some goal. The responses/products/solutions according to Amabile must be “novel and appropriate” and “new but not different”

The Four Components that are necessary to any creative responese and must be confluent:

  • domain relative skills: knowledge, expertise, technical skills, intelligence, talent
  • creativity relevant processes: independence, risk taking, taking new perspectives to problems, disciplined work style, generating ideas, ability to synthesize information
  • intrinsic task motivation: passion, interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, challenge
  • the social environment in which the individual is working: the extrinsic motivators, stimulants as well as obstacles

Naturally, the theory applies to almost every human activity but team collaboration is almost a prerequisite and that is not very easy to occur to non organizational operations.



Amabile, T., 2012, ‘Componential theory of Creativity’, in Encyclopedia of Management Theory (Eric H. Kessler, Ed.), Sage Publications, full article available here

Image Source: From T. M. Amabile, Creativity in Context (1996, p.113). Boulder, CO: Westview Press (1996).

The three presences in the communities of inquiry

communities of inquiry

Cognitive presence: operationalized through the Practical Inquiry model, based on Dewey’s notion of reflective thought, it is a developmental model with four phases; event, exploration, integration and resolution.

Social presence: a multi-dimensional perspective where participants a. identify with the community, b. communicate purposefully and c. develop interpersonal relationships in a clear prograssive nature

Teaching presence: as a significant determinant of student sattisfaction, perceived learning and sense of community but with a lack of consensus as to its morphology


Garrison, Randy D., Anderson T., Archr, W., 2009, The first decade of the community of inquiry framework: A retrospective, The Internet and Higher Education 13 (2010) 5-9

Bloom’s taxonomy scheme twice revised

blooms taxonomy inverted

On the left it is the original Bloom scheme, in the middle one can see its revised version in 2001 and on the right is an interpretative image of the revised version according to the articles mentioned here. As I always prefer verbs to nouns myslef,  the revised version is much juicier than the original one. 

Bloom’s taxonomy was introduced in 1956 and later revised in 2001 by a group of cognitive psychologists, curriculum theorists and instructional researchers.  Two history teachers Wineburg  and Schneider in their article entitled ‘Was Bloom’s Taxonomy pointed in the Wrong Direction?’ challenged Bloom’s taxonomy. They conducted an experiment that compared the reactions of a 17 year old AP (Advanced Placement) student and those of a group of history graduate students to an historical document. Despite the fact that the document was foreign to their interests the history graduate students did better analyzing what it was about than the AP student thus proving that knowledge was the result of a questioning process rather than the basis of their investigation. As the authors argue:

Those who go back and read Bloom will find much to praise. That knowledge is the foundation for all further acts of mind, for instance, is a fundamentally sound concept. But our concern is about Bloom in practice – the way that the Taxonomy takes on a life of its own (…) knowledge possessed does not automatically mean knowledge deployed.

Peter Burkholder, while debating the role of content in the design of his history course recalls Wineburg ‘s model ‘wherein students focus on analysis and interpretation and develop these thinking skills at the outset as a way to learn content instead of the other way around’. He performs yet another experiment by inserting quizing protocols in his class (to be later elaborated in group discussions) to engance peer communication and induce opportunities for students to learn the material. He goes on to state that:

The inherent challenge of content, especially the sheer potential volume of it to be covered in history survey courses, is daunting, but primarily because teachers often base their course design off of that content. This study suggests there is another way to envision the survey, one where learning goals of critical thinking, analysis, and evaluation start the course design process, and content is built in to serve those goals—“backward design,” as famously termed by two experts.

I’ll be back for this for the architectural implications of the revised taxonomies.


‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’, by Patricia Armstrong, Assistant Director, Center for Teaching, available here

‘Was Bloom’s Taxonomy pointed in the Wrong Direction?’ by Sam Wineburg and Jack Schneider, The Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 91, N 4 (Dec., 2009 – Jan., 2010), pp. 56-61 available here

‘A Content Means to a Critical Thinking End: Group Quizzing in History Surveys’ by Peter Burkholder, pp. 551-578, The History Teacher, Volume 47, No 4, August 2014

Image on the left available here

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Theories for learning with emerging technologies

According to Larreamendy-Joerns and Leinhardt there are three views or visions that propel educational technology use and development. These are:

  • the presentational view_focuses on theory and practice to make disourse visualizations clearly accessible to learner (on the cognitive effect)
  • the performance-tutoring view_it derives its roots from the feedback and the theory of behavioural psychology
  • the epistemic-engagement view_this has been the most recent educational vision driving the relative technology. It focuses on the evolutionary propensity for curiosity, discovery, sharing and understanding for the skillful use of tools and it is most closely associated with social constructivist learninhg theories. Constructivism is a theory of learning and not one of teaching.


Terry Anderson further introduces:

  • Complexity Theory_it arises from the study of “living syetms” and evolutionary study where organisms adapt and modify complex environments_everything is understood according to context_the point where at which emergent behaviours inexplicably arise_complex systems produce spontaneous, systemic bouts_it supports the learner’s acquisition of skills to articulate learning goals_it is structured not around understanding learning but creating systems in which learning emerges rapidly_learning contexts as entities in themselves_teaching and learning theories derive from pre-Internet visions
  • Net-Aware Theories of Learning_capacity for powerful communications forms a platform upon which epistemic-engagement visions of learning are instantlated_great variety of modes of learning_information abundance and many formats_active autonomous agents_does little to teaching and learning methods
  • Heutagogy_self directed learning_it renounces the teacher dependency_it supports learners in a journey to capacity to learn in unfamiliar contexts_instructor as facilitator
  • Connectivism_the metaphor of the network whose nodes consist of learning resources_learning occurs as individuals discover and build connections through these nodes_learning expands based on the power of the network_lack of substantive role for the instructor and extensive requirements placed on the learner_criticism says that it is unable to explain significant learning phenomena.
  • Groups, Nets, and Sets_three contexts in which connectivist learning is employed: the familiar group, the netwotk and the set_familiar groups are where students aggregate, they are closed environments_networked learning activities expand connectivity beyond LMS and leadership is emergent rather than imposed_sets are created by a shared interest, they have enormous value for education



Anderson, T., 2016, ‘Theories for Learning with Emerging Technologies’, in ‘Emergence and Innovation inn Digital Learning: Foundations and Applications’, ed. George Veletsianos, Edmonton: AU Press, doi:10.15215/aupress/9781771991490.01, available here

Larreamendy-Joerns, J., & Leinhardt, G. (2006). ‘Going the distance with online education’. Review of Educational Research, 76(4), 567–605.


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Remembering Henri Bergson

Matter and Memory played a key role for me to the understanding of how human perception and memory, work. Back in 2012 when I was studying museum structures this book gave me an incredible insight to how we see and memorize objects.

(…) we have distinguished three processes, pure memory, memory-image and perception, of which none of them in fact, occurs apart from the others. Perception is never a mere contact of the mind with the object present; it is impregnated with memory-images which complete it as they interpret it. The memory-image, in its turn, partakes of the “pure memory”, which it begins to materialize, and of the perception in which it tends to embody itself: regarded from the latter point of view, it might be defined as nascent perception.

Bergson, H., (1991 [1908]), ‘Matter and Memory’, trans. by N. M. Paul and W. Scott Palmer, New York: Zone Books.

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Connectivism and Neurds

I am thinking that the verb “traverse” and the word “network” used by S. Downes when defining connectivism is not at all random.As he says:

Connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks.

Studying L. Gabora’s Neurds she claims that:

the associative network (of though and memory) can be not just penetrated deeply, but traversed quickly, and there is greater potential for representations to “bleed” into one another in ways they never have before.


Downes, St., (2012). Connectivism and Connected Knowledge: Essays on meaning and learning networks, National Research Council Canada, Version 1.0 – May 19, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-105-77846-9, page 11.
Gabora, L. (2010). Revenge of the ‘neurds’: Characterizing creative thought in terms of
the structure and dynamics of human memory. Creativity Research Journal, 22(1), 1-13.

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How does creativity work?


Besides focus and concentration, two other abilities are involved:

Defocused attention: the tendency to not focus excusively on the relevant aspects of a situation, but notice also seemingly irrelevant aspects. It is only when one does not yet know what are the relevant dimensions—or when those assumed to be relevant turn out not to be—that defocused attention is of use.

  • High sensitivity even to subliminal impressions; stimuli that are perceived but of which one is not conscious of having perceived
  • Risk talking
  • Tolerance of ambiguity & delayed gratification
  • leaning toward non conformity and unconventionality

Flat associative hierarchies: the steepness of one’s associative hierarchy is measured by comparing the words generated in response to stimulus words (those who generate many have flat associative hierarchy)

Thinking modes: thought varies in a continuum between these two extremes. This capacity to shift between analytic and associative thought is sometimes referred to as contextual focus.

  • Associative thought is contrasted with a rule-based, convergent, or analytic mode of thought that is conducive to analyzing relationships of cause and effect between items already believed to be related. In associative thought one considers items in detail or considers multiple items at once, which facilitates detecting likenesses and integrating them
  • Analytic thought is believed to be related to what Freud termed ‘secondary process’ material. In analytic thought one considers items in a compact or ‘atomic’ form which facilitates mental operations on them.

Gabora, L. (2010). Revenge of the ‘neurds’: Characterizing creative thought in terms of
the structure and dynamics of human memory. Creativity Research Journal, 22(1), 1-13.


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Gero’s Function-Behavior-Structure Framework

Figure 4. The situated FBS framework (Gero and Kannengiesser 2004a). 

In the attempt to make design explicit Gero had initially distinguished 8 processes. In this article he attempts to revisit this theory by inserting situatedness, as in the dynamic character of the context in which design takes place.

The 8 phases were:

  • Formulation
  • Synthesis
  • Analysis
  • Evaluation
  • Documentation
  • Reformulation type 1
  • Reformulation type 2
  • Reformulation type 3

In this version of the theory, Gero and Kannengiesser increase the number of steps by distinguishing between representations in different worlds (external, internal, expected) The number rises from 8 to 20 as seen in sequence in the image above. The most important changes occur in formulation from F (function) to Be (expected behavior); the designer interprets the explicit requirements by producing interpreted representations which in turn are augmented by interpretation originating from the designer’s own experience. The original transformation of F into Be corresponds to the 10th step in the overall activity.

In this context situatedness intervenes in the process of design through the representation of the differences/particularities of the external world and the impact of those differences to the designer’s constructive memory in terms of function, behavior and structure.



Gero, J S and Kannengiesser, U ‘The situated function–behaviour–structure framework’ in J S Gero (ed.) Artificial intelligence in design’02, Kluwer, Dordrecht (2002) pp 89–104

Full article available here

Image: An ontology of situated design teams – Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Available from: [accessed 30 May, 2016]

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Matters of Memory_Kandel’s “In search of Memory” Part A

Matters of memory and learning are at the epicentre of Kandel’s research. In bis book, “In Search of Memory ” he describes his experiments with Aplysia. In fact, it was through the experiments with Aplysia that led Kandel to realize that the number of synapses in the brain is not fixed -it changes with learning!

Consistent with the one-process theory, the same site can give rise to both short-term and long-term memory in habituation and sensitization. Moreover, in each case a change in synaptic strength occurs. But consistent with the two-process theory, the mechanisms of short- and long-term change are fundamentally different. Short-term memory produces a change in the function of the synapse, strengthening or weakening preexisting connections; long-term memory requires anatomical changes. Repeated sensitization training (practice) causes neurons to grow new terminals, giving rise to long-term memory, whereas habituation causes neurons to retract existing terminals. Thus, by producing profound structural changes, learning can make inactive synapses active or active synapses inactive. (page 126)

Kandel, E. R., 2006, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, Book available here

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Matters of Memory_Eric Kadel and CPEB3 Prions


(Credit: Lab of David Sulzer, PhD, Columbia University Medical Center)

The authors argue that the long term mice memories are preserved with Prions (protein infectious particles). Although regular prions cause damage to the cells there is a type of prions identified in mice as CPEB3 that work inside the neurons to maintain long-term memories.

Prion aggregates renew themselves by continually recruiting newly made soluble prions into the aggregates. “This ongoing maintenance is crucial,” said Dr. Kandel. “It’s how you remember, for example, your first love for the rest of your life.”

This discovery, states Kandel in his “In Search of Memory”, raised the intriguing possibility—so far only that—that spatial maps may become fixed when an animal’s attention triggers the release of dopamine in the hippocampus and that dopamine initiates a selfperpetuating state also mediated by CPEB.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTENTION IN STABILIZING THE SPATIAL MAP raises another question: Is the spatial map, a map formed by learning, similar in all of us? Specifically, do men and women use the same strategies to find their way around an environment? (…) Gender differences in forming the spatial map take on additional significance when considered in a broader context: To what degree do men’s and women’s brain structures and cognitive styles differ? Are those differences innate, or do they stem from learning and socialization?


Long-term Memories Are Maintained by Prion-like Proteins, Article Published in July 2, 2015, Full article available here

Kandel, E. R., 2006, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, Book available here
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