May 2014 Laura Heap published an article titled “What models are there for blended and distance online learning delivery?” on the London Metropolitan University eLearning Matrix site. In this article she lists four different models which seek to clarify dimensions of the challenge presented by distance and blended learning scenarios. The first model presented discusses “community of inquiry model” as an instructional design model for e-learning. The second explored is the ‘5 stage model’ originated by Professor Gilly Salmon, now at Swinburne University (Australia). The third is Simon Atkinson’s SOLE Model, which incorporates meta-theory into the development of a toolkit which could support instructional designers and educators in the creation of ‘communities of inquiry’. The fourth model explores the ‘Conversational Framework’ developed by Diana Laurillard, now at the the Institute of Education (London).
Although the four models take very different approaches, it is clear that a theoretical framework for effective online learning design is essential. What are you thoughts on the models? Have you used any of them in your course design process?