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Pedagogical plans as communication oriented objects

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Computers & Education Volume 55, Number 2, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This paper focuses on pedagogical plans intended as objects to support human communication. Its purpose is to describe a structural model for pedagogical plans which can assist both authors and users. The model helps authors to engage in the design of a plan as a communication project and helps users in the process of understanding, customizing, enacting and evaluating an existing plan.A distinctive feature of the model is the adoption of a hierarchical representation where each plan can be represented as a hierarchical network of constituent elementary plans that focus in on more specific parts of the learning process, thus going from more general to more concrete, detailed levels. This makes it possible to approach plan authoring as a top-down process, something that presents considerable advantages. It is a valuable aid for mastering the complexity of design and at the same time represents a maieutic factor that encourages authors to establish levels of conceptualization and abstraction which would otherwise remain unexpressed. The user too comprehends the plan in terms of a top-down process, where the specific steps of a learning activity are seen as originating from more general and abstract conceptualizations. In this way communication and understanding are enhanced and facilitated.The paper provides an easy-to-understand example of a hierarchical plan and describes a prototype tool that has been developed for managing hierarchical plans. Finally some preliminary results are presented from initial application of the model and the associated tool in the context of an international research project on educational innovation in mathematics.


Olimpo, G., Bottino, R.M., Earp, J., Ott, M., Pozzi, F. & Tavella, M. (2010). Pedagogical plans as communication oriented objects. Computers & Education, 55(2), 476-488. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved May 18, 2022 from .

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