Derntl: Patterns for Person-Centered e-Learning
For my dissertation, I am currently researching patterns and taxonomies across different fields of study. Within the realm of education, Michael Derntl's dissertation (in English) "Patterns for Person-Centered e-Learning" was recommended to me. Since Michael put in his acknowledgements "Just let this work be referenced frequently, instead of collecting dust in dark libraries!", I thought I start a little reference here on my blog before doing the hard copy referencing .
The person-centered approach that is at the heart of Michael's investigations fits into the newer paradigm of instruction/education: shift responsibility from the instructor to the learners, involve learners, facilitate and foster rather than obstruct and align. Coming from a computer science background, Michael then used the standardized description methods of informatics to describe and formalize known approaches to pedagogy. He also developed a hierarchical taxonomy system to put the patterns into an order.
From the first time that I spent studying the dissertation, I think that Michael sticks to the definition of patterns to "capture best practice". Of course, there is always a discussion about how patterns are defined. From the Alexandrian meaning, patterns were meant to stimulate creativity in solving problems rather than to present a ready-to-use solution. I recently read a well written 1999 paper by Sally Fincher "Analysis of Design: An Exploration of Patterns and Pattern Languages for Pedagogy", which also included a discussion on these two differing views on patterns. In my analyses, I hope to differentiate the two views and clarify their purposes and advantages.