Sandberg learning environment functions

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In discussing the role of technological support in education, [Sandberg, 1994, 225,] identifies the components of a (technologically rich) learning environment. These components must all be there in order to optimize learning. However, they can be ``implemented in many different ways. Each component has functionalities that we should insure:

  1. Teacher component: Its role is to provide something between loose guidance and direct instruction. It can be a human agent (present or distant), an intelligent agent, instructions like some text books provide, etc. This component provides information from the syllabus to the task level.
  2. Monitor component: Ensures that something is learned. A role taken by either the human teacher, the learner (self-control) or by some program.
  3. Fellow learners component: Improves the learning process by collaborative learning principle
  4. Learning material: Contains what has to be learned in a very broad sense (knowing what, knowing how). It can be computational in various ways (exploratory hypertext, lesson and task oriented hypertext, simulation software, task solving environments, etc.).
  5. External information sources: All kinds of information which is not directly stored in the learning material (e.g. the Internet as a whole, a web site, additional materials, handbooks, manuals, etc.).
  6. Tools: Everything which may help the learning process other then the learning material (e.g. calculators, communication software, etc.)
  7. School [a category we added]: Something that provides a curriculum.



  • Sandberg, J. A. (1994). Educational paradigms: issues and trends. In Lewis, R. Mendelsohn, P., (ed.), Lessons from Learning, (IFIP TC3/WG3.3 Working Conference 1993), pages 13--22, Amsterdam. North-Holland.