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[ Freestyle Learning ]

Freestyle Learning

Freestyle Learning-Idea

Looking at the world education market, the great demand and hope towards an improvement of education by computer assisted learning and teaching (CAL+CAT) is obvious. Though despite of various project, each ambitious and highly funded, results - and even projects launched right now - remain far behind expectations. One of the mayor reasons lies in the fact that most partners involved can not cope with didactical or technical requirements, first because their core business is not software engineering but research, teaching or other business, second because all of them starting at zero. In contrast the Department of Information Systems of the University of Muenster, represented by the authors GROB/BROCKE/LAHME, has extensive experiences in e-learning according to scientific research as well as software engineering. So the idea of Freestyle Learning was born:

  1. Derive (concrete) recommendations from didactic science,
  2. analyse in which way new technology (really) can suite to reach them,
  3. clarify solutions in an integrated concept for elearning,
  4. let the concept come alive by implementing it, not only as (another) piece of software, but
  5. as a generic platform to be easily adopted by various learning communities, so that
  6. people are free to concentrate on knowledge - exploring, spreading and sharing it in learning networks!
[ Fig. 1: Architecture of the Freestyle Learning Platform ]

Freestyle Learning-Profile

Today the initial idea is realized. The entire e-learning concept as well as its implementation as a generic platform are "ready to use" in various learning scenarios. The outstanding high degree of individuality and flexibility according to didactics, technology, and transfer led to the well known trademark: Freestyle Learning.

Freestyle in Learning

  1. Multi-perspective Learning: Alternative learning perspectives are derived from didactic science, in which the same content is represented in redundant ways, each meeting special learning styles.
  2. Individual Learning: It is totally up to the learner what perspective to explore at what time. Learners freely manage their individual learning process according to their situations, interest or actual feeling.
  3. Guided Learning: During this process the learner is guided (not forced): first a clear structure of the subject in each learning unit, recurring in each perspective, second by subject oriented links between the perspectives to easily surf though them by subject flow.

Freestyle in Technology

The systems design is free to use specialized technology according to its significant strength for learning. This forms the platform as well as the whole community.

  1. Platform:
    Firstly the conceptual platform is not simply web-based, but uses specialized integrated technological platforms:
    1. Freestyle Learning Home focuses on the personal learning itself. In a sheltered environment a high degree of interaction and individualization is achieved. Learning perspectives are e.g. intro, case study, learning by doing, slide show and check up - just to name a few.
    2. Freestyle Learning Web uses the strength in communication and information logistics of the internet. Learning perspectives for interaction and research are build like chat, newsgroups and link lists.
  2. Community:
    Secondly fully learning units can be embedded into special learning scenarios themselves, like academies, schools, enterprises or universities (presence- as well as virtual ones). In this way an open infrastructure is build, in which new and old technology as well as people come together.
[ Fig. 2: Freestyle Learning Networks using the Freestyle Learning Platform ]

Freestyle in Transfer

The entire Freestyle Learning Environment is free to be easily transferred to various communities without even a single line of code. Using Freestyle Learning-Designer learning units and networks can be build by mainly exploring knowledge, shaping content and "plugging it in". Authors can concentrate on their core business, creating and spreading knowledge. Reputable projects with scientist of the fields of economy and history as well as teachers have been launched - some of them even completed - already. At the World Education Market 2001 Freestyle Learning is offered to partners in order to support individual education. Moreover cooperations will be launched to enforce the foundation of freestyle knowledge-networks world-wide.