Integrated Human Studies and E-Learning: Creating Communities of Inquiry through Educational Technology

By Steve Johnson.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Integrated Human Studies (IHS) is an interdisciplinary endeavour that aims to develop new understandings about human nature and to improve human well-being. Our goal is to educate the next generation of leaders to enable them to identify and find solutions to the challenges that face humankind. Achieving this goal involves the creation of communities of inquiry in which students collaborate to investigate problems, predict future outcomes, and develop practical solutions. This paper will report on the use of e-learning as a way of facilitating communities of inquiry in the meaningful and critical context of integrated human studies.
The paper will begin by outlining the fit between IHS and e-learning and will then demonstrate how this connection can be achieved in practice. The common goals of both IHS and e-learning are to promote collaboration and higher thinking skills. IHS provides a critical, interdisciplinary context for the development of critical and creative thinking, while e-learning provides the technological means to facilitate collaboration and the construction of knowledge. The second part of the paper will report on the use of specific e-learning technologies to create communities of inquiry and develop the skills that are so essential for the leaders of tomorrow.

Keywords: Integrated Human Studies, Human Futures, Student Orientation, Curriculum Development

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp.25-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.298MB).

Steve Johnson

Lecturer, Centre for Integrated Human Studies, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Steve Johnson is a lecturer at the Centre for Integrated Human Studies at the University of Western Australia, with the responsibility of curriculum development. He is currently working on the development of online first-year units in Integrated Human Studies, which use various e-learning technologies to promote inquiry, collaboration and knowledge construction. He is also completing a doctorate that investigates research writing as a process of semiotic inquiry and the use of diagramming software and portfolios as tools within instructional writing programs. Steve lives in Perth with his wife and two children and enjoys a game of golf when he has the time.


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