The form of the digital medium as a driver of a participatory approach in teaching and learning
Keywords:media education, negotiation, maieutics
Teaching methods are characterized by media both for the historical (when they were conceived or widespread), the communicative (the relationship between the subjects of the teaching process), and the cultural aspect (the concept of knowledge in the relationship between subjects and objects of teaching/learning). The lesson derives from the “book” form, becoming unidirectional with the emergence of electrical technologies; Skinner’s programmed instruction also appears in the electric age, and so on. Today, network technologies are structurally related to self-discovery learning paths (such as in gamification strategies) and collaborative methodologies (cooperative learning, PBL, etc.); moreover, the continuous handling of digital technologies imposes a different conception of knowledge. It is precisely these media characteristics that suggest a didactic approach based on interactivity and horizontal participation, new concepts that can be exploited and put into practice by old words: dialogue and negotiation. If the former refers to the never outdated Socratic system and to the need for the teacher to put himself in a situation of listening, negotiation becomes a way of interaction that can be established at every level of the teaching/learning process, from the definition of some contents to be studied to the definition of evaluation criteria. The paper shows an example of this approach in a blended university course held for 4 years, where some of these strategies were experimented: group works, peer evaluation, co-responsibility of evaluation criteria, and a partially free choice about the contents to be studied and learnt.
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