Reflecting on Models for Online Learning in Theory & Practice


  • Niall Watts UCD


Salmon, Moule, 5 stage model,


This paper investigates the application of several well-known pedagogical models to the design and delivery of a series of blended workshops on online learning. The models were the five-stage e-moderating model for teaching and learning online, e-tivities, the e-learning ladder and communities of practice.

The workshop series was aimed at academics and teaching librarians in a campus-based university. Its objective was to introduce them to some of the pedagogies and technologies in blended learning. Some of the participants were interested in delivering library and information skills classes online while others wanted to learn how to enhance the online elements of their existing courses.

The tutor/moderator designed the workshops using the five-stage model for e-moderating as a framework. The model was presented to the participants as they progressed through the stages. Issues raised by the workshops included socialisation, technology, the role of the moderator, face-to-face classes, pace of progress through the stages and transfer to teaching practice. The class compared the five-stage model to the e-learning ladder and communities of practice to see how they addressed these issues.

The paper looks back at the workshop and the practical and theoretical issues that it raised. It concludes with some issues for future research.

Author Biography

Niall Watts, UCD

Educational Technology Officer

IT Services






Research Articles