Embedding Pedagogical Principlels and Theories into Design Patterns

The design of e-learning courseware is a careful balancing act between pedagogy and technology, often at the expense of pedagogy. Experts at teaching in their field are not necessarily experts at mapping classroom teaching into the online domain. One way of aiding e-learning design has been to create pattern languages, as design patterns and pedagogical patterns. Pedagogical patterns address teaching practices, but not the design of e-learning courseware. Current design patterns for e-learning courseware do not expicitly state why pedagogical theories and practices are selective to certain pattern language structures and design solutions. The problem with the current practice of prioritizing usability over pedagogically-oriented environments is that the learning experience of the entire e-learning environment may be overlooked. This is likely to compromise how learning materials are incorporated, the user-interface, modes of communication, collaboration spaces and so on. The environments may well be usable, but not achieve the pedagogical goals.