Published: January 21, 2015
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By: Rod Slupe, Ashford University
The article I have chosen is one based on both education and environmentalism. It is based on the concept of using marketing concepts to embed a message of learning in course work to reinforce environmental concepts, but could be used to reinforce any learning concept. The premise is that educational messages can be “embedded” into course work in much the same way that movies use embedding to try and get consumers to identify with a particular brand or product. “Often called “hidden agendas,” these messages can be seen as positive or negative, depending on your perspective or role in the process” (Williams, 2011, para. 5). In this particular article, the author set-up an experiment to see how the use of embedding might affect the outcome of a particular environmental theme. Mrs. Williams and her team decided on the theme of “Recycling” as this was a generic enough term that would yield measurable results. “By embedding the theme of recycling throughout the entire tutorial, we help our student users become more environmentally literate without them even realizing it” (para. 2).
While I can see issues that may or may not arise from this type of embedded learning, it is my contention that there are also many valuable benefits that far outweigh the potential risks. As an art teacher to elementary grade level students, I have actually used this type of learning on my students. Every week we work on a different art project. Each of these projects has certain terms associated with them, such as “horizon” or “foreground.” But rather than write these words up on the board and go over them specifically, I tend to use them in my instruction verbally and continually reinforce the terms throughout the lesson, and subsequent lessons. I have found this to be a very effective way to get the students familiar with art terms without making learning those terms an assignment on its own. I think the same process can be achieved through the use of technology by embedding key themes, or concepts within the course work, only with technology, the embedded themes may be audio, visual, or as technology continues to evolve, even tactile or olfactory.
Williams, B. F. (2011). Embedding your green message through asynchronous learning. Electronic Green Journal, (32), 0_1,1-6. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/927736416?accountid=32521