Evolving learning ecologies

Jon Dron

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


This chapter describes the application of self-organising principles to the field of e-learning. It argues that traditional managed approaches to e-learning suffer from deficiencies both in cost and adaptativity that are addressed through the application of nature-inspired processes such as stigmergy and evolution. Such systems, primarily those employing social navigation, are built to generate structure through the dialogue-like interactions of individual learners within them. The result is emergent control of the learning process, adapting dynamically to learner needs, with limited teacher involvement. The chapter describes some example applications and explores some of the remaining challenges in the field, most notably in encouraging pedagogically useful structures to evolve.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of nature inspired computing for economy and management
EditorsJ-P. Rennard
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherIdea Group
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)1591409845
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • e-learning, social navigation


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