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Trails as Part of Curriculum

On the Potential Synergy of Planning and Navigation in Learning


Judith Schoonenboom

In this chapter we argue that the study of trails can benefit from incorporating concepts and insights from curriculum studies and vice versa. Trails are often presented in the context of navigation by the learner, but we observe that this is not the only way in which trails can be used. The wider perspective of curriculum studies is introduced, with its recognition of the several levels, activities and actors that are involved in working on curriculum. We show that incorporating this perspective widens the scope from the learner navigating through learning objects to include actors such as curriculum developers, teachers and researchers, in their different activities on planning, going through and analyzing curriculum activities.

Yet, the study of trails is also important to curriculum studies. We show that curriculum is undergoing several changes, into which the study of trails fits well. Basically, the curriculum becomes more open, and less fixed for the learner. This puts an emphasis on navigation by the learner. Also, more attention is paid to reflection, and this includes learners reflecting on their own trails.

On the basis of this framework, we present a classification of trails, which incorporates elements originating from trails studies and curriculum studies. Finally, we discuss the metadata that are needed in order to work with trails.

Visualising Trails

Supporting Curriculum Activities by Making Trails Visible


Judith Schoonenboom

This chapter shows how visualisation can support working with trails. Six very diverse cases of the visualisation of trails are described. The selection of the cases is based on the inclusive view on trails, presented in Chapter 1. In this view, trails may support diverse curriculum actors (learners, teachers, curriculum developers), consist of various trail elements ( e.g. learning materials, learning results or learning objectives), and the rationale behind ordering the elements of the trails may be a chronological path, but also the relevance of learning materials to the learner. Also, both planning trails, following trails and reflecting on trails are considered. This chapter shows that visualisation of trails can be useful in these various circumstances.


The Perfect Start for a Trail …


Judith Schoonenboom and Mark Levene