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Social Relationships

Page history last edited by rose.luckin@... 13 years, 4 months ago


[Framework Home] [Phase 1] [Phase 2] [Phase 3]


2.4 Social Relationships


This step builds on the previous steps of Phase 2. Although in this phase the focus shifts from tools, concepts and environment to people, the idea that relations are filters which influence the learner's access to and use of available resources remains a key factor. The kinds of filters which may be identified in social relationships might, for instance, relate to relationships between family members or friends, or to more formal groupings such as teacher and learners.


Filters might reflect notions of proximity and distance in relations between people, e.g. through age, personal relation, experience, role, authority, agency, etc. Norms and rules of social interaction between the individual learner and her community will be of relevance here. Examination of social relationships can rapidly become quite complex, drawing on one-to-one relations, one-to-many and many-to-many. Psychosocial factors such as emotion, motivation may also come into play. Furthermore, social relationships may be filtered by non-social factors such as time, space, etc.


Things to consider at this stage are what kind of people are identified as potential MAPs or resources in the learner's ZAA? What kind of relationship might/does the learner have with these people, if any. If no existing relationship is established (e.g. these people may be people who share the same environment but with whom the learner has had no previous contact) - what are the implications of establishing a relationship, i.e. how would/should such social engagements be managed? When reflecting on these considerations, understandings previously identified in Phase 1, step 1.5 - the learner's (internal) resources will bring added value. This prior step may provide valuable information about ways in which the learner is likely to engage with social opportunities based on existing knowledge, skills, understanding and levels of cognitive awareness and affective dispositions (e.g. self-esteem, confidence, etc.).


Whilst the focus of this stage is on social relationships, you should also keep in mind that there may be a role for technologies in scaffolding relations between learner and human MAP.


To read more on this step, see pp 93-95 (and chapter 5 more generally); and pp 121-130 (and chapter 7 more generally) in Re-designing Learning Contexts.




  • consideration of social relationships within the EoR Design Framework implies a focus on people
  • the aim of this step is to identify potential filters/influences in interpersonal relations
  • these filters/relations are likely to have implications for learner agency, affect and learner's negotiation of 'authority' in formal learning situations
  • whilst the focus is on people, the potential role of technologies to support social interaction should be kept in mind
  • this step may benefit from co-review with step 1.5 - learner resources - to support a learner-centred perspective 



Links to Case Studies:


The following links will take you to a varied range of study examples showing how this step of the EoR Model and Design Framework have been applied in practice.


001. Self-Managed Learning

002. Language Learning (Immersive Language Study in France)

003. Language Learning (miLexicon: Designing Support for Personal & Collaborative Learning Environments) 


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