From fatigue to anxiety? Implications for educational design in a Web 2.0 world

David Mathew (Centre for Learning Excellence, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 8 June 2012



The purpose of the paper is to recognise that as educators moving into, or already in, a Web 2.0 world, we are likely to experience anxiety, and to explore the implications for educational design in a Web 2.0 world.


The objectives are achieved as the result of recent successes with the commissioners for two online courses at the University. Both of these commissioners were anxious education developers, but have come around to a way of thinking that includes the potential of web‐based learning (at its most up‐to‐date). In this paper the author presents interviews with both of these commissioners.


Not only is anxiety understandable for educators, it is an important part of the educational process (as it also is for learners); furthermore, it is a healthy response to a perception of an older (and worn out) version of the internet that is all that we have known up to now. Anxiety has implications for the design of Web 2.0 educational materials; and one argument might be that Web 2.0 is more than a tool for the beginnings of the future of education: it is also, in and of itself, the beginnings of the future of education. It is not only the tool to use, it is something which needs to be understood better itself. Web 1 must be retired. This is one of the ways that a dynamic evolves: the disuse of one model is replaced by the (temporary) overuse of the next model.

Practical implications

This paper contends that successful educational Web 2.0 will require more balance and pedagogic poise than was shown throughout some of the early days of online education. It will not involve flashing everything all at once, for such an approach can only lead to internet fatigue (and learner boredom). Web 2.0 is about learning from the learner, and answers should be found to the following: What part of the new structure is appreciated? What part is ignored? Why do these things happen? What role does the educator play in his own developmental learning of the tools of his trade? And how does this inform his preparations for the learners' experiences?


The paper explores issues of anxiety from the educators' point of view, and explores how we will respond to inevitable changes in the online learning milieu.



Mathew, D. (2012), "From fatigue to anxiety? Implications for educational design in a Web 2.0 world", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 112-120.

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