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Affordance describes the features that a piece of software or hardware has in order to achieve a particular outcome or enable a particular learning. Laffey (2005) as cited in (Bower 2008, p.8) shares “that educational designers should focus on both selecting collaborative technologies that match the pedagogy of the instruction and design instructional practices that take advantage of the technological tools.“

My version of how affordance can be applied, is through a criteria based approach. To analyse the software or hardware’s scope to identify what learning outcomes this can provide and equally as important to identify the gaps.  For example affordance may be meet in the way that a piece of software allows students to share their ideas however it may not provide the ability to author or document an ideas, these two pieces of software teamed together may then met an appropriate level of affordance. Bower (2008) suggests that affordance is present as long as the organism is physically able to undertake the required action (p.4).


Bower, M. 2008. Affordance analysis – matching learning tasks with learning technologies. Educational Media International. 45:1, 3-15, DOI: 10.1080/09523980701847115