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Theory and methodology of e-learning research

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Theory and methodology of e-learning research
Theory and methodology
of e-learning research
Gráinne Conole
PhD research day, 21/2/12
University of Leicester
Outline
• An overview of e-learning
research
• Empirical evidence
• Examples of current research
• Theories underpinning the
field
• Methodologies
E-learning research
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Learner experience
Teacher practice
Social & participatory media
Learning design
Learning spaces
Mobile learning
Virtual worlds
E-learning research
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Learning analytics
Use of Virtual Learning Environments
Open Educational Resources
Pedagogical patterns
Digital literacies
Creativity and technologies
Openness
Cross cutting themes
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Affordances of technologies
Barriers and enablers
Case studies of good practice
Emergent technologies
Changing practices
Institutional implications
Learning spaces
• Metaphors
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Camp fire
Watering hole
Cave
Mountain top
• Principle of learning
space design
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Comfort
Aesthetics
Flow
Equity
Blending
Affordances
Repurposing
www.skgproject.com
New digital literacies
Creativity
Play
Performance
Simulation
Collective intelligence
Judgement
Participatory culture shifts the
focus of literacy from one of
individual expression to
community involvement. The
new literacies almost all involve
social skills developed through
collaboration and networking
Transmedia
navigation
Networking
Appropriation
Multitasking
Negotiation
Distributed cognition
Jenkins et al., 2006
Learner experience
• Technology immersed
• Learning approaches: taskorientated, experiential,
just in time, cumulative,
social
• Personalised digital
learning environment
• Mix of institutional systems
and Cloud-based tools and
services
• Use of course materials
with free resources
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Sharpe, Beetham and De Freitas, 2010
EDUCAUSE study
• Students drawn
to new
technologies
but rely on
more
traditional ones
• Consider
technologies
offer major
educational
benefits
• Mixed views of
VLEs
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Teacher practices: paradoxes
• Technologies not extensively
used (Molenda)
• Lack of uptake of OER
(McAndrew et al.)
• Little use beyond early
adopted (Rogers)
• Despite rhetoric and funding
little evidence of
transformation (Cuban,
Ehlers)
Pandora’s box
What would it mean to adopt more open
practices? Open design, open delivery, open
research and open evaluation?
Open practices
Open design
Open delivery
Pandora’s box
Open dialogue
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Open research
Open design
Shift from belief-based, implicit
approaches to design-based, explicit
approaches
Learning Design
A design-based approach to
creation and support of courses
Encourages reflective, scholarly practices
Promotes sharing and discussion
Course views
Learning outcomes
Course map
Pedagogy profile
Course dimensions
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Task
swimlane
But does it work?
I find the document quite thoughtprovoking, especially as a starting point
in this journey for developing good
understandings
It is iterative and so
helps with ironing out
any issues
I could understand the
learning design process
and would feel able to use
this when designing some
learning activities
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Open resources
Open courses: MOOC
Massive
Open
Online
Course
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW3gMGqcZQc
http://mooc.ca/
Open accreditation
Peer to Peer University
http://www.p2pu.org/en/
OER University
http://wikieducator.org/OER_university
Open dialogue: Cloudworks
• A space for sharing and
discussing learning and teaching
ideas and designs
• Application of the best of web
2.0 practice for teaching
• To bridge the gap between
technologies and use
• Teachers say they want:
examples, want to share &
discuss
• Helps develop skills needed for
engaging with new
technologies’
http://cloudworks.ac.uk
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Community indicators
Participation
Sustained over time
Commitment from core group
Emerging roles & hierarchy
Cohesion
Support & tolerance
Turn taking & response
Humour and playfulness
Identity
Creative capability
Group self-awareness
Shared language & vocab
Sense of community
Igniting sense of purpose
Multiple points of view
expressed, contradicted or
challenged
Creation of knowledge links &
patterns
Galley et al., 2010
Open scholarship
Discovery
Integration
Application
Teaching
Open
Digital
Networked
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Boyer
Weller: http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/
Open research
The future of learning
Just in time
Distributed
Collective
Personalised
Creative
Blurred
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Responsive
Open
Empirical evidence
• Review of social and participatory media (Conole and
Alevizou, 2010)
• Review of e-learning pedagogies (Conole, 2010)
• Review of TEL researchers (Conole, et al., 2011)
• Networked learning ‘hotseat’ on theory and
methodology (Conole, 2010)
Theory
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Activity theory
Actor Network Theory
Community of Practice
Social capital
Cybernetics
Activity Theory
Methodology
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Case studies
Evaluation
Virtual ethnography
Content analysis
Action research
Design-based research
My influences
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Laurillard
Salomon
Lave and Wenger
Engestrom
Wetsch
Cole
Daniels
Schon
Atkins
Seely Brown
Pea
Perkins
Tips
• To do list, milestones, deadlines
• Share drafts and get comments!
• Present and get feedback at
conferences
• Network, network, network!
• Publish as you go
• Up to date bibliography, use ref
software!
• Nail your methodology
Final thoughts
• Open, participatory and social media enable new forms of
communication and collaboration
• Communities in these spaces are complex and distributed
• Learners and teachers need to develop new digital literacy skills to
harness their potential
• We need to rethink how we design, support and assess learning
• Open, participatory and social media can provide mechanisms for
us to share and discuss teaching and research ideas in new ways
• We are seeing a blurring of boundaries: teachers/learners,
teaching/research, real/virtual spaces, formal/informal modes of
communication and publication
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