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Showing papers in "Research in Learning Technology in 2005"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a four-quadrant model is presented as a framework for an e-learning strategy in the context of a university eLearning strategy, which can capture and model complex strategic processes that will help move the potential of elearning in universities to a new stage of development.
Abstract: E-learning is in a rather extraordinary position. It was born as a ‘tool’ and now finds itself in the guise of a somewhat wobbly arrow of change. In practice, changing the way thousands of teachers teach, learners learn, innovation is promoted and sustainable change in traditional institutions is achieved across hundreds of different disciplines is a demanding endeavour that will not be achieved by learning technologies alone. It involves art, craft and science as well as technology. This paper attempts to show how it might be possible to capture and model complex strategic processes that will help move the potential of e-learning in universities to a new stage of development. It offers the example of a four-quadrant model created as a framework for an e-learning strategy. DOI: 10.1080/09687760500376439

274 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper reviews computer-assisted assessment (CAA) and suggests future developments and Lack of resources, individual inertia and risk propensity are key barriers for individual academics, while proper resourcing and cultural factors outweigh technical barriers at the institutional level.
Abstract: Pressure for better measurement of stated learning outcomes has resulted in a demand for more frequent assessment. The resources available are seen to be static or dwindling, but Information and Communications Technology is seen to increase productivity by automating assessment tasks. This paper reviews computer-assisted assessment (CAA) and suggests future developments. A search was conducted of CAA-related literature from the past decade to trace the development of CAA from the beginnings of its large-scale use in higher education. Lack of resources, individual inertia and risk propensity are key barriers for individual academics, while proper resourcing and cultural factors outweigh technical barriers at the institutional level.

172 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the role of quality assurance in e-learning is considered, and the conditions necessary for successful e-Learning are discussed, focusing on the use of benchmarking and specification of standards.
Abstract: This paper considers the role of quality assurance in e-learning; reflecting on the conditions necessary for successful e-learning. It reviews some of the current international work on quality assurance in this area and goes on to consider the ways in which the quality of a process or activity can be assessed—focusing on the use of benchmarking and specification of standards. DOI: 10.1080/09687760500376389

71 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is concluded that, within the sample, students’ engagement with online problem-based learning within their community of practice positively influenced their professional practice styles, but that there is little evidence to suggest that online identity influences real-life practice.
Abstract: In this paper we describe the design of a managed learning environment called MTutor, which is used to teach an online Masters Module for teachers. In describing the design of MTutor pedagogic issues of problem-based learning, situated cognition and ill-structured problems are discussed. MTutor presents teachers with complex real-life teaching problems, which they are required to solve online through collaboration with other teachers. In order to explore the influence of this online learning experience on the identity and practice of teachers, we present the results from a small-scale study in which six students were interviewed about their online experiences. We conclude that, within the sample, students’ engagement with online problem-based learning within their community of practice positively influenced their professional practice styles, but that there is little evidence to suggest that online identity influences real-life practice. DOI: 10.1080/09687760500104088

65 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: De Vries et al. as mentioned in this paper identified critical time-consuming student support activities in e-learning and proposed a method to identify the most critical support activities for e-learner.
Abstract: Please cite the original publication: De Vries, F., Kester, L., Sloep, P., Van Rosmalen, P., Pannekeet, K., & Koper, R. (2005). Identification of critical time-consuming student support activities in e-learning. Research in Learning Technology (ALT-J), 13(3), 219-229.

47 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a discussion piece suggests that the focus should fall on questions that are both clear and tractable for researchers, and likely to have a real impact on learners and practitioners, based on early findings from a series of JISC-funded projects on e-learning and pedagogy.
Abstract: e-Learning research is an expanding and diversifying field of study. Specialist research units and departments proliferate. Postgraduate courses recruit well in the UK and overseas, with an increasing focus on critical and research-based aspects of the field, as well as the more obvious professional development requirements. Following this year’s launch of a National e-Learning Research Centre, it is timely to debate what the field of study should be prioritising for the future. This discussion piece suggests that the focus should fall on questions that are both clear and tractable for researchers, and likely to have a real impact on learners and practitioners. Suggested questions are based on early findings from a series of JISC-funded projects on e-learning and pedagogy. DOI: 10.1080/0968776042000339817

45 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper proposes a sustainable and participative approach to reuse that involves repurposing learning objects for different discipline areas and suggests that conceptualization may be limiting the scope of solutions.
Abstract: Recent experience shows that reusable learning objects, like the computer assisted learning programmes of the early 1990s, have so far failed to achieve expected levels of integration into educational practice. This is despite technical interoperability, cataloguing systems, high quality standards, targeted dissemination and professional development initiatives. Analysis of this problem suggests that conceptualization of the problem may be limiting the scope of solutions. This paper proposes a sustainable and participative approach to reuse that involves repurposing learning objects for different discipline areas. DOI: 10.1080/09687760500376413

44 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The instructor faces challenges in managing both types of flexibility, but the experience at one institution shows that being systematic about flexibility choices and ways to support those choices in the institutional CMS can help in meeting these challenges.
Abstract: Changes in higher education frequently involve the need for more flexibility in course design and delivery. Flexibility is a concept that can be operationalized in many ways. One approach to conceptualizing flexibility within courses is to distinguish planning-type flexibility, which the instructor can designate before the course begins and which needs to be managed when the course is offered, for interpersonal flexibility, which relates more to the dynamics of the course as it is experienced by the learners. Course management systems (CMSs) offer options that can support both of these sorts of flexibility, if instructors use the CMSs with a systematic frame of reference. The instructor faces challenges in managing both types of flexibility, but the experience at one institution shows that being systematic about flexibility choices and ways to support those choices in the institutional CMS can help in meeting these challenges.

34 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The system supports sharing, reuse and adaptation of learning material via a metadata-driven philosophy that enables the technicalities of the system to be imperceptible to the author and consumer.
Abstract: This paper proposes a system, the Smart Learning Design Framework, designed to support the development of pedagogically sound learning material within an integrated, platform-independent data structure. The system supports sharing, reuse and adaptation of learning material via a metadata-driven philosophy that enables the technicalities of the system to be imperceptible to the author and consumer. The system proposes the use of pedagogically focused metadata to support and guide the author and to adapt and deliver the content to the targeted consumer. A prototype of the proposed system, which provides proof of concept for the novel processes involved, has been developed. The paper describes the Smart Learning Design Framework and places it within the context of alternative learning object models and frameworks to highlight similarities, differences and advantages of the proposed system. DOI: 10.1080/09687760500104591

24 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore the relationships between a number of different developments in higher education pedagogy, which are subsumed under the broad heading of progress files, and explore the ways in which personal reflection and learning is enhanced through dialogue.
Abstract: This paper explores the relationships between a number of different developments in higher education pedagogy, which are subsumed under the broad heading of progress files. The overall concern of the paper is to explore the ways in which personal reflection and learning is enhanced through dialogue. The paper explores the ways learners engage in dialogue in two environments that use different aspects of digital technologies to support the development of portfolios. The findings from the case studies point to the ways in which different technologies facilitated personal reflection mediated through sharing and dialogue. We develop the idea of affordances as a relationship whereby the learner is involved in a purposeful engagement with the possibilities created by their environment. The affordance of digitised technologies in supporting dialogue is, therefore, conceptualised in relation to the characteristics of the learner, not as a simple technology relation.

23 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A review of learning technology-related policy over the past 40 years is presented to make sense of the current position in which the field finds itself, and to highlight lessons that can be learned from the implementation of previous policies.
Abstract: This year sees the 40th anniversary of the first policy paper regarding the use of computers in higher education in the United Kingdom. The publication of this paper represented the beginning of the field of learning technology research and practice in higher education. In the past 40 years, policy has at various points drawn from different communities and provided the roots for a diverse field of learning technology researchers and practitioners. This paper presents a review of learning technology-related policy over the past 40 years. The purpose of the review is to make sense of the current position in which the field finds itself, and to highlight lessons that can be learned from the implementation of previous policies. Conclusions drawn from the review of 40 years of learning technology policy suggest that there are few challenges that have not been faced before as well as a potential return to individual innovation.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors show how information literacy can be conceptualised as a key learning process related to discipline and academic maturity, rather than as a generic skill, and how decontextualised courses can foreground and privilege certain behaviours that are beneficial but that developing higher-level information literate attitudes is likely to be an iterative and contextualised process.
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to show how information literacy can be conceptualised as a key learning process related to discipline and academic maturity, rather than as a generic skill. Results of a smallscale study including questionnaires and observation of student behaviour are reported and analysed in relation to Bruce’s ‘seven faces of information literacy’ framework. The findings illustrate that information literacy is a highly situated practice that remains undeveloped through mandatory schooling. Some methodological issues are considered in relation to researching information literacy, including the limits of the Bruce model as a framework for analysis. We also show how decontextualised courses can foreground and privilege certain behaviours that are beneficial but that developing higher-level information literate attitudes is likely to be an iterative and contextualised process. DOI: 10.1080/0968776042000339790

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Video streaming has the potential to offer tutors a more flexible and accessible means of incorporating moving images into learning resources for their students than conventional video, and what some might regard as the 'softer' aspects of technological developments should receive at least as much attention as the ‘harder’.
Abstract: Video streaming has the potential to offer tutors a more flexible and accessible means of incorporating moving images into learning resources for their students than conventional video. Consideration is given to this assertion by drawing upon the experiences of staff and evidence from students at the University of Southampton in the use of a video, Back Care for Health Professionals, before and after it was streamed. The resulting case study highlights various issues and concerns, both logistical and pedagogic. These include ease of access, the form and frequency of guidance with respect to technical matters, the use of multiple channels of communication to convey key messages about the availability and value of the video, and the provision of demonstrations or ‘tasters’. In other words, what some might regard as the ‘softer’ aspects of technological developments should receive at least as much attention as the ‘harder’. DOI: 10.1080/09687760500104161

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigated the relationship between communities of practice and communities of learners in the trade union context and suggested that a focus on these relationships rather than on the technologies that support them should inform future developments.
Abstract: As networked learning becomes familiar at all levels and in all sectors of education, cross-fertilisation of innovative methods can usefully inform the lifelong learning agenda. Development of the pedagogical architectures and social processes, which afford learning, is a major challenge for educators as they strive to address the varied needs of a wide range of learners. One area in which this challenge is taken very seriously is that of trade unions, where recent large-scale projects have aimed to address many of these issues at a European level. This paper describes one such project, which targeted not only online courses, but also the wider political potential of virtual communities of practice. By analysing findings in relation to Wenger’s learning architecture, the paper investigates further the relationships between communities of practice and communities of learners in the trade union context. The findings suggest that a focus on these relationships rather than on the technologies that support them should inform future developments. DOI: 10.1080/09687760500104070

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors highlight some of the educational opportunity presented by MIT's current information technology-enabled educational agenda and related initiatives, along with their strategic underpinnings and implications.
Abstract: Since MIT’s bold announcement of the OpenCourseWare initiative in 2001, the content of over 700 of its courses have been published on the Web and made available for free to the world. Important infrastructure initiatives have also been launched recently with a view to enabling the sustainable implementation of these educational programmes, through strengthening organizational capacity as well as through building open, standards-based technology. Each of these initiatives point to a rich palette of transformational possibilities for education; together with the growing open source movement, they offer glimpses of a sustainable ecology of substantial and quality educational resources. This discussion piece will highlight some of the educational opportunity presented by MIT’s current information technology-enabled educational agenda and related initiatives, along with their strategic underpinnings and implications. It will address various dimensions of their impact on the form and function of education. It will examine how these ambitious programmes achieve a vision characterized by an abundance of sustainable, transformative educational opportunities, not merely pervasive technology. DOI: 10.1080/09687760500376512

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss the findings of several of the keynote speakers and presenters within the context of the relationship between technology, practice and innovation, and draw conclusions about how well the learning technology community is achieving appropriate balance between innovation and technology.
Abstract: The paper explores some of the key themes and discussion points that were aired at the Association of Learning Technology conference in 2004. It discusses the findings of several of the keynote speakers and presenters within the context of the relationship between technology, practice and innovation. It references the papers presented in the technology infrastructure and new technology strands of the conference to examine whether educational technology currently has an appropriate balance between innovation and good practice. It then presents a case study of application in practice through some of the development activities that a national funding body, the JISC, has put into place. Finally, it draws conclusions about how well the learning technology community is achieving appropriate balance between innovation and technology. DOI: 10.1080/09687760500376496

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper examines the recent development of a computer-assisted learning program to increase nursing students’ knowledge of meningitis-related illnesses, and to enhance their decision-making and problem-solving skills by using lifelike scenarios.
Abstract: This paper examines the recent development of a computer-assisted learning program—in Practice— at the School of Health Science, in the University of Wales Swansea. The project, which began in 2001, was developed in close collaboration with The Meningitis Trust, the aim being to produce a software package to increase nursing students’ knowledge of meningitis-related illnesses, and to enhance their decision-making and problem-solving skills by using lifelike scenarios. It incorporates two multimedia meningitis modules incorporating the use of text, film, and sound, in which students are presented with information about the illness (symptoms, treatment etc.), and are required to use their knowledge to make decisions at various key points. A general discussion of decision-making theories and CAL design principles is presented, which has provided a foundation for the main design aspects of the package. This is followed by an outline of how the program was created to promote students’ application of knowledge and their decision-making and problemsolving skills. Results from an evaluation questionnaire are presented. Consideration is also given as to how the program can be extended. DOI: 10.1080/0968776042000339808

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This special issue contains six articles from international leading lights in the field of e-learning, so it provides a valuable snapshot of current thinking and research activities.
Abstract: This special issue contains six articles from international leading lights in the field of e-learning, so it provides a valuable snapshot of current thinking and research activities. It had arisen out of keynote and theme speaker presentations at two key e-learning conferences last year: ALT-C 2004 ‘Blue Skies and Pragmatism—learning technologies for the next decade’, which was held in Exeter; and the Colston Symposium entitled ‘The Evolution of Learning and Web Technologies: survival of the fittest?’, which was held in Bristol. DOI: 10.1080/09687760500376330