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Journal Article

Empirical Data and Emerging Power Critiques: Lessons Learned  pp312-321

Caroline Stockman

© Dec 2016 Volume 14 Issue 5, Editor: Robert Ramberg, pp291 - 349

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper evidences the importance of maintaining a dynamic interpretive stance in e‑learning research. In particular, it shows how a rigorous methodology, tailored to the research question, overlooked the importance of power and knowledge in technology acceptance research for education. It was perhaps the affordance of the mixed methods design, explained in this paper, which allowed for a blind spot to come to the surface, and prompt a renegotiation of the data. Empirical studies on the use of technology in education don’t always take the pervasiveness of power dynamics into account. Yet this study shows how direct and effective they are in a teacher’s decision to use or not use a technology. Using Michel Foucault’s theory as an analytical tool, the findings from an original empirical study are re‑examined. The analysis offers a new understanding of the critical manifestations of a performance culture in UK schooling, which goes hand in hand with a culture of observation and accountability. This is further underlined by the authority of time pressures. Both of these go at the cost of pedagogical considerations, which is arguably the primary concern of educators. That is where a power critique shows it value, but also its necessity. It traces the breaking points of the system; the moment where it undermines the rationality which it uses as its own justification. We correctly motivate our research choices through methodological paradigms and domain loyalties, but including a power critique suggests a new imperative for e‑learning research. It offers the possibility to question normalised forces and better understand technology acceptance in education. We need to consider this critical position in any research design to continue challenging our theorising about e‑learning.

 

Keywords: Keywords: technology acceptance, power, culture, Foucault, Ofsted.

 

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Journal Article

An e‑Learning Team’s Life On and Offline: A Collaborative Self‑Ethnography in Postgraduate Education Development  pp33-45

Alison Clapp

© Apr 2017 Volume 15 Issue 1, Editor: Robert Ramberg, pp1 - 103

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Abstract

This paper primarily discusses the methodology of a case study into interactions and working practices of an e‑learning team, on and offline. Although several ethnographies have been published on online learning, there are apparently none involving communities developing courses. This is a unique insight, bringing a new view of course and staff development. The e‑learning team develops courses in the Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School in a UK higher education institution. Interactions occur online and offline, the team’s workplace ‘setting’. The ethnography is to inform future staff development by analysing interaction outside the team with the subject specialists, generally time‑poor clinicians and research scientists who have varied experience of e‑learning, but are required to provide course content and to teach their subjects in online distance learning courses. Records kept by team members were enlarged upon via weekly interviews and collated by a team member who developed a narrative, subsequently coded into content themes. The main themes were technology, pedagogy and communication. Conversation analysis provided theories on methods useful in staff development for later action research. Consideration was also given to issues of power within the interactional relationships. The paper discusses challenges and strengths of this collaborative self‑ethnography as a research methodology in this e‑learning setting. It was concluded that collaborative self‑ethnography is a highly suitable research methodology for this type of study.

 

Keywords: E-Learning team, online distance learning, ethnography, staff development, pedagogy, technology, communication, power, Foucault

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 14 Issue 5 / Dec 2016  pp291‑349

Editor: Robert Ramberg

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Editorial

Guest Editors


Ramberg Robert Robert Ramberg earned his PhD in cognitive psychology at the department of psychology, Stockholm University and holds a position as professor at the department of computer‑ and systems sciences, Stockholm University (Technology enhanced learning and collaboration). Ramberg also holds a position as research director at the Swedish air force simulation center (FLSC), Swedish Defense Research Agency. Broadly conceptualized, his research focuses the design and evaluation of representations and representational artefacts to support learning, training and collaboration. Of particular interest to his research are socio‑cultural perspectives on learning and cognition, pedagogy and how these theories must be adapted when designing and evaluating technology enhanced learning and training environments. And more specifically how artifacts of various kinds (information technology and other tools) mediate human action, collaboration and learning. 

 

Keywords: Higher Education, Action Research, Digital Competencies, Mixed methods research, Technology enhanced learning, Staff development, HEIs , Technology acceptance, Power, Culture, Foucault, Ofsted, Autonetnography, ANG, Autoethnography, Meta-ethnography, eLearning, Networked learning, Reflexivity, eResearch methodology, Online learner and teacher scholarship, Online professional development, e-Learning research, Educational technology, Research designs, e-Learning effectiveness, Methodology, Validity

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 15 Issue 1 / Apr 2017  pp1‑103

Editor: Robert Ramberg

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Keywords: academic staff, attitudes, clinical education, communication, communities, competencies, courses, critical theory, decision-making, Distance learning, e-learning, e-learning projects, e-learning research, E-Learning team, ethical issues, ethnography, expectations, formative e-assessment, Foucault, gaps, health promotion, learning analytics, major project issues, mathematics, Mobile eye tracking methods, motivation, motivation to learn, motivational gap, new model, online distance learning, pedagogy, perception bias, power, pre-course, qualitative research, quality, quality indicators, quality of e-learning, research methodology, satisfaction, service, socio-cultural contexts, staff development, STEM, technology, theory development, training management, training motivation, visitor studies, visual ethnography

 

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