The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
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Journal Article

The Kaleidoscope of Voices: An Action Research Approach to Informing Institutional e‑Learning Policy  pp293-300

Gelareh Roushan, Debbie Holley, David Biggins

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

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper describes a two‑spiral action research approach (AR) in its analysis of the experience of a British University endeavouring to change and reposition itself in the context of fast pace external change in terms of innovation. Taking the European Union (EU) 2020 digital competence framework (Ferrari 2013), with its drive to address the huge EU digital skills gap as technological adaptation and use speed up and the call from the UK Government, employers, and students themselves to produce digitally competent graduates Higher Institutions need to consider their proposition. An action research approach, with its reflective stance, is relevant for complex and policy based studies, we argue, as the framework can encompass mixed methods techniques. Informed in conjunction with a ‘Panel of Experts’, thought‑leaders drawn from industry and academia, and incorporating a strong student voice, we believe the AR approach is key to offering insights and transparency in the quest for change. The transition from an initial top‑down management approach to a kaleidoscopic middle‑out partnership of the executive team with key internal stakeholders, including students, academic staff, librarians, learning technologists and IT specialists offers a new and inclusive approach offering the agility and the synergy that traditional models lack. Results indicate that strong research and technological leadership, building internal alliances with key stakeholders, focusing on the ‘middle out’ and a partnership approach to working with the Students Union all contribute to a transformational and shared approach to institution‑wide change at a time of complexity and contestation in Higher Education policy.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Higher Education, Action Research, Digital Competencies, Technology Enhanced Learning.

 

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Journal Article

Redefining Practice: Challenging Academic and Institutional Traditions With Clinical Distance Learning  pp17-32

Laura E Delgaty

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

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Abstract

With the uptake of distance learning (DL), which has actually been marginal for most academics, teaching contexts, traditional power structures and relationships have been transformed, leaving lecturers potentially disenfranchised. Institutional and cultural change is vital, particularly changes concerning academic roles. The advent of DL has caused role ambiguity; however published literature related to academic roles is confusing and lacks clear guidance. For academics involved in post graduate clinical education, information is even more incomplete. Using a framework of communities, this study is a direct response to these concerns. The aim was to systematically and critically evaluate the implementation of clinical DL in an effort to improve practice. Maintaining a practitioner inquiry methodology, this study investigated the development and delivery of a new DL module. Data collection consisted of documentary analysis of meetings, interviews with staff and students, student evaluations and analytics. Data analysis incorporated both quantitative and qualitative methods to triangulate the research findings. New competencies for academics emerged, including leadership and management. Barriers to staff progress included: ambiguity in roles, lack of leadership and unpreparedness for responsibilities, time, and workload. Student barriers included: time, fear, relevance of learning, isolation and increased autonomy. Explicit planning, organisational support and working within communities were requisite to create a ‘sustaining’ technology. This study contributes to educational practice on two levels. Firstly, by striving for rigour, it demonstrates that practitioner inquiry is a legitimate research approach that is accessible and valuable to teachers. Secondly, it adds to useful and applied knowledge concerning DL practice. Avoiding traditional workload assumptions that are erroneous and inaccurate, this study provides new models of organisational roles and responsibilities. The results challenge the evolutionary nature of academia, suggesting working in communities and new competencies are required whilst traditional roles and culture must be redefined.

 

Keywords: Distance learning, clinical education, academic staff, competencies, communities

 

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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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