E-learning research methodological issues

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<ul><li> 1. E-learning Research methodological issues Grinne Conole University of Southampton Email: g.c.conole@soton.ac.uk ELRC workshop,Manchester, 3 rdMay 2005</li></ul> <p> 2. Impact of e-learning Organisationallevel Tutor skills &amp;changing roles Virtual learningenvironments Interactive &amp; engaging materials Unintended consequences 3. Increasing impact of ICT ICT as mission critical Drivers National initiatives ICT catalysts - VLEs Funding drivers Organisational structures Roles, skills and practice Teaching, learning and assessment Impact 4. The holy grail of e-learning New formsof learning Pedagogicalre-engineering A global connectedsociety Learninganywhere anytime Rich multimediarepresentation Smart, adaptable,personalised To what extent is this true? What is the link between the pedagogy and the technology? 5. Negative aspects Patch use ofcommunication tools Stilted collaborations VLEs for adminand as contentrepositories Information overload Not pedagogically informed -ve 6. Positive aspects Critical mass ofmediatingtools and resources Shift from individualto socially situated Learning in context orthrough problem solving New innovative usesof e-learning +ve 7. Pros and cons Accessto wealth of resources Informationoverload , quality issues New forms ofdialogue Literacyskills issues New forms ofcommunity Learner identity andconfusion Speedof access, immediacy Lack of permanency,surface Virtualrepresentations Lack of reality, real isfake 8. Research philosophy &amp; impact Research consolidating Professionalpractice informing Practice improving Resources developing Theory enhancing Learning shaping Policy guiding Strategy building Networks 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Methodological issues Feeder disciplines Wealth of methods No shared language Tension betweenquantitative &amp; qualitative </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Lack of rigour,</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>anecdotal &amp; case based </li></ul></li></ul> <p>Methodologicalinnovations </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Theoretical</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>frameworks </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 14. Impact on research Bibliographic tools Endnote New discourses Chat, Wikis, access grid Data collection Online, multiple sites Data analysis New powerful tools Publishing JIME, e-Prints 15. Research opportunities Communication Email, discussion forums,Chat, video conferencing Interactivity Wikis, Web logs Collaboration Grid-technologies,sharing tools Data analysis SPSS, NVIVO Data mining Portals, databases 16. Discussion forums</p> <ul><li>Current focus </li></ul> <ul><li>Shift from analysis of content to</li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>multimodal approach </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Richer interpretation </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Use of grounded theory,</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>critical recall events etc. </li></ul></li></ul> <p>Early research Initially focused on analysis of content Analysis mainly via pre-defined codes </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Problem </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Didnt capture the complexity of the event </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Lack of contextualisation </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Codings too rigid</li></ul></li></ul> <p> 17. Web logs and tracking</p> <ul><li>Current focus </li></ul> <ul><li>Shift from analysis of content to</li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>multimodal approach </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Richer interpretation </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Use of grounded theory,</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>critical recall events etc. </li></ul></li></ul> <p>Early research Easy to collectAssumed to give simple access towhat users are doing </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Problem </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Didnt capture the complexity of the event </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Lack of contextualisation </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Easy to misinterpret</li></ul></li></ul> <p> 18. Theoretical frameworks Communities of Practice Activity theory Dialogue Systems thinking,modelling, metaphor Distributed cognition 19. Wengers Community of Practice Learning Community Practice Identity Meaning Learning as experiences Learning asdoing Learning asbecoming Learning asbelonging Social theory of learning Learning associal participation Legitimate participation Rarification 20. Activity theory Mediating artefacts Literature Subject Me Object Central issues of activity theory Outcome Text Focus on individualsnegates social aspects Idea of activity as an object-orientatedand culture formation that has its own structure Mediation bytools and signs 21. Mediating artefacts Relevant literature Conference material Subject Group ofacademics Object Central issues ofactivity theory Rules Conventions ofconference Community Academics interested in activity theory Division of labour Compartments based ondisciplines etc Outcome New intellectualtools and patternsof collaboration 22. Other theoretical perspectives Distributed cognition and Person-Plus(Salomon, Pea, Perkins) Intelligence distributed betweenmind and surroundings Effects with and effects of technology Dialogue (Vygotsky, Mercer, Laurillard ) Language as a tool,Joint construction of knowledge Inter-thinking, Conversational framework Systems thinking, metaphors modelling (Senge, Beer, Morgan) Capturing organisationaland cultural aspects Offer different perspectives 23. Methodology and method </p> <ul><li>Method </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>techniques through which data are collected and analysed (interviews, questionnaires, observationetc. )</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Methodology </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>determines whether the implementation of particular methods is successful or credible </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>the systems of methods and principles used in a particular discipline </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Codifies particular beliefs and values about the world and how it works </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 24. Researching organisational change </p> <ul><li>Review a selection of research positions </li></ul> <ul><li>Each with particular assumptions about the organisation </li></ul> <ul><li>Explore implications for methodology and different approaches adopted </li></ul> <p> 25. A positivist approach </p> <ul><li>Assumes that there is an accessible real world that we have access to, and that science</li></ul> <ul><li>Belief that the inductive-deductive process of inference from and to empirical data is the best way to study the world in order to understand how it works </li></ul> <ul><li>Might propose that organisations exist and therefore can be studied in their own right </li></ul> <ul><li>Unit of analysis might thus be a system (including material components such as buildings, policies and staff) as bounded by its status as an identifiable legal entity </li></ul> <ul><li>Generates hypotheses which can be applied to other organisations </li></ul> <p> 26. An open systems approach </p> <ul><li>Involves creating models that allow us to understand how the world works </li></ul> <ul><li>Typically such models involve analogy to living organisms, stressing (for example) response to changing environmental conditions</li></ul> <ul><li>Position might still be that organisations exist, but instead of treating them as entities (black boxes) they are developed as systems within which people are located </li></ul> <ul><li>Researchers would look for evidence of how the organisation (system) responds to changes (feedback) in order to cope or adapt </li></ul> <ul><li>Generates a model which has better explanatory potential </li></ul> <p> 27. A phenomenological approach </p> <ul><li>Does not assume that things exist as such </li></ul> <ul><li>Concerned not with the qualities of the organisation per se, but on peoples experience of the organisation </li></ul> <ul><li>Study the relationship that people have with the use of e-learning within an organisation </li></ul> <ul><li>Seeking a greater understanding of what it means to experience e-learning within the organisation</li></ul> <p> 28. A social constructionist approach </p> <ul><li>Concerned with meaning rather than things </li></ul> <ul><li>Look at how people define and talk about e-learning </li></ul> <ul><li>Concerned with meaning, but assuming that researchers have no privileged access to in the head understanding </li></ul> <ul><li>Look at the things people say and do about e-learning</li></ul> <ul><li>Focus upon discursive practices conversations, policy documents and other texts in which the meaning of e-learning in the organisation is constructed and contested </li></ul> <p> 29. A socially situated approach </p> <ul><li>Seek to identify the practices that people engage with and the reifications of that practice that they produce (such as documentation, descriptive terms, artefacts,etc. ) </li></ul> <ul><li>Seek to identify and describe such practices, reifications and groups or analyse the implications of boundary crossing</li></ul> <ul><li>Organisations exist as aligned constellations of collective practice</li></ul> <ul><li>Identifying and describing forms of practice, studying how such groups form</li></ul> <p> 30. Conclusion </p> <ul><li>Considered the link between theory and method in e-learning research </li></ul> <ul><li>Importance of establishing the credibility of research findings, in relation to the assumptions that the researcher has made</li></ul> <ul><li>Need to identify the various positions that researchers hold </li></ul> <ul><li>Need to develop a philosophy of e-learning </li></ul> <p> 31. E-learning Research methodological issues Grinne Conole University of Southampton Email: g.c.conole@soton.ac.uk ELRC workshop, Manchester, 3 rdMay 2005 32. References </p> <ul><li>Oliver and Conole (2005), Methodology and e-learning ELRC research paper series </li></ul> <ul><li>Conole (2002), The evolving landscape of learning technology research,ALT-J ,10(3), 4-18 </li></ul> <ul><li>Conole, Dyke, Oliver, andSeale, (2004), Mapping pedagogy and tools for effective learning design,Computers and Education , June 2004 </li></ul> <ul><li>Conole and Dyke, (2004), What are the affordances of Information and Communication Technologies?,ALT-J , 12.2 </li></ul> <ul><li>Conole (2004), Report on the effectiveness of tools for e-learning,report for theJISC commissioned Research Study on the Effectiveness of Resources ,Tools and Support Services used by Practitioners in Designing and Delivering E-Learning Activities </li></ul> <ul><li>Conole and Warburton (2005), A review of computer-assisted assessment,ALT-J,13(2), 19-33 </li></ul>

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