Conole tel methodology
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  • 1. Research Methodology in TEL Gráinne Conole, University of Leicester 12th June 2012 UNISA, Pretoria
  • 2. The TEL landscape Emergent technologies and affordances Theory and methodology E-pedagogies, strategies and learning design Resources, OER and Pedagogical PatternsEvaluations Jameson and De Freitas, 2012 Interventions
  • 3. Contemporary perspectives in e-learningMethodological Current research &issues development Mapping the fieldHistorical Discourses &perspective & policy tensionstimeline
  • 4. Emergence of a research field1. Pre-subject area – no perceived interest2. Beginnings – questions arise3. Emergence – more researchers4. Diversification – different schools5. Establishment – defined community and alignment with other fields http://www.flickr.com/photos/dominicspics/3399204993/
  • 5. E-learning as a field Between stages 3 and 4  Influx of researchers into the area  Growth of new units and research centres  Specialised journals  Dedicated conferences  Community for fostering debate
  • 6. Structures & processes Changing roles Staff development Strategy & policy E-literacies Organisational Mobile & ubiquitous technologies issues New pedagogiesLearning design The Grid: E-Science Pedagogical UnderpinningExperiences aspects technologies& perceptions Personalised & adaptive Case studies of innovation Standards Models of practice Infrastructures The e-learning landscape
  • 7. Contextual factors Funding and policy drivers Cultural dimensions Subject-specific aspects Current hot topics  Accessibility  Widening participation  Lifelong learning  E-business  Plagiarism, digital rights, IPR http://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/2731067095/
  • 8. Underpinning technologies New and emerging technologies  mobile and ubiquitous  intelligent agents Understanding the media  multiple forms of representation  different characteristics of media Distributed electronic environment  standards and interoperability  infrastructure and architectures Access to information  structuring and distributing information  integrating different portals, gateways and resources  exploiting the different communication mechanisms http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephanridgway/2942306223/
  • 9. Pedagogical aspects Student and staff experiences Best methods of  representing information  Designing and accessing resources  encouraging communication&collaboration  integrating with other learning and teaching methods Development issues  new forms of literacy  mechanisms for skills updating and development Understanding the affordances of technologies Exploring the potential for new forms of pedagogy
  • 10. Organisational issues Developing models for  mapping institutional structures  supporting institutional processes  sharing knowledge  distributing information  supporting change  engaging different stakeholders Awareness of external factors Understanding changing roles& identities Linking strategy and practice http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/4169533699/
  • 11. Common characteristics Change Political dimension Interdisciplinary Access and inclusion Convergence&interoperabilit y Interactivity http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexlc13/3563736956/
  • 12. Themes The good& the bad of ICT Speed of change New collaborations and discourses User focussed Changing practice Wider impact http://www.flickr.com/photos/76269968@N04/6851364201/
  • 13. Theme I ICT: the good and bad  Institutional vs. loosely coupled systems  Affordances of technologies  Appropriateness, fit for purpose  Ownership vs. open source  Simplifying the complex  Balance of content& activity
  • 14. Theme II Speed of change  Web 2.0, Web3.0  Immense amounts of information  New tools and resources  The Web for nomads  Predicting the unpredictable  A world beyond the Web
  • 15. Theme III Supporting new collaborations& discourses  New distributed and self- sustaining Communities of Practice  Interacting with the media  Tailored and contextualised  Making sense of it all - new forms of digital literacy& the power of narrative http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernand0/3368971634/
  • 16. Theme IV Understanding users  Adaptive and personalised  Ethnographic approach to users  Semantic web of meaning  Supporting the whole learning cycle  The perpetual beta  Developing for the unknowable http://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/3448804778/
  • 17. Theme V Changing practice  Reflective /practitioner  Changing roles  Passive to interactive technologies  New organisational structures& processes  How do you motivate people to do this?  New methodologies for design and evaluation http://www.flickr.com/photos/centralasian/5234238544/
  • 18. Theme VI Wider impact  New models for society  Blurring of boundaries  Distributed cognition  ‘Compelling’ experiences  A changing world  Technology is here and will continue to have an impact
  • 19. Discipline issues Variety of feeder disciplines  education research, cognitive psychology, instructional design, computer science, business& management, philosophy, semiotics, critical discourse analysis Benefits  wealth of methods& approaches  different perspectives Drawbacks  no shared language and understanding  lack of cohesion to the area http://www.flickr.com/photos/argos_t/3381333665/
  • 20. Choice of research methods Tension between  Focus on evaluation or research  Quantitative vs. qualitative approaches Choice of methodologies  Has an impact on outcomes  Tends to be based on previous experience, favoured methods Approaches  Exploring individual case studies  Developing generic models  Undertaking systematic reviews  Applying specific theoretical perspectives  Active involvement and action research  Accounting for context - Activity theory, Actor Network http://www.flickr.com/photos/59937401@N07/5857443389/ Theory
  • 21. Methodological issues Tensions  between policy makers& practitioners  stakeholders with conflicting agendas  efficiency gains/effectiveness vs improving learning  Research vs. roll out to policy & practice http://www.flickr.com/photos/caseorganic/4068771695/
  • 22. Methodological issuesLack of rigor/ Tension betweenanecdotal, quantitative andAcademic credibility qualitative Feeder disciplines Wealth of methods No shared languageMethodological New theoreticalinnovations? frameworks
  • 23. Practice Informs Developmen Resources t Consolidates Improves Develops EnhancesTheory Research Learning Shapes Builds Policy Guides Networks Strategy
  • 24. Methodologies• Activity Theory• Actor Network Theory• Design-Based Research• Learning Analytics http://www.flickr.com/photos/pcoutas/4996881007/
  • 25. Activity theory
  • 26. Theoretical perspectives• Activity theory – Takes account of context – Subject and object focus – Mediating Artefacts• Actor Network Theory – Actants and non-actants – Networked perspective• Design-Based Research – Agile – Problem, solutions, development and evaluation
  • 27. Actor Network Theory (ANT)• Humans and tool equal• Good for describing networks
  • 28. Design-Based ResearchA systematic, but flexible methodology aimed toimprove educational practice through iterativeanalysis, design, development and implementation,based on collaboration between researchers andpractitioners in real-world settings, and leading tocontextually-sensitive design principles and theories. Wang and Hannafin, 2005
  • 29. Benefits• Means of dealing with real learning contexts• Iterative: design, implementation, evaluation, refine• Gives rich insights into complex dynamics
  • 30. Facets• Make assumptions and theoretical bases explicit• Collect multiple types of data• Conduct ongoing data analysis• Invite multiple voices to critique• Have multiple accountability structures• Engage in dialectic among theory, design and extant literature Barab, 2006
  • 31. DBR and Learning Design• Builds on theory & prior • Builds on ID, OER, Ped research Patterns research etc.• Pragmatic • Practical tools & resources• Collaborative • Work with practitioners• Contextual • Real, authentic contexts• Integrative • Mixed-method approach• Iterative – problem, • Problem, implementation, solution, evaluation evaluation and refinement• Adaptive and flexible • Agile, based on practice• Generalisation • Coherent LD framework
  • 32. Problem and solution• Teachers want – Examples of good practice – Others to talk to• Solution – Social networking site – Best of web 2.0 – Iterative design and http://cloudworks.ac.uk evaluation
  • 33. Evolving: socio-technical co-evolution Content Event support, flash Open reviews, expert seeding debates, etc consultation, etc Socialinterventions Vision Evaluation Technicalinterventions Beta release RSS feeds, activity Events listing, voting, streams etc favourites, etc
  • 34. Problem and solution• Teachers want – Design guidance – Means to share and discuss designs• Solution – Design representations – Based on empirical evidence and theory
  • 35. Learning AnalyticsMeasurement, collection, analysisand reporting of data aboutlearners and their contexts, for thepurposes of understanding andoptimising learning and theenvironments in which it occurs US Department of Education
  • 36. • We leave trails everywhere we go and that data is valuable• (George Siemens)
  • 37. Erik Duval
  • 38. Other approaches• Cultural research – narrative and gender• Post-cognitivist turn• Phenomonology• Critical and historical research
  • 39. What is needed in a world ofnew and proliferating e-learning practices areresearch approaches that aremultiple and varied and thatrecognise their heterogeneityexplicitly. (Friesen, 2009)From Web pages andforums to complex onlineinteractions Are we up for the challenge???
  • 40. Conclusion• Exciting and important time for TEL research• Multiple theoretical research perspectives and methodologies emerging• What are the key research questions we need to address?• How do we ensure impact on policy and practice?