Activity Theory for E-portfolio Research

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How my reseActivity Theory to study aspects of the sustained curricular adoption of e-portfolios in Secondary Schools.

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  • “… affordance offers a distinctive perspective on the use of ICT in education, because of its focus on possibilities for action” (Hammond, 2009).Learner’s use of OPSNS’ softwareaffordances’ will be studied at operational, tactical and strategic levels to understand: 1. what they use;2. whether they meet the actions, goals and outcomes desired in the educators’ e-portfolio curricula.
  • Sustainedadoption of an ITC-based curriculum innovation is only possible with buy-in from the department, the school and IT (support).
  • The Activity Theory pedagogical perspective focuses on a High School’s Staff, their curricula, learning/teaching resources and influence (using associators).This perspective highlight several concerns: Visual Arts Educators “must” draw on third-parties to launch and, potentially, sustain OPSNS curricula. DOE policy does not define ICT proficiency clearly. Nor does it include it in an ICT framework. Visual Arts Educators may lack the time to secure buy-in from their department. Educators have varied drivers for adopting e-portfolios. This framework may need to be modified for the public school. In the absence of other examples, what is the value of adopting a new medium into curricula? Keen learners could derive the most value out-of-class, though “out-of-class “ is not defined in the curriculum statement.
  • The Activity Theory pedagogical perspective focuses on a High School’s Staff, their curricula, learning/teaching resources and influence (using associators).This perspective highlight several concerns: Visual Arts Educators “must” draw on third-parties to launch and, potentially, sustain OPSNS curricula. DOE policy does not define ICT proficiency clearly. Nor does it include it in an ICT framework. Visual Arts Educators may lack the time to secure buy-in from their department. Educators have varied drivers for adopting e-portfolios. This framework may need to be modified for the public school. In the absence of other examples, what is the value of adopting a new medium into curricula? Keen learners could derive the most value out-of-class, though “out-of-class “ is not defined in the curriculum statement.
  • The school organization perspective focuses on physical, financial and human resources.Schools management’s goals are to: - Maximize value from an ICT investment.- Prove the value of parents’ educational investment.- Be a sustainable organisation.Visual Arts Department’s new curricula must assist in showing the value of the school’s ICT investment.
  • The technological perspective focuses on staff, influence, hardware and software. A school’s IT support aims for:- stability and scalability, standards and protocols, realizing value from the ICT investment.As a non-core IT activity, Visual Arts Department’s new curricula must not burden the IT Department with many demands on its often stretched resources.
  • Interaction of these groups allows people to understand what happens in the “other world”.These three perspective have different foci.
  • Activity Theory for E-portfolio Research

    1. 1. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Travis Noakes’ research PhD in Media Studies candidate at the Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town. Using ACTIVITY THEORY in studying Social Network Sites’ adoption for E-portfolio creation in Visual Arts Curricula at Two Secondary Schools Find more of my presentations on www.slideshare.net/TravisNoakes
    2. 2. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Research PROBLEM This project aims to describe aspects of a new medium’s use and sustained adoption in the Visual Arts curricula at Secondary School. There is a gap in the literature on Online Portfolio Social Network Sites’ (OPSNS) inclusion, as Web2.0-based media is a recent phenomenon. By investigating this gap, we can better understand aspects of social media’s use, outcomes and sustainability. Educators and other key decision makers can use this knowledge to support appropriate diffusion and sustained curricular adoption; through maximising positive outcomes and minimising hazards. January 30, 2015 Prepared by Travis Noakes
    3. 3. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Prepared by Travis NoakesJanuary 30, 2015 Online Portfolio Social Network Sites’ (OPSNS) CURRICULAR ADOPTION Combined Analysis 2010 2011 2012 Create Your Portfolio Choose Portfolio Site Public school educator Private school educator Choose Portfolio Site Create Your Portfolio WCED VAD’s curricular advisers’ feedback Visual Arts educator workshops
    4. 4. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. MAIN Question What must be considered when introducing a new medium's software affordances into Visual Arts curricula in South African Secondary Schools?  Software Affordances  Activity Theory  Diffusion of Innovation Theory Use-in-Practice Methodology?
    5. 5. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Supporting QUESTIONS 1. What are the operational software affordances that learners use while being instructed to create and maintain e-portfolios? Software Affordances, Activity Theory {Tools} 2. To what extent does this use meet the outcomes and goals set in each educator’s curricula? Software Affordances, Activity Theory {Outcomes} 3. What are the key factors to consider for sustained OPSNS as e-portfolio use in the Visual Arts in South African Secondary Schools? Diffusion of Innovation Theory, Activity Theory 4. What are the results of mentoring educators in OPSNS on their perception and use of Web2.0 software in Visual Arts education? Activity Theory {Tools, Outcomes} in each curriculum’s lesson @ Secondary School for each curriculum’s duration by educator Individual Level Collective Level January 30, 2015 Prepared by Travis Noakes
    6. 6. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Prepared by Travis NoakesJanuary 30, 2015 ACTIVITY THEORY > Technology and Pedagogy Activity Theory is useful for answering these questions as it affords the researcher frameworks to understand how individual learner and educator activities relate to the complex secondary school environment. Activity Theory-based research projects this decade that focused on ICT’s use in pedagogy include:  Cher Ping Lim’s theoretical framework for the study of ICT in schools (2002);  Susie Groves and Joyce Dale’s research into young children’s use of calculators (2005);  Russell and Schneiderheinze’s research into understanding teachers’ educational innovations (2005);  Joanne Hardman’s research into teacher’s perceptions of computer usage at a primary school level in South Africa (2005) and pedagogy (2008);  Ian Robertson’s research into sustainable e-learning and professional development (2008).
    7. 7. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Prepared by Travis NoakesJanuary 30, 2015 ACTIVITY THEORY > Generations of Study Activity Theory Stage 1 action at an individual level An individual subject uses a tool to perform an action with the object(ive) of achieving an outcome. Activity Theory stage 2 action at a collective level Stresses the importance of collective activity by incorporating the notions of rules, community and division of labour. Activity Theory stage 3 interaction between contexts Boundary objects are created when two activity systems interact. Their contradictions and tensions makes expansive learning possible when practitioners learn what is possible beyond their activity system through discussion, debate and reflection. Source: Ian Robertson, An introduction to Activity Theory, 2008 http://sites.google.com/site/robboian/
    8. 8. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Activity > What sort of activity am I interested in? Object(ive) > Why is the activity taking place? Subjects > Who is involved in carrying out the activity? Tools > By what means are the subjects performing the activity? Rules and regulations > Are there any cultural norms, rules or regulations governing the performance of the activity? Division of labour > Who are responsible for what, when carrying out activity and how are those roles organised? Community > What is the environment in which this activity is being carried out? Outcomes > What is the desired outcome from carrying out this activity? Source: Mwanza & Engëstrom, 2003. Prepared by Travis NoakesJanuary 30, 2015 QUESTIONS raised in Activity Theory
    9. 9. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Relating the levels in Software Affordances to those of Activity Theory TYPES OF SOFTWARE AFFORDANCE Positive or Negative Strategic Tactical Operational accumulate combine result in ACTIVITY THEORY Goals Activities Actions Operations Outcomes Learners’ use Educators’ curricular aims KEY CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO SUSTAINED CURRICULAR ADOPTION Mostly positive Achieve curricular aims Reliable & efficient January 30, 2015 Prepared by Travis Noakes RESULTS + + = Learners’ use Understanding the new media’s USE IN CURRICULA 1. What are the operational software affordances that learners use while being instructed to create and maintain e-portfolios? 2. To what extent does this use meet the outcomes and goals set In each educator’s curricula?
    10. 10. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Technological Perspective Diverse SECOND STAGE ACTIVITY THEORY Perspectives Rules Community Division of Labour Tool Subject Object Pedagogical Perspective School Perspective January 30, 2015 Prepared by Travis Noakes 3. What are the key factors to consider for sustained OPSNS as e-portfolio use in the Visual Arts in South African Secondary Schools? 4. What are the results of mentoring educators in OPSNS on their perception and use of Web2.0 software in Visual Arts education?
    11. 11. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Change Agent and Aides Educator Learners Decision Makers (School, DOE) Support Staff Home (Parents) Boarding House Online Audiences An Activity Theory PEDAGOGICAL PERSPECTIVE for Curricular Adoption Rules Community of Practice INTENDED (IDEAL) OUTCOMES BETTER PEDAGOGY Adoption of OPSNS for e-portfolio creation. ITC Literacy (ITC proficiency, cognitive skills, …) Supports an holisitc view of learners’ outcomes that easily retrieved. Learners become part of the school’s Visual Arts’ history. Showcase learners’ (and eduicators’) achievements online Pedagogical benefits of e-portfolio use. NEW ONLINE PORTFOLIO CURRICULA Concepts of the subject area ✔ Hardcopy artworks ✔ Laptop and desktop computers ✔ Scanners and digital cameras ✔ Internet access ✔ Online Portfolio Social Network Sites (OPSNS) Digital learning portfolios (e-portfolios) Marking criteria (i.e. test checklists) Tools Satisfy educator’s personal beliefs Fall within school’s budget and resourcing National Curriculum Statement alignment School’s professional values Subject’s culture of practice Accords with school policy (i.e. e-safety) Satisfies other DOE policies Discipline norms  Role of Educator  Role of Learners  Role of Technology Users  Role of Software Users  Role of IT Support  in class Subject Pedagogical Perspective  New Medium  Novel Curricula ✔  Secondary Schools’ educators and learners (15 to 18 years) Object Outcome TRANSFORM Division of Labour ACTION What: Curricular adoption of a new medium 1.How is the new medium used by learners? 2.Does this meet the educators’ goals? Dominant pedagogic approach. Addressing the needs and preferences of educators and learners.
    12. 12. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Researcher Educator Learners Decision Makers (School, DOE) Support Staff Home (Parents) Boarding House Online Audiences An Activity Theory PEDAGOGICAL PERSPECTIVE for Sustained Curricular Adoption Rules Community of Practice INTENDED (IDEAL) OUTCOMES SUSTAINED PEDAGOGY Sustained curricular adoption of OPSNS for e-portfolio creation. 3. What are the key factors to consider for sustained curricular adoption? 4. How does mentoring affect educators’ use of web2.0 affordances in curricula? NEW ONLINE PORTFOLIO CURRICULA Concepts of the subject area ✔ Hardcopy artworks ✔ Laptop and desktop computers ✔ Scanners and digital cameras ✔ Internet access ✔ Online Portfolio Social Network Sites (OPSNS) Digital learning portfolios (e-portfolios) Marking criteria (i.e. test checklists) Tools Satisfy educator’s personal beliefs Fall within school’s budget and resourcing National Curriculum Statement alignment School’s professional values Subject’s culture of practice Accords with school policy (i.e. e-safety) Satisfies other DOE policies Discipline norms  Role of Teacher  Role of Learners  Role of Technology Users  Role of IT Support  Role of Software Users  in class Subject Pedagogical Perspective  New Medium  Novel Curricula ✔  Secondary Schools’ educators and learners (15 to 18 years) Object Outcome TRANSFORM Division of Labour ACTION What: Curricular adoption of a new medium 1.How is the new medium used by learners? 2.Does this meet the educators’ goals? Outside? Time for buy-in? ICT proficiency? Third-party resource? Dominant pedagogic approach. Addressing the needs and preferences of educators and learners. Benefits? Varied drivers… Not ideal OPSNS users Service down: plan B?
    13. 13. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Rules Community of Practice INTENDED (IDEAL) OUTCOMES ORGANISATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY Sustained curricular adoption of OPSNS for e-portfolio creation. 3. How does mentoring affect educators’ use of web2.0 affordances in curricula? 4. What are the key factors to consider for sustained adoption? Tools Subject Object Outcome TRANSFORM Division of Labour What: Curricular adoption of a new medium 1.How is the new medium used by learners? 2.Does this meet the educators’ goals? An Activity Theory SCHOOL PERSPECTIVE for Sustained Curricular Adoption NEW ONLINE PORTFOLIO CURRICULA Curricular support Resource allocation Follow government policy Meet legal & social obligations Adhere to strategic plan Control costs Apply VA department’s policy Approval criteria for new curricula Executive School Management Educators and Support Staff Prepared by Travis Noakes School Perspective  Educator  New Curricula  Secondary School’s Management and Executive  Role of School Executive  Role of School Management  Role of Educator Benchmarks? Examples? ROI? Sufficient? Support staff resourcing? Track record? Maintenance costs? ACTION
    14. 14. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. NEW ONLINE PORTFOLIO CURRICULA Computers Scanners and Digital Cameras Online access Online Portfolio Social Network Sites (OPSNS) Digital learning portfolios (e-portfolios) Affordable Service Level Agreement Access Rules Terms of Use School Policy E-Safety Privacy Policy Copyright Visual Arts Department IT Department External Support Researcher School Executive Online Audiences  Role of Educator  Role of IT Support  Role of Technology Users  Role of Software Users  in class Provide access to a new medium An Activity Theory TECHNOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE for Sustained Curricular Adoption Rules Community of Practice INTENDED (IDEAL) OUTCOMES TECHNOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY Sustained curricular adoption of OPSNS for e-portfolio creation. 3. How does mentoring affect educators’ use of web2.0 affordances in curricula? 4. What are the key factors to consider for sustained adoption? Tools Subject Object Outcome TRANSFORM Division of Labour What: Curricular adoption of a new medium 1.How is the new medium used by learners? 2.Does this meet the educators’ goals? Prepared by Travis Noakes Technological Perspective  New Medium  Novel Curricula  Educator’s IT support Support levels ? Planning? Learner support at home? Software guidance? Additional support? Web2.0 service sustainability? Legal skills? ACTION
    15. 15. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Prepared by Travis NoakesJanuary 30, 2015 THIRD GENERATION Activity Theory Pedagogy Technology Support Private School Organisation School Perspective Technological Perspective Pedagogical Perspective Pedagogical Perspective expansive learning Public School Organisation OPSNS service DOE WCED Parents’ Homes Educators’ Homes Online Audiences Compare 2 at a time
    16. 16. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Prepared by Travis NoakesJanuary 30, 2015 ISSUES from Third Generation Activity Theory School Management and Pedagogical Perspectives  Without a strong pedagogical rationale from the educator, school management may stop adoption of new curricula.  School management may need to apply resourcing to more important items in its strategy. This may delay or prevent the rollout of OPSNS in curricula.  If the costs of resourcing new curricula become high, school management may act to stop these curricula.  In the absence of a clear value proposition, high maintenance costs may lead to new curricula being rejected by school management.  Best teaching with ITC may require two educators, not one. School management may not support added costs.  Educators may need support in learning about new copyright conventions, e-safety, etc. before they roll-out Web2.0 related curricula. School management may not support this if it is costly.
    17. 17. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Prepared by Travis NoakesJanuary 30, 2015 ISSUES from Third Generation Activity Theory Technology and Pedagogy Perspectives  If the costs of providing OPSNS technology support and broadband access are high, the IT Department may restrict or block OPSNS use.  Many public schools will not have an IT Department. Their educators may find providing IT support in new curricula too much of a burden.  The multiple legal requirements of supporting the curricula may be too onerous for poorly-resourced schools.  OPSNS may own the copyright of work uploaded to them, which could conflict with the learner’s and educator’s interests.  Web2.0 OPSNS are a free(-mium), third-party service, which changes regularly. Updating curricula to keep up with changes (i.e. new GUI and terms of use) may pose a problem for the educators.  OPSNS are designed for creative professionals, not learners. Educators will find it hard to prevent learners from using software affordances that compromise e-safety (such as contact details). It could be worthwhile to encourage the development of an OPSNS service designed for learners.
    18. 18. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. Prepared by Travis NoakesJanuary 30, 2015 ISSUES from Third Generation Activity Theory DOE and pedagogy  If the WCED wants to publish curricula, but educators and/or their schools believe that these belong to them, then tension between the ownership of curricula and publishing them online will occur.  Without the support of a broader Visual Arts educators’ Community of Practice, the school’s educator may not see real professional benefit in using Web2.0 technologies. Other  Learners from well-resourced homes may choose to use OPSNS there. This may pose a challenge to the fairness of educator’s marking criteria, when learners without after-hours access do not have sufficient time to use digitisation and OPSNS equipment in in class.
    19. 19. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. THANKS to this research’s supporters National Research Foundation. University of Cape Town, Department of Film and Media Studies. Dr Marion Walton Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Department of Informatics and Design. Prof Johannes Cronje & Educational Technology MA & PhD Colleagues January 30, 2015 Prepared by Travis Noakes
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