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The impact of e-learning on organisations, individuals and the curriculum


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CUC Conference, Cornwall

CUC Conference, Cornwall

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  • It’s a rather a daunting proposition having to do an inaugural as it is difficult to know how to pitch it and it feels as if you are leaving your research philosophy very much bear. Also should one describe some in depth research or a broad overview? I have decided to opt for the latter. What I hope to do in this talk is three things. Firstly, I hope I can share with you my passion for this area of research and show you why I think it is such an exciting area to be working in. Secondly, I hope to be able to demonstrate why this is an important area, highlighting ways in which it is impacting on policy and practice. Thirdly, I would like to give you a snapshot of some of my current research interests.
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    • 1. The impact of e-learning on organisations, individuals and the curriculum Professor Gráinne Conole The Open University [email_address] CUC conference, Falmouth 6 th April 2006
    • 2. Outline
      • E-learning
        • Characteristics
        • Impact
        • Perceived benefits and disadvantages
      • A six-step framework for e-learning
        • Why use e-learning
        • Review of tools
        • Understanding the context
        • Curriculum design
        • Evaluation
        • Embedding
    • 3. The demise of UKeU “ It is clear that virtual learning is an industry which is striding forward all around us” (Blunkett, 2000) Five years later, Sheerman suggested the investment had been “a disgraceful waste of public money” (Sheerman, 2005)
    • 4. ICT promises
      • Q What technological promises were made 10+ years ago?
      • Q How many have come true?
      • Q What’s arisen that was unforeseen?
    • 5. Promises, promises….
      • A Predicted
        • paperless office
        • distributed university
        • universal on demand access
        • home workers, tele-cottages
        • ‘ sage on the stage’ ‘guide on the side
        • artificial intelligence and personalised agents
        • e-books
      • A Not predicted
        • rise and impact of the Internet
        • mobile technologies - mobile phone, text messaging
        • Singing cards!
        • Standards and interoperability
        • nintendo generation
        • PDAs
    • 6. Impact of e-learning Organisational level Tutor skills & changing roles Virtual learning environments Interactive & engaging materials Unintended consequences
    • 7. Growth of e-learning tools Communication tools Email, discussion boards, chat Assessment tools TOIA, QuestionMark Integrated learning environments Blackboard, WebCT Online information tools Gateways and portals
    • 8. Increasing impact of ICT ICT as mission critical National initiatives ICT catalysts - VLEs Funding drivers Drivers Organisational structures Roles, skills and practice Teaching and learning Impact
    • 9. Beyond the web… The Grid New methods of online data collection Adaptivity Virtual networks Intelligent tools International collaboration Information explosion
    • 10. Learning by doing In the company of others Through experience Through dialogue Socially situated Through reflection Mercer Vygotsky Laurillard Papart Kolb Dewey Lave Jarvis Paiget Wenger Constructivism Communities of practice Social learning Cognition Theories of learning Key characteristics of learning
    • 11. Policy and practice Early ’90s Kennedy and Dearing reports Late ’90s Emergence of VLEs
        • Recently
        • DfES and HEFCE e-learning strategies
        • Mobile and wireless technologies
        • Emergence of designing for learning
        • PLEs and focus on the student experience!
    • 12. The holy grail of e-learning New forms of learning Pedagogical re-engineering A global connected society Learning anywhere anytime Rich multimedia representation Smart, adaptable, personalised To what extent is this true? What is the link between the pedagogy and the technology?
    • 13. Negative aspects Patch use of communication tools Stilted collaborations VLEs for admin and as content repositories Information overload Not pedagogically informed -ve
    • 14. Positive aspects Critical mass of mediating tools and resources Shift from individual to socially situated Learning in context or through problem solving New innovative uses of e-learning +ve
    • 15. Framework for e-learning
      • Reasons for using e-learning
      • Choice of tools and resources
      • Understanding the context
        • The wider context
        • Organisational context
        • Skills and perceptions of staff and students
      • Effective curriculum design
      • Evaluation
      • Embedding
      1 2 3 4 6 5
    • 16. Why use e-learning?
      • Reasons cites for needing e-learning are wide ranging
        • Pedagogical benefits
        • Improved administration
        • Political aspects
      • Fundamental impact at all organisational levels
        • Cutting across and effecting
          • existing structures
          • teaching, research and administration
        • Changing
          • roles and functions
          • support and administration processes
    • 17. Tools and their impact: Word 2 Sharing Creating and sharing resources Presentations Generating ideas Changing roles Used ubiquitously Distributed cognition Collaborative working Changing the way we create knowledge
        • Quality vs content
    • 18. ICT affordances Access to wealth of resources Information overload , quality issues New forms of dialogue Literacy skills issues New forms of community Learner identity and confusion Speed of access, immediacy Lack of permanency, surface Virtual representations Lack of reality, real is fake Accessibility Speed of change Diversity Communication & collaboration Reflection Multimodality Risk Immediacy Monopolisation Surveillance Conole and Dyke, 2004
    • 19. Understanding the context
      • Large-scale technological implementations common in Business
        • E-Business
        • Transformation of banking
        • Tesco’s online
        • E-tickets
        • Consumer expectation of online shopping
      • Education sector has been slower
        • Will explore why and consider importance of organisational context
    • 20.  
    • 21. Understanding organisations
      • Understanding organisational context
        • External environment and current drivers
        • Current institutional drivers and initiatives
        • Alignment of e-learning developments with other institutional activities
      • Institutional profile and culture
      • Changing functions and roles
      • Organisational interventions
    • 22. External context
      • External drivers
        • National policy and funding opportunities
        • Accountability
        • Funding opportunities
        • Competition
        • Globalisation
        • Local context
        • Changing technologies
      • Current agendas
        • Accessibility
        • Widening participation
        • Lifelong learning
    • 23. External factors
      • A Changing nature of education
        • lifelong learning
        • widening participation
      • A Changing nature of work
        • multiple career histories
        • growth and increased importance of ‘new professionals’
      • A Increasing impact of globalisation
        • Knowledge dispersal
        • Information integration
      • A New emergent issues
        • Standardisation/surveillance
        • Digital and economic divides
    • 24. Mapping external factors to the local context Research Practice Strategy Funders Policy Widening participation L&T HR Catalysts
    • 25. Institutional profile
      • A Mission, focus, values
      • A Strategies and policies
      • A Stakeholders and their perspectives
      • A Current initiatives
      • A Range of factors
        • Size, sector, management style, profile of students, funding, subject areas, culture, partners
    • 26. Organisational structures Collegial Bureaucratic Enterprise Corporate McNay 1995 Loose Tight Policy definition Loose Tight Control of implementation
    • 27. Profiling an institution Widening Participation Audit and quality assurance Local and regional agendas Globalisation Partnerships Innovation Consultancy ICT Research Institution with a primary focus on teaching and learning
    • 28. “ No one representation alone provided a complete description of the domain” Holyfield (2002) Machine Structural aspects Organism Living, ecoystem Brain Information processing system Culture Mini-society, different social realities Political Conflicts and power Morgan’s metaphors
    • 29. Students and staff
      • Changing roles
        • Traditional roles and structures are changing
        • New support units
        • Emergence of ‘learning technologists’
      • Q How have staff roles changed?
      • Q How have students changed?
      • Q What new skills do staff and students need to utilise e-learning?
    • 30. Students
      • A Students have a changing skills base
      • A New forms of e-literacy needed
      • A Students need ICT support and guidance
      • A Employers see ICT skills as basic requirements
      • A New forms of communication and collaboration
      • A Students expect
        • access to quality e-learning resources
        • similar standards across courses
        • tutor available online
        • mobile and wireless connectivity
      • A Emergent issues
        • plagiarism, copyright
        • impact of monitoring and surveillance
    • 31. Staff
      • A Conflict between teaching and research
      • A New forms of e-literacy needed
      • A Students need ICT support and guidance
      • A More collaboration in teaching and research
      • A Shifting roles and institutional structures
      • A Link between teaching and research never more important!
      • A New forms of academic discourse and peer validation
    • 32. Interventions
      • Educational
        • Funds for experimentation
        • Staff development
      • Technical
        • VLE and MLE implementations
        • Wireless and mobile
      • Organisational
        • Strategic
        • Top-down and bottom up
    • 33. The curriculum lifecycle 4 Design Assessment Resources Activities Approach Integration Evaluation Quality Assurance
    • 34. The gap between potential & reality
      • Gap between the
      • potential of the technologies
      • (confusion over how they can be used)
      • and
      • application of good pedagogical principles
        • (confusion over which models to use)
      Plethora of tools and resources Enormous potential but underused Wealth of knowledge about learning Didactic/behaviourists models predominate
    • 35.  
    • 36.  
    • 37.  
    • 38. Evaluation purposes 5 Selecting Validating Improving Researching Justifying Monitoring
    • 39. Evaluation process 5
        • Reasons
      Questions Data analysis Dissemination Data collection Stakeholders
    • 40. Evaluation benefits Reflection and identifying areas for improvement Way of documenting and providing evidence Makes process explicit: part of quality assurance processes Understanding the teaching and learning process 5
    • 41. Embedding Process for project to institutional embedding Integrate with institutional strategies and policy initiatives Pedagogical and organisational issues not just technical one Align e-learning with external funding 6
    • 42. Future gazing…. New forms of media Increasingly mobile and ubiquitous More sophisticated tools and resources Increasingly global and interconnected
    • 43. References
      • Conole and Oliver (Eds) (forthcoming), Contemporary perspectives on e-learning research , Routledge Falmer
      • Conole (forthcoming), ‘An international comparison of the relationship between policy and practice in e-learning’ in Andrews and Haythornthwaite (Eds), Handbook of e-learning research , Sage
      • Conole (2006), ‘What impact are technologies having and how are they changing practice?’, in McNay (ed), Beyond Mass Higher Education: Building on Experience , The Society for Research into Higher Education, Open University Press/ McGraw-Hill Education , 81-95.
      • Conole, Dyke, Oliver, and Seale, (2004), ‘Mapping pedagogy and tools for effective learning design’, Computers and Education
      • Conole and Dyke, (2004), ‘What are the affordances of Information and Communication Technologies?’, ALT-J , 12.2
      • Conole (2003), ‘Understanding your organisation’ in the ‘Creating a Managed Learning Environment infoKit’,
    • 44. The impact of e-learning on organisations, individuals and the curriculum Professor Gráinne Conole The Open University [email_address] CUC conference, Falmouth 6 th April 2006