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Wcet Denver: Re-Thinking E-Learning Research

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Re-thinking E-Learning Research introduces a number of research frameworks and methodologies relevant to e-learning. The book outlines methods for the analysis of content, narrative, genre, discourse, …

Re-thinking E-Learning Research introduces a number of research frameworks and methodologies relevant to e-learning. The book outlines methods for the analysis of content, narrative, genre, discourse, hermeneutic-phenomenological investigation, and critical and historical inquiry. It provides examples of pairings of method and subject matter that include narrative research into the adaptation of blogs in a classroom setting

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  • 1. Re-Thinking E-Learning Research Norm Friesen [email_address]
  • 2. Overview
    • Chapters have appeared in:
    • Mind, Culture & Activity
    • AI & Society
    • ijCSCL
    • E-Learning
    • Ubiquity
  • 3. Overview
    • Re-thinking assumptions about technology:
    • Technology as the driving force for educational change
      • Technology & faculty change
      • Technology & research paradigms
    • Research across the disciplines
  • 4. Technology & Educational Change
    • A new technology “impacts” student outcomes, student satisfaction, education overall
    • Technology as a disruptive force in organizations, institutions
    • Technologies “afford” certain pedagogies by virtue of their design or function
    • Technological change as occurring by law
  • 5. Example: “tipping point”
    • The… "opportunity to [act] before the tipping point arrives will occur only once.“
    • “… tools and techniques are developing at an accelerated rate, a rate that calls for an effective response—the preparedness of educators in schools with technology integrated into all subject areas.“
  • 6. Impact of Technology
    • Technology is a force acting from outside
    • Technology acts on its own
    • The arrival of technology is inevitable
    • The object impacted is otherwise immobile
    • The consequences of impact are massive
    From: Darkmatter
  • 7. Laws of Technological Change
    • Moore's law (the regular doubling of computer processor speeds)
    • Gladwell's "tipping point" (change occurs via an "epidemic" dynamic)
    • Kurzweil's "law of accelerating returns" (the exponential nature of technical innovation)
    • These laws may hold in terms of the spread of disease, or numbers of transistors. But…
  • 8. But…
    • Changes in technological capability
    • Bandwidth, processing power, storage
    • Do not result in direct and proportionate changes in:
    • learning abilities,
    • teaching performance
    • use of technologies
    • Other institutional metrics
  • 9. Wikipedia 2009
  • 10. Encoded in Research Designs
    • Rogers’ "Dissemination of Innovation" Model:
    • Technology disseminated through a population
    • Adoption and resistance as the only responses
    • technology as a kind of "unmoved mover," decisively influencing education from the outside
    • Technology as pre-given in its uses, design, purposes, functions, etc.
  • 11. Wikipedia 2009
  • 12. Encoded in Research Designs
    • quasi-experimental designs that define technology as a treatment or control
    • Measure its educational effects or outcomes
    • produces results deemed either controversial, inconclusive or as “fatally flaw[ed]” (Bernard et. al. 2004; Russell, 1997
    • fundamental questions about technology & change are unasked and unanswered; instead, a tacit understanding is shared…
  • 13. Technological Determinism
    • technological determinism : “the belief that social progress is driven by technological innovation, which in turn follows an ‘inevitable’ course.” Smith, 1994, p 38; also http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/tecdet/tecdet.html
    • “ optimistic” hard determinism: “the advance of technology leads to a situation of inescapable necessity [with the future being] the outcome of many free choices and the realization of the dream of progress…”(Marx & Smith, 1994; xii).
  • 14. Counter-Examples
    • “ progress” can sometimes fail, or be stopped dead in its tracks –or can be “co-opted” (DCMI)
    • The persistence of the classroom as a site of educational practices
    • The Web as being modified and adapted for education: WebCT or Moodle
    • adaptation has occurred in a manner that seems to have had the end effect of reinforcing rather than disrupting many conventional educational practices and organizations.
  • 15. Technology as Negotiated
    • Users interpret & “domesticate” technologies
    • Computer and communication technologies are open to multiple uses, non-uses, & improvisations
    • Processes of construction & negotiation
    • is "an 'ambivalent' process of development" that is "suspended between different possibilities" (Andrew Feenberg, 2002, p. 15)
    • Web 2.0 specially suited to this approach
  • 16. Feenberg: Technology in E-Learning?
    • Technology is not a destiny for e-learning
    • Technology is instead a scene of engagement & struggle

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