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Pan Canadian Research Agenda 2008


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Presentation slides for Terry Anderson's Shaping Our Future keynote May 12, 2008

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Pan Canadian Research Agenda 2008

  1. 1. Shaping Our Future: Toward a Pan-Canadian E-learning Research Agenda SCOPE Online Conference May 2008 Terry Anderson, Ph.D Canada research Chair Distance Education.
  2. 2. Session Format <ul><li>What is elearning research? </li></ul><ul><li>Elearning research agendas and resources </li></ul><ul><li>A Pan Canadian E-Learning research Agenda </li></ul>
  3. 3. How do we help other researchers Dibert
  4. 4. Do We Really Need Elearning Research? <ul><li>What type of teacher and learner led interventions result in highest learning levels? </li></ul><ul><li>Are collaborative learning activities worth the costs and convenience cost to teachers and students? </li></ul><ul><li>Are web based counseling services more cost effective than F2F interaction with students? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the optimal and largest possible size for a elearning student cohort? </li></ul><ul><li>Which Web 2.0 tools really add value? </li></ul><ul><li>How can elearning be learning effective? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Defining Research <ul><li>“ . . . the systematic study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions . . .” Oxford Dictionary, 1991. </li></ul>“ Systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigation of hypothetical propositions about the presumed relations among natural phenomena” (Kerlinger, 1969) “ The collection, analysis and interpretation of information about any aspect of a program of education and training, as part of a recognized process of judging its effectiveness, its efficiency and any other outcomes it may have.” (Thorpe, 1991) HARD SCIENCE Evaluation
  6. 6. Defining a Research Agenda <ul><li>“ A collective effort designed by and for researchers so as to provide guidance, coherence and support for the collective products of that research” </li></ul><ul><li>(Buell & Anderson, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Note that researchers does NOT mean only those funded by universities! </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Towards a Pan-Canadian Research Agenda for E-Learning: A Literature Review </li></ul><ul><li>Tim Buell and Terry Anderson </li></ul><ul><li>Jan. 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewed 131 agendas to find out what is a research agenda and how to develop one: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposed to do expert, user and policy maker survey’s to prioritize issues, methods, timing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further Activity post poned. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Components of a Research Agenda <ul><li>“ research agenda” must: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>contain background on the need for the agenda; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>have a rationale for inclusion of the agenda items; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>have some implementation planning; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>contain an evaluative component, and; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>carry a message beyond a simple descriptive list that connotes a methodology, theoretical orientation and even an ideology of the agenda. (Buell and Anderson, 2006) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Why Develop a Pan-Canadian Research Agenda <ul><li>Catalyst and motivator for action </li></ul><ul><li>Creates shared sense of community </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses and hones ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Provides direction </li></ul><ul><li>Creates evaluation criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Necessary to attract sufficient funding </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for collaboration and coordination, reducing redundancy and enhancing validation in multiple contexts </li></ul>
  10. 10. Types of E-Learning Research Haythornthwaite, 2006 <ul><li>Research data collection methods that include ethnography, surveys and questionnaires, experimental and quasi-experimental approaches </li></ul><ul><li>A socio-technical perspective considering the intersection of context, technology, and people (e.g., social informatics, activity theory) </li></ul><ul><li>Critical cultural perspectives investigating issues of power, culture, and representation in elearning initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Computer science foci on interfaces and work support systems (human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Types of Elearning Research Haythornthwaite, 2006 <ul><li>Sociological analyses addressing community, social networks, and societal trends in education, technology use, and Internet access </li></ul><ul><li>Social psychology and process models addressing groups, teamwork, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy perspectives regarding discourse, argumentation, information and technology literacy, writing </li></ul><ul><li>Management and administration perspectives regarding organizations and organizational behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Education theory particularly relating to learning in everyday life, and sociocultural theories of learning </li></ul>
  12. 12. How to develop a Research Agenda?
  13. 13. The ‘Shopping List’ Approach to Research Agenda Development <ul><li>Usually a well known expert produces a list of ‘hot topics’ </li></ul><ul><li>Usually not theoretically driven </li></ul><ul><li>Usually not validated amongst other researchers or practitioners </li></ul>
  14. 14. Example: Important research issues: Holmberg, 1987 <ul><ul><li>philosophy and theory of distance education, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>distance students, their milieu, conditions, and study </li></ul></ul><ul><li>motivations, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>subject-matter presentation, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>communication and interaction between students and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>their supporting organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>administration and organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>economics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>systems (comparative distance education, typologies, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>evaluation, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>history of distance education. ( p. 20) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Usually accompanied by calls for more serious academic study <ul><li>“ proliferation still has not led to the establishment of any fully recognized and reliable source of expertise that institutional planners and decision makers may rely upon for guidance.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ A more comprehensive theory of distance education must be articulated … if we are to increase the awareness of others to the philosophy, methods, and efficacy of learning at a distance.” Beuadoin, M. 1991 </li></ul>
  16. 16. Sometimes with a bit of analysis thrown in: <ul><li>Keegan’s 1991 Phases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Study of terminology and definition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defining the discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media focus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recommends Focus on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Expert Priorities: Views gathered through Surveys <ul><li>Jegede (1999) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Priorities: Evaluation and feedback systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Barriers: Time, money and lack of personal interest: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported the need for co-ordination and prioritization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the need to maximize effort and to assure effectiveness and concreteness, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>escalating demand on open and distance education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>setting priorities to guide research effort, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the need for researchers, practitioners and policy makers to engage in constant dialogue about the role of research and desirable areas to focus upon. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Expert Practitioners: Delphi Study <ul><li>Most popular research themes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(a) cooperation and collaboration among institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(b) designing the educational experience for the distance learner, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(c) teacher preparation, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(d) educational outcomes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rockwell, Furgason, & Marx, D. (2000). Research and Evaluation Needs for Distance Education: A Delphi Study. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Hold a F2F Conference <ul><li>Elearning : Challenges and Approaches to Researching Communication in New Communication Spaces </li></ul><ul><li>This summary of challenges and approaches is based on papers and discussion at the ESRC/WUN seminar, held at Leeds University, March 16, 2006, organized by John Sandars. </li></ul>
  20. 20. A ProdUsage Approach: the Online Conference Axel Bruns 2008 <ul><li>Community-Based –the community as a whole can contribute more than a closed team of producers. </li></ul><ul><li>Fluid Heterarcy – produsers participate as is appropriate to their personal skills, interests, and knowledge, and may form loose sub-groups to focus on specific issues, topics, or problems </li></ul><ul><li>Unfinished Artifacts –projects are continually under development, and therefore always unfinished; their development follows evolutionary, iterative, palimpsestic paths. </li></ul><ul><li>Common Property, Individual Rewards – contributors permit (non-commercial) community use, adaptation, and further development of their intellectual property, and are rewarded by the status capital they gain through this process </li></ul>
  21. 21. Social Learning 2.0 Dron and Anderson, 2007 Collectives Network Group
  22. 22. A 2003 Canadian Educational Research Review <ul><li>The education research enterprise in Canada is small, narrow and fragmented, </li></ul><ul><li>Education research … is largely driven by university culture and reward systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Most education research is small scale and short-term. </li></ul><ul><li>Coverage of various areas of education is uneven and funding is quite limited especially in relation to the size of the education sector. </li></ul><ul><li>Levin provides suggestions for strengthening research by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>integrating users in production and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in studying the ways by which research effects practice. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Levin, 2003) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Overall Assessment <ul><li>Many elearning research opportunities and questions </li></ul><ul><li>No systematic and sustained Canadian attempt to define, much less address (through research) these issues. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Diane Lauirillard 2007
  25. 25. Efforts to Stimulate DE research <ul><li>American Research seminars (1988-91) </li></ul><ul><li>Australian RIDE seminars (1989-95) </li></ul><ul><li>Telelearning NCE (1995-2002) </li></ul><ul><li>SSHRC New Economy funding </li></ul><ul><li>Many UK and EU Framework initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>CADE and ADETA research prizes </li></ul><ul><li>CCL </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Canada is the only country in the world without a National education system or research program. </li></ul><ul><li>“ inability of Canada to sustain national strategies and focus such as implemented in many other countries due to the fractious nature of federal/provincial relations in relation to education funding, planning and control.” </li></ul><ul><li>Anderson, B. (2007) Global picture, local lessons: e-learning policy and accessibility study of policies in Australia, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Korea, Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>“ In a world where knowledge is the essence of comparative advantage, our universities and colleges can't afford to wait for provinces to take the lead. Their best bet is to invent their own version of the Bologna Process in order to weave together a pan-Canadian system – a system that will be truly ready to take on the world. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>JUDITH MAXWELL Globe and Mail May 5, 2008 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. E-learning E-volution in Colleges and Universities , A report of the Advisory Committee for Online Learning (2001) <ul><li>“ Canadian commitment to learning research and development does not measure up” (p. 10). </li></ul><ul><li>New research programming is essential and that “this research should be broadly multidisciplinary and issue-orientated as well as problem and results-based” (p. 10) </li></ul><ul><li>Such research will require significant new research investments </li></ul><ul><li>SSHRC’s New Economy Initiative 2000-2001 competition only two of 56 funded projects dealt directly with e-learning issues. (Anderson, 2004) </li></ul>
  29. 29. Education Research ‘ Just Don’t Get No Respect’ <ul><li>Much research is not valued by either funders, other academics or worse, practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>Not sufficiently funded </li></ul>Education 0.01 % of expenditures Health 3.0 % High tech companies 10.0 - 15.0 % Overall (Canada, 2002) 1.88%
  30. 30. Put in Perspective <ul><li>In 1999, International pharmacy giant Pfizer Inc. spent over $200 million U.S. in research related to treatments for animals </li></ul><ul><li>7X as much as the U.S. Government spends on educational research </li></ul>
  31. 31. Barriers to Elearning Research <ul><li>It’s nobody’s job </li></ul><ul><li>Negligible industry support </li></ul><ul><li>No large scale focus on particular problems </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody keeping score in meaningful terms </li></ul><ul><li>Pervasive lack of trust in research efficacy </li></ul><ul><li>In sum, lack of an effective research culture </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Burkhardt and Schoenfeld, (2003). </li></ul></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Hopeful Signs <ul><li>Re-energizing of our research community from AMTEC/CADE merger </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Council on Learning – 5 centres and a 6 th on stats - but where is the one on e-learning?? </li></ul><ul><li>Moncton NRC E-Learning Group? 12 staff no projects? </li></ul><ul><li>CIDER </li></ul><ul><li>BC Campus, Sask TEL, </li></ul>
  33. 33. Design-Based Research <ul><li>Related to engineering and architectural research </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on the design, construction, implementation, and adoption of a learning initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Related to ‘Development Research’ </li></ul><ul><li>Closest educators have to a “homegrown” research methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Bibliography and other design-based resources available on CIDER at </li></ul>
  34. 34. Design Studies <ul><li>Iterative </li></ul><ul><li>Process focused </li></ul><ul><li>Interventionist </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-leveled </li></ul><ul><li>Utility oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Theory driven and generative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shavelson et al., (2003). </li></ul></ul>Design studies are . . .
  35. 35. Phases of Design Based Research Bannan- Ritland, 2003
  36. 36. Net Technologies Educational Technology Teaching & Learning Business of E-Learning Knowledge Production Pan Canadian E-Learning Research Agenda Terry’s 3-legged E-learning Research Agenda
  37. 37. Common Features of each Leg <ul><li>Mediated, therefore profoundly effected by Net Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Room for both basic and applied research </li></ul><ul><li>Cross disciplinary </li></ul><ul><li>Intervention based </li></ul><ul><li>Multi methodological research required </li></ul><ul><li>Interventions should be field tested in multiple contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on dissemination and innovation in practice </li></ul>
  38. 38. Business Of E-Learning <ul><li>Effectiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(All 5 Kirkpatrick’s levels) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organizational Models </li></ul><ul><li>Content Development and project management </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration/partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Value Chain </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright and ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization </li></ul><ul><li>Economists </li></ul><ul><li>Business </li></ul><ul><li>Labour Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational Behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Law </li></ul>Major Questions: Disciplines Involved:
  39. 39. Teaching and Learning <ul><li>Individual, cooperative and collaborative learning models </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative learning designs </li></ul><ul><li>Competency based learning, PLAR </li></ul><ul><li>Approaches to teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Automated versus human interventions </li></ul><ul><li>Social determinants of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Sociology </li></ul><ul><li>Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistics </li></ul>Major Questions: Disciplines Involved:
  40. 40. Knowledge Development <ul><li>Reuse, recycle, reformat of learning content </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries and knowledge management </li></ul><ul><li>Formal ontology's and folksonomies </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Knowbots, agents and AI </li></ul><ul><li>Discipline based knowledge extraction and expression </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology, theology </li></ul><ul><li>Computer science </li></ul><ul><li>Library and information science </li></ul><ul><li>Sociology and anthropology </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul>Major Questions: Disciplines Involved:
  41. 41. The Way Forward <ul><li>An integrated, Pan-Canadian research agenda featuring Scholarship of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An open network focussed on support, sharing and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>A distributed network of research/innovation clusters </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on discovery, innovation/adoption & refinement cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Sustained funding </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated with Masters and PhD accreditation opportunities </li></ul>
  42. 42. Way Forward (cont.) <ul><li>Funding to attract and energize professional researchers as well as academics and action/practitionaire researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Social software applications to create and sustain linkages and community </li></ul><ul><li>Consensus building via national survey on issues and methodologies??? </li></ul><ul><li>Output of research in Journals, popular press, blogosphere, and Web 2.0 apps </li></ul><ul><li>Testing in multiple contexts, national, funded field trails. </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>Do we really need a Pan-Canadian Research Agenda? </li></ul><ul><li>What could it do for you??? </li></ul>Your Comments and questions now and throughout the next 3 weeks are most welcomed!