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Mapping Digital Technology Teaching Practices: Are we being scholarly?

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Slides from EdTech ILTA 2016 presentation in Dublin 26th May 2016

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Mapping Digital Technology Teaching Practices: Are we being scholarly?

  1. 1. Mapping Digital Technology Teaching Practices: Are we being scholarly? Louise Drumm Glasgow Caledonian University Louise.Drumm@gcu.ac.uk Irish Learning Technology Association Conference, Dublin, 26th May 2016 @louisedrumm
  2. 2. PhD question: What role does theory play in university teaching with digital technologies? Aim: To explore attitudes and experiences of lecturers using digital technologies in their teaching with a view to developing a theoretical understanding of their practices. @louisedrumm
  3. 3. Research design • Qualitative project • Semi-structured interviews with 25 lecturers • Pre-interview questionnaire • 2 x universities (Scotland and Ireland) • Across 7 disciplines • Rhizome Theory (Deleuze & Guattari 1987) as theoretical framework @louisedrumm
  4. 4. @louisedrumm Presented Internally Presented Externally Teaching Peer Reviewed Academic Development Teaching Qualification Has Published Engages with Educational Research Shared Practice • All have shared practice with colleagues • Nearly all engage with (i.e. read) educational research • Just over half regularly engage with Academic/Professional development • Half hold a teaching qualification Scholarly Activity Identified in Pre-Interview Questionnaire Participants(25)
  5. 5. Pragmatists Pedagogues Dabblers Broadcasters A Typology of Digital Teaching Behaviours @louisedrumm Please note: Most lecturers displayed more than one of these behaviours
  6. 6. Core Teaching Core Student Activity Add-ons to learning Alternative Routes to learning Pragmatists Pedagogues Dabblers Broadcasters A Typology of Digital Teaching Behaviours @louisedrumm What are lecturers doing with technology?
  7. 7. Core Teaching Core Student Activity Pragmatists Pedagogues Dabblers Broadcasters Engagement Enhancement Levelling A Typology of Digital Teaching Behaviours @louisedrumm Flexibility What reasons do lecturers give for using technology? Add-ons to learning Alternative Routes to learning
  8. 8. Core Teaching Core Student Activity Pragmatists Pedagogues Dabblers Broadcasters Engagement Enhancement Online lectures Digital content MCQs Wikis Discussions Blogs Virtual Worlds Lecture capture Digital content Social Media Screencasting Levelling Classroom clickers Video Discussions A Typology of Digital Teaching Behaviours @louisedrumm Flexibility What tools do they use for this teaching? Add-ons to learning Alternative Routes to learning
  9. 9. Core Teaching Core Student Activity Pragmatists Flexibility Pedagogues Dabblers Broadcasters Independent learning Social learning Active learning Experiential learning Engagement Enhancement “Learning styles” Online lectures Digital content MCQs Wikis Discussions Blogs Virtual Worlds Lecture capture Digital content Social Media Screencasting Levelling Classroom clickers Video Discussions “Bigger picture” learning A Typology of Digital Teaching Behaviours @louisedrumm How do they explain their teaching theoretically? Add-ons to learning Alternative Routes to learning
  10. 10. Theorised Practice & Untheorised Practice Alice (Business) Assessed group activities for students to complete using wikis to simulate real- world entrepreneurship situations: “So when you teach the module, you don't actually teach it, you facilitate it. You have to construct learning environments and all we're doing is creating frameworks and architecture that you then let the students work in, and with each other. So you're relying on some social learning for them to do certain things” Lynn (Social Sciences) International collaboration with other universities where students work together on a wiki to role play a scenario: “they've got traditional teaching and they've got what they learn themselves, and what they teach other students on the wiki” @louisedrumm Contrasting levels of pedagogical vocabulary used in descriptions of teaching, although Lynn held a teaching qualification and Alice did not. Pedagogical terminology coming from discipline?
  11. 11. Cultural Truisms and Folk Pedagogies “we have to use the modes that they're comfortable with, to try and transfer that knowledge” (Abigail, Business) “that's their language” (Janice, Business) “babies have iPads these days” (Lynn, Social Sciences) @louisedrumm 1: Generational Differences and Digital Natives Perceived student comfort with digital technologies given as reason for using digital technologies for teaching. Although ‘digital natives’ concept has generally been debunked, this idea held traction for lecturers.
  12. 12. Cultural Truisms and Folk Pedagogies “So I post things on different topics that were another way of learning that topic, maybe a video, maybe an illustration or something that sort of added to a different way of learning for the students, so sort of a little bit of blended learning idea, sort of 'how can I teach this thing to my students in different ways', you know the whole VARK thing” (Greg, Biomedical Sciences”) “I’m a very visual learner…If I put up a graph or a diagram or things I think people will take that away with them, well some people will. People who learn that way will take that away with them and be able to remember it... whereas other people who work better when they read a text” (Nuala, Social Work) “I mean one thing I suppose we are aware of in the school…would be all the different learning styles that people bring into the equation, right so, in a lecture you don't get to hit all of them. But if you can give people some video material, something to read, something to do, other skills come into play to support their learning and so more students get impacted by that“ (Pearce, Physics) @louisedrumm 2: Learning Styles Similarly, accommodating different ‘learning styles’ used by Broadcasters as reason for using digital technologies, although ‘learning styles’ has been discredited as a theory of learning.
  13. 13. Findings • Invisible pedagogies: under articulated, possibly untheorised practices • Unpractised theories: powerful orthodoxies of what should be done • Use of explicit, evidence-based theory coming from (some) disciplines • Academic development provides ideas, teaching qualification provides theory but lecturers struggle to join the two • Cultural truisms and folk pedagogies are being seen as theory • Probably a lot of practice retrospectively theorised • Lecturers engage with the literature but don’t apply it @louisedrumm
  14. 14. Recommendations & Questions We should: • Help lecturers link the literature, ‘idealised’ uses of technology and their teaching practices • Critically engage with both educational and educational technology theory • Question edtech orthodoxies, aspirational technology use • Value and accommodate lecturers’ ‘Bought sense…’ • Recognise contextual differences in disciplines and individuals • Where do ‘invisible pedagogies’ come from? And is it a problem they are ‘invisible’? • Does all teaching need to be ‘scholarly’? • What does this mean for the ‘professionalisation’ of teaching @louisedrumm
  15. 15. Photo by Jens Rusch CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons @louisedrumm

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