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InspirED University of Dundee 23 May 2012


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Contemporary shifts in the landscape of learning and teaching in tertiary education pose a number of fundamental questions regarding the role of educators. As the educator becomes increasingly decentred and displaced as gatekeeper to the repository of knowledge, there is a need to reconsider the pedagogic principles underpinning learning and teaching practices and to align the educational opportunities provided by emergent electronic technologies with these principles. Reflecting on the experience of enabling and promoting student engagement with e-learning technologies, this presentation will question the potential of established pedagogic practices to underpin learning and teaching in a technologically-enhanced environment.

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InspirED University of Dundee 23 May 2012

  1. 1. Rattling the cage: disturbing pedagogicalorthodoxy in the landscape of ‘e-learning’ Dr Neil McPherson Lecturer in Sociology School of Social Sciences University of the West of Scotland 0741 414 5745 @neilgmcpherson
  2. 2. Is there a pedagogy of e-learning? mapping established theories of learning and associated pedagogic strategies re-locating the educator and learner in the dynamic landscape of the digital age challenges and opportunities pedagogical challenges for the educator
  3. 3. Defining ‘ pedagogy’ ‘the linked processes of teaching and learning’
  4. 4. Monolithic instruction historical emphasis on educator-centred didactic teaching and acquisition of declarative knowledge reproduction productioncontemporary emphasis on student-centred learningand development of procedural knowledgeLearner-initiated personalized learning
  5. 5. Competing but not mutually What is assumed? Pedagogical approachexclusive perspectives onlearningAssociative Acquisition Learning by association Banking Cumulative extension(Behaviourism) Building Instructionabsorption Declarative knowledgeCognitive Interpretation Learning through interaction and Construction activity - cognitive toolbox(Constructivism) Evaluation Activity/collaboration/communicaactivity Procedural knowledge tion/feedbackSituative Socioculturally located Learning as practice mediated and Authentic/contextualised developed through learning(Social Identifiable with self/community relationships/networksconstructivism/connectivism) Situated knowledge Engagement/participation/extens ion/supporting of social learningparticipation/discovery networks, spaces & practices Adapted from Mayes & De Freitas 2004, 2007
  6. 6. Tilting at funnels hical fieldBanking edu cation in a hierarc‘the teacher teaches and the students are taught‘the teacher is the Subject of the learning process,while the pupils are mere objects’ (Freire 1996) ‘The current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring’ (Illich 1971)
  7. 7. Tilting at funnels “A good educational system should have three purposes: it should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives; empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them; and, finally, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known” (Illich 1971)
  8. 8. “The authenticity of a thing is the essence of all that is transmissible from its beginning,ranging from its substantive duration to its testimony to the history which it hasexperienced. Since the historical testimony rests on the authenticity, the former, too, isjeopardized by reproduction when substantive duration ceases to matter. And what isreally jeopardized when the historical testimony is affected is the authority of theobject.”
  9. 9. Space & time compression & expansion ‘Evidently a different nature opens itself to the camera than opens to the naked eye—if only because an unconsciously penetrated space is substituted for a space consciously explored by man’ (Benjamin 1935) “Reception in a state of distraction…is symptomatic of profound changes in apperception… The public is an examiner, but an absent-minded one” (Benjamin 1935)
  10. 10. ‘Aura’, authenticity, space and time in the digital agedecentring of the ‘teacher’ reconstitution of the ‘knowers’ demythologizing of knowledge de-hierarchising of knowledge mediafluid & dynamic egalitarian communities shift in production and reception of knowledge fragmentation of disciplinary authoritysocialisation and individualisation of space & time the digital flaneur
  11. 11. ‘Aura’, authenticity, space and time in the digital age“Digital reproduction both accelerates and shifts processes of textual of reproduction.Digital reproduction might be said to open up new spaces, social relations and domains oftextual play…In the age of digital reproduction, material moves in different circuits at highspeed. Virtual centres gather textual material together and offer new combinations andopportunities and modes of access. Access is dispersed and distributed anew. Models ofinert consumption are displaced by models of active engagement.” (Peim 2007)
  12. 12. The emerging ecology of the technology-enhanced learning environment“What we have here is a transition from a stable, settledworld, of knowledge produced by authority/authors, to aworld of instability, flux, of knowledge produced by theindividual in her or his life world, out of resources available toher or him, and in relation to both needs and interests thatcome from the reader’s life-world” Kress and Pachler (2007)
  13. 13. Locating learning in the life-world of the learner web2.0/ social media formal learning environment digital world socioeconomic/cultural life-world
  14. 14. Re-imagining the Panopticon“the diagram of a mechanism of power reduced to its ideal form?” (Foucault 1977)
  15. 15. Opportunities for learning & teaching in a technology-enhanced environment enables acquisition motivates interpretation possibilities for personal learning networks contextualizes authentic engagement supports & stimulates active learning stimulates critical thinking beyond the curriculum harnesses just in time learning fosters collaboration negotiated spaces for learning
  16. 16. Challenges for learning & teaching in a technology-enhanced environment mapping and navigation legitimation overload cannot simply relocate past structures of teaching & learning into technology-enhanced environment inclusion playing the field – transcending habitus and limited capital
  17. 17. Pedagogic challenges for the educator• harness pedagogical potentials of emergent learning & teaching technologies• ensure pedagogical alignment of technology interventions w/ learning & teaching aims & objectives • ensure use of technology-enhanced learning is a transformational experience • harness the inclusive potential of technology-enhanced learning & teaching • construction and maintenance of safe environments for student-centered learning • develop robust mechanisms of evaluation of technology-enhanced learning tools & spaces design & facilitation
  18. 18. Do we need a new pedagogy of eLearning?“sociological learning can be seen to occur in three…modes: literal, interpretive andreflexive…“We suggest that as instructors in sociology we should attempt to construct a socialspace in which students are encouraged to engage in a reflexive mode of learning…“In this practice, instructors locate themselves within the presentation of course materials andemploy the three modes of learning—literal, interpretive, and reflexive—to assist students inplacing themselves within the learning process.” (Harling Stalker & Pridmore 2009)
  19. 19. Do we need a new pedagogy of eLearning?“we dont need a new theory of learning or a special approach to teaching. We needto understand what it means to learn in an environment where information andcommunication is ubiquitously available. There is no part of learning that is nottouched by the digital: even if a teacher and student choose to isolate themselvesfrom digital opportunity, the meaning of that isolation is changed by virtue of the factthat they have had to make those special arrangements” (Beetham 2012)
  20. 20. References eetham, H. 2012. Re: Is there a pedagogy of e-learning?. Lis-link. Available from: A2=ind1205&L=ldhen&F=&S=&P=51099 17 May [Accessed 20 Jun 2012]. eetham, H., & R. Sharpe. 2007. Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing and Delivering E-Learning. London: Routledge. enjamin, W. 1973. Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. New York: Random House. enjamin, W. 1973 [1935]. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction in W. Benjamin (ed) Illuminations: Essays and  Reflections. New York: Random House: 217-252. ourdieu, P. 1984. Distinction a Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. oucault, M. 1977. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Pantheon Books. alasz, J.R., & P. Kaufman. Sociology as Pedagogy: How Ideas from the Discipline Can Inform Teaching and Learning. Teaching  Sociology. 2008; 36: 301-317. arling Stalker, L.L., & J. Pridmore. Reflexive Pedagogy and the Sociological Imagination. Human archetecture: Journal of the sociolgy  of self-knowledge. 2009; 7: 27-36. llich, I. 1971. Deschooling Society. London: Calder and Boyars. ress, G., & N. Pachler. 2007. Thinking About the M in Mobile Learning in A. Norman and J. Pearce (eds) Conference Proceedings Long  and Short Papers. 6th Annual International Conference on Mobile Learning. Melbourne. 16–19 October 2007: 199-209. ayes, T., & S. De Freitas. 2004. Jisc E-Learning Models Desk Study. Online: JISC: Available at: ayes, T., & S. De Freitas. 2007. Learning and E-Learning: The Role of Theory in H. Beetham and R. Sharpe (eds) Rethinking Pedagogy  for a Digital Age: Designing and Delivering E-Learning. London: Routledge: 13-25.