Conceptions of Teaching using Virtual Learning Environments: Preliminary Findings From a Phenomenographic Inquiry  Petros ...
Presentation Outline <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretical Background </li></ul><ul><li>Research approach </l...
Introduction  <ul><li>The project is investigating the relationship between Greek computer science teachers’ conceptions o...
Theoretical Background <ul><ul><li>Previous phenomenographic studies that have explored university teachers’ conceptions o...
Theoretical Background (1) <ul><li>These are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching as imparting information </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Theoretical Background (2) <ul><li>Previous qualitative research into university teachers’ use of ICTs includes investigat...
Theoretical Background (3) <ul><li>Research indicates that teachers often hold more than one conception of (and approach t...
Research Approach <ul><li>Phenomenography seeks to identify the range of variation in ways of experiencing a phenomenon of...
Research Approach (1) <ul><li>Variation in experiencing the use of VLEs is identified through mapping ways of experiencing...
Research Approach (2) <ul><li>Preliminary results have been identified from a pilot study. </li></ul><ul><li>the sample in...
Research Approach (3) <ul><li>The aim of data analysis is to uncover and identify variation in ways of experiencing </li><...
Findings <ul><li>Three primary categories were identified along with a number of subcategories. </li></ul><ul><li>All thre...
Findings (1) <ul><li>Category 1: Information transfer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><...
Findings (2) <ul><li>Category 1: Dimensions of Variation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on teaching: Using technology for imp...
Findings (2) <ul><li>Category 2: Understanding concepts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding the topic </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Findings (3) <ul><li>Category 2: Dimensions of Variation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on teaching: creating interactions fo...
Findings (4) <ul><li>Category 3: Developing concepts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing the topic </li></ul></ul>
Findings (5) <ul><li>Category 3: Dimensions of Variation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on teaching: Facilitating further the...
Conclusions <ul><li>The first category reflects a content-oriented approach to using the VLE that is related with an ‘impa...
Conclusions (1) <ul><li>Broad consistency with previous research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Subject information’ as content f...
Conclusions (2) <ul><li>In the pilot study the ‘the transferring information’ was more prevalent in the context of the tea...
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Conceptions of teaching and learning: Findings from a Phenomenohraphic inquiry

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Presented in Networked Learning Conference, 5-6 May, 2008 Halkidiki, Greece

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  • I could identify with many of these conceptions. My research shows that teacher educators conceptions are historically, socially and politically located. These are located on a continuum from teacher centred to learner centred with a mixture of both in different contexts.
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  • My name is Petros Lameras, I am a phd candidate from the South East European Research Centre and I am exploring, with the help of my supervisors Professor Levy and Dr.Paraskakis, Greek university teachers perceptions, understandings or experiences in teaching and learning using Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs)
  • Conceptions of teaching and learning: Findings from a Phenomenohraphic inquiry

    1. 1. Conceptions of Teaching using Virtual Learning Environments: Preliminary Findings From a Phenomenographic Inquiry Petros Lameras, Philippa Levy, Iraklis Paraskakis Networked Learning Conference 2008
    2. 2. Presentation Outline <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretical Background </li></ul><ul><li>Research approach </li></ul><ul><li>Findings </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
    3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>The project is investigating the relationship between Greek computer science teachers’ conceptions of, and approaches to, the use of Virtual Learning Environments (i.e. WebCT, Blackboard, or Moodle) in teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretical perspectives which are associated with the principles and practices of networked learning as a distinctive form of e-learning (Goodyear, 2003, Levy, 2006) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Theoretical Background <ul><ul><li>Previous phenomenographic studies that have explored university teachers’ conceptions of, and approaches to, teaching in different disciplines (e.g Prosser and Trigwell, 1999). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In a review of thirteen such studies, there is a high level of agreement on five conceptions of teaching. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>These conceptions can be located on a continuum from a teacher-centered, content oriented conception to a student-centered and learning oriented conception of teaching. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Theoretical Background (1) <ul><li>These are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching as imparting information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching as transmitting structured knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching as an interaction between the student and the teacher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching as facilitating understanding on the part of the student </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching as bringing about conceptual change and intellectual development. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Kember, 1997) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Theoretical Background (2) <ul><li>Previous qualitative research into university teachers’ use of ICTs includes investigations of academics’ educational beliefs and intentions as related to learning technology. </li></ul><ul><li>There has been some, but relatively little, phenomenographic work (e.g. Roberts, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Roberts (2003) study suggested that networked learning approaches would be more likely to be adopted by teachers whose conceptions are oriented towards learning facilitation than resource efficiency </li></ul>
    7. 7. Theoretical Background (3) <ul><li>Research indicates that teachers often hold more than one conception of (and approach to) teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>These are influenced by factors such as the cultural and educational environment, technical expertise and staff development opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>The ways in which teachers conceive of teaching are likely to be reflected in the way they use ICTs (e.g. as an information bank, or for collaborative knowledge building). </li></ul><ul><li>The relationship between conceptions of teaching and how VLE tools are used is being explored in this research, in the specific cultural context of Greek HE </li></ul>
    8. 8. Research Approach <ul><li>Phenomenography seeks to identify the range of variation in ways of experiencing a phenomenon of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>In this case the way in which Greek university teachers perceive the educational use of VLEs. </li></ul><ul><li>To achieve this aim the question was asked ‘How do Greek teachers experience the use of VLEs for teaching?’ </li></ul><ul><li>The inquiry was based on the following overarching aims: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand variation in ways of using VLEs for teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore the meaning underlying the variation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investigate the teachers’ experience of using VLEs for teaching. </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Research Approach (1) <ul><li>Variation in experiencing the use of VLEs is identified through mapping ways of experiencing into a limited number of categories of description. </li></ul><ul><li>Categories of description are also used to develop an outcome space. </li></ul><ul><li>The outcome space is the structure that describes the relationship between the categories of description. </li></ul><ul><li>The collection of categories of description in the outcome space form a complete way of experiencing the phenomenon. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Research Approach (2) <ul><li>Preliminary results have been identified from a pilot study. </li></ul><ul><li>the sample included five computer science academics from three Greek Universities. </li></ul><ul><li>All had been using VLEs in their courses from one to five years </li></ul><ul><li>The interviews concentrated on seeking variations in pedagogical purposes in using VLEs and in approaches to their use. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Research Approach (3) <ul><li>The aim of data analysis is to uncover and identify variation in ways of experiencing </li></ul><ul><li>An iterative process is used for searching meaning (how the phenomenon is experienced) and structure (the relationship between different ways of experiencing) </li></ul><ul><li>To identify this relation, a four phase analysis procedure was used: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Becoming familiar with the transcripts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structuring experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing the outcome space </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Findings <ul><li>Three primary categories were identified along with a number of subcategories. </li></ul><ul><li>All three categories describe the use of VLEs for teaching as it is experienced by teachers of computer science. </li></ul><ul><li>Dimensions of variation for each category have been identified and described. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Findings (1) <ul><li>Category 1: Information transfer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extending information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarifying information </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Findings (2) <ul><li>Category 1: Dimensions of Variation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on teaching: Using technology for imparting info </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on learning: Accessing clearer and richer info </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of the teacher: Directing students to learning resources and clarifying info </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of the student: Receiving information for acquiring and memorising concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on use: technology as a means of providing access to, or clarification of, content. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on context: Provision of information, through the use of the VLE for passing the course </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Findings (2) <ul><li>Category 2: Understanding concepts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding the topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rethinking the topic </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Findings (3) <ul><li>Category 2: Dimensions of Variation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on teaching: creating interactions for understanding concepts and for provision of feedback. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on learning: Providing a medium for reflection on concepts and access to feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of the teacher: helping the students to understand concepts and ensuring that students have the opportunity to access online questions and feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of the student: using the VLE to individually construct meaning for understanding the topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on use: Using the VLE for creating interactions that would provide feedback to students. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on context: using the VLE for promoting greater, more holistic understanding of the topic. </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Findings (4) <ul><li>Category 3: Developing concepts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing the topic </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Findings (5) <ul><li>Category 3: Dimensions of Variation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on teaching: Facilitating further the development of students’ conceptions they already hold </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on learning: developing concepts by sharing opinions and ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of the teacher: participant in the environment as well as organiser, motivator and provider of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on use: Using the VLE as a medium for reflection and criticism and for discussing issues in more socially focused subjects felt it was important for developing the course and the topic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on context: Promoting critical engagement with the topic and development of professional expertise for the workplace </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Conclusions <ul><li>The first category reflects a content-oriented approach to using the VLE that is related with an ‘imparting information’ conception. </li></ul><ul><li>In the second category the focus is on creating teacher-student interactions for provision of feedback for understanding and reflecting </li></ul><ul><li>In the third category sharing between students is the focus for personal meaning making through expressing and comparing views online which may be consistent with bringing ‘conceptual change’ conception of teaching. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Conclusions (1) <ul><li>Broad consistency with previous research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Subject information’ as content focused (Roberts, 2003 study) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Information transferring’ as provision of, and engagement with subject information (this study) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ self-paced learning’ and ‘dialogue’ focused on learning processes (Roberts, 2003 study) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Understanding concepts’ and ‘developing concepts’ focused on activity-based pedagogy </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Conclusions (2) <ul><li>In the pilot study the ‘the transferring information’ was more prevalent in the context of the teaching of more computational courses. </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘developing concepts’ conception in the context of the teaching of more open-ended, socially-focused subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>Subject area may impact in the way in which the use of VLEs for teaching and learning is conceptualised within the discipline of computer science. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on a small sample, the pilot study suggests that pedagogical conceptions and approaches associated with networked learning may not be widely prevalent in computer science teaching in Greece. </li></ul>

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