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Directorate of Human Resources Experiences of learning in a digital age Keynote, EdTech 2007, Dublin Dr. Rhona Sharpe Oxford Brookes University

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Presentation on theme: "Directorate of Human Resources Experiences of learning in a digital age Keynote, EdTech 2007, Dublin Dr. Rhona Sharpe Oxford Brookes University"— Presentation transcript:

1 Directorate of Human Resources Experiences of learning in a digital age Keynote, EdTech 2007, Dublin Dr. Rhona Sharpe Oxford Brookes University

2 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Why a focus on learners experiences? To assess the impact on the learner experience of the investment in VLEs/MLE in HE (Sharpe et al, 2006) To highlight voices currently under-represented in the literature (Sharpe, Benfield et al, 2005) To explore the implications of the radical changes in the ways young people are using technology (Green & Hannon, 2007) To discover unanticipated learner perspectives (Sharpe & Benfield, 2007)

3 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development I find that quite frightening – the idea of a centrally stored database for life which contains everything I do and my world view (visual & performing arts learner, MyWorld focus group)

4 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Why a focus on learners experiences? To assess the impact on the learner experience of the investment in VLEs/MLE in HE (Sharpe et al, 2006) To highlight voices currently under-represented in the literature (Sharpe, Benfield et al, 2005) To explore the implications of the radical changes in the ways young people are using technology (Green & Hannon, 2007) To discover unanticipated learner perspectives (Sharpe & Benfield, 2007) To make recommendations for learning design (Beetham & Sharpe, 2007)

5 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Contributions & credits Review of blended e-learning, with Greg Benfield Richard Francis George Roberts Synthesis of learner experience projects, Helen Beetham Greg Benfield Ellen Lessner Eta de Cicco Myworld Evaluation of learner experiences of e- portfolios, with Greg Benfield JISC Designing for learning strand with Helen Beetham

6 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development How have we been finding out about learners experiences? Reviewing literature and institutional survey data Interviews to record beliefs and expectations Open interviewing to allow the learners to be the ones who highlight their issues Using familiar technology to collect data e.g. audio logs Guided recall, with artefacts, to prompt strategies Purposive sampling of effective e-learners

7 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development The effective e-learner? We anticipate the minority now will be the majority in future To create advice and guidance in learners own language to help others To access reflective and articulate interviewees To identify aspects of the learner experience which are effective and can be built on: e.g. beliefs, strategies, feelings, expectations.

8 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development What can you tell us about effective e-learners?

9 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (a) Think of an individual student who has succeeded on a blended/online course. On the pink sheet in your pack, tell me something about that learner, e.g. Their prior experience, expectations, beliefs, intentions, habits or strategies.

10 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (b) Think of another student who has NOT been effective on an blended/online course. On the green paper, tell me something about that learner, e.g. Their prior experience, expectations, beliefs, intentions, habits or strategies.

11 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Emerging themes

12 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Key findings 1.Learners have high expectations across e.g. access, communication and functionality. They expect to be able to use personal technology and personalise institutional technology.

13 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Key findings 1.Learners have high expectations across e.g. access, communication and functionality. They expect to be able to use personal technology and personalise institutional technology. 2.The Internet is the first port of call for information. Learners see the Internet as a shared pool of information. Some have developed sophisticated search strategies, others contribute their own content.

14 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Key findings 1.Learners have high expectations across e.g. access, communication and functionality. They expect to be able to use personal technology and personalise institutional technology. 2.The Internet is the first port of call for information. Learners see the Internet as a shared pool of information. Some have developed sophisticated search strategies, others contribute their own content. 3.There is an underworld of social networking which is being used to support learning

15 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development 1. Expectations of the VLE Weve never done any surveys, ever, that have given other than the students want more of it, wider and deeper (Longside interview for HEA Blended Learning Review) Learners value flexible access to course resources: The one stop shop Access to lecture notes Support for students with disabilities Maintaining a connection with the institution and are concerned about Inconsistency in use between modules Time and expense associated with downloading and printing

16 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development For me, it helped with the continuity in between face-to-face lessons on the classroom. I like the fact that every day, or whenever I felt like it, I could just go in and practice [sic]. University of Deepshire internal evaluation, 2006 "For some people who suffer from disabilities and have no choice but to take time out, it is an enormous benefit in order to keep up with what is happening in lectures and what areas to read up on. Brilliant!!!". University of Eastonhall VLE Survery 1. Expectations of flexibility

17 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development 1. Expectations of personalisation I use my laptop. I take it away, it's attached to me. I couldn't survive without it. Emma, undergraduate business student, JISC LEX Report VLEs are owned by the institution, and the e- portfolio is owned by me. Emma in JISC Learner Voices video

18 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development 2. Internet for information Which means if I type in genetics, and Ive got stuck on something you can turn up other peoples lectures and that is quite common,.. …its too much to ask one university to provide all those teaching resources. So its a bit of an online pool (LXP Final Report, p.22)

19 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development 3. Underworld So my [group] we always text each other and say, oh are you coming in at this time or well meet at this time, and so it looks on the face of it from the university website that we havent been communicating all year but we have. (Nicola, postgraduate law student) Yeah, I write blog nearly everyday, that is when I look into these things, and I think something is important, I write it in my blog, as a notebook...but my.. course cannot see it. (LXP Final Report, p 44)

20 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Laura

21 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Towards an effective e-learner? Weve seen that learners are living and managing complex lives with holistic technology use and blurred boundaries between life and study, some learners have developed sophisticated uses of technology to support their learning.

22 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Developing effective e-learners Sharpe & Beetham: Future learners, future learning access & ownership

23 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Sharpe & Beetham: Future learners, future learning access & ownership e-learning skills e-writers e-investigators e-collaborators e-create e-collate e-collaborate e-investigate Developing effective e-learners

24 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Sharpe & Beetham: Future learners, future learning Digital pioneers Creative producers Everyday communicators Information gatherers access & ownership e-learning skills choices & strategies Developing effective e-learners

25 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Sharpe & Beetham: Future learners, future learning access & ownership e-learning skills choices & strategies Conceptions of learning Developing effective e-learners Conceptions of technology

26 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Some students appreciate the shift in emphasis from tutor led face to face tutorials to more collaborative discussions with peers online, whereas other students expect to have a model answer from the tutor and were frustrated when it didnt arrive. Some students appreciate that working online allowed them to offer more considered responses; others express concern at the time needed to contribute effectively to online discussions. (e.g. Sweeney et al, 2004)

27 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Sharpe & Beetham: Future learners, future learning access & ownership e-learning skills choices creative appropriation Conceptions of learning Developing effective e-learners Conceptions of technology

28 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Sharpe & Beetham: Future learners, future learning access & ownership e-learning skills choices & strategies creative appropriation e.g. using online social networks, using IM to do groupwork, podcasts on the bus, recording lectures on mobile for revision choices about attendance organising time gaining access to computer Managing flexibility

29 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development I had to leave early last week because my childminder was off … so I went onto the message board and asked for information on what Id missed. People were kind enough to log on… and they let me know what groups I was in and what the presentation was about…

30 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Sharpe & Beetham: Future learners, future learning access & ownership e-learning skills choices & strategies creative appropriation Mixing and matching synchronous and asynchronous communications to manage group task giving & receiving feedback language of IM, public participation Installing IM client Managing discussions

31 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Sharpe & Beetham: Future learners, future learning access & ownership e-learning skills choices & strategies creative appropriation user created, synthesized content sophisticated search strategies evaluating online sources downloading lecture notes Managing knowledge

32 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Effective e-learning Building and participating in virtual and face-to-face communities to obtain and validate information and to seek support and companionship. Making good choices to manage time in blended/online courses and balance study with other commitments. Freely blending familiar personal and institutional technology to improve their learning potential. Creating and synthesizing own representations of knowledge from available information Exploiting the potential of technology for learning as appropriate.

33 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Some implications For designing for learning: Designing activities which promote effective online study strategies and good choices For understanding teaching and learning: Do conceptions of learning need to be updated for the digital age? For learner support Where is the digital divide now and how do we reduce it?

34 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Further research How do specific groups of students experience learning with technology? What is the experience of highly skilled online communicators and networkers? How do learners experience change through their learning journey? What are the critical choices that learners make about when, where and how to study? How do learners make use of technology for learning in ways that are not expected or supported? How are learners personalising and adapting their tools and environments?

35 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development JISC Learner Experience ning_pedagogy/elp_learneroutcomes.aspx LEX and Learner XP reports Four guides: Methods for evaluating the learner experience of e-learning IT support and provision for e-learners Developing courses and activities for e-learning Recommendations for post-16 institutions on enhancing the learner experience of e-learning Learner voices CD-Rom In their own words publication due September 2007

36 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Learning online Assessment: lightening the load while increasing the learning Defining, detecting and designing out plagiarism Online tutoring Reflective learning Researching and evaluating e-learning Supporting Educational Change (with SEDA)

37 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Beetham, H. & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for the digital age: designing and delivering e- learning. Routledge, London. Ellis, Goodyear, OHara & Prosser (2007) The university student experience of face to face and online discussions: coherence, reflection and meaning. ALT-J, 15 (1), Green, H. & Hannon, C. (2007) Their space: education for a digital generation, Demos Green, H. & Hannon, C. (2007) Their space: education for a digital generation, Demos report available at Madonald, J. (2006) Blended learning and online tutoring. Gower References

38 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Sharpe, R. & Benfield, G. (2007) Wider opportunities for reflection, learning and development (myWorld): Evaluation Report. January Sharpe, R., Benfield, G., Roberts, G. & Francis, R. (2006) The undergraduate experience of blended e-learning: a review of UK literature and practice undertaken for the Higher Education Academy. At Sharpe, R., Benfield, G., Lessner, E., & DeCicco, E. (2005) Learner Scoping Study: Final Report, available from Sweeney, J., O'Donoghue, T. and Whitehead, C. (2004). 'Traditional face-to-face and web-based tutorials: a study of university students' perspectives on the roles of tutorial participants.' Teaching in Higher Education 9(3). July 2004, References


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