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Supporting further and higher education Learners experiences of e-learning Rhona Sharpe Learner Experience Support Project Oxford Brookes University

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting further and higher education Learners experiences of e-learning Rhona Sharpe Learner Experience Support Project Oxford Brookes University"— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting further and higher education Learners experiences of e-learning Rhona Sharpe Learner Experience Support Project Oxford Brookes University

2 Besides all the complexity created by marked differences across subject areas and myriad individual differences among both staff and students which prevent simple patterns emerging, there are additional crucial differences between the idealized world described by research and the actual world experienced by the participants. Entwistle et al (2002) for Enhancing Teaching and Learning (ETL) Project at Scoping Study

3 Learners take a holistic view of their learning Learners respond differently in the same situation Generalisations: learning experience is dominated by issues of emotionality, time and (e-)learning skills Differentiations: learning experience is dominated by issues of difference e.g. prior experience, culture, disability Scoping study

4 Scoping Study The scoping study highlighted the following areas for further research: 1. What might characterise effective learners in an e-learning context? 2. What beliefs and intentions do effective learners display? 3. What strategies do effective learners use? 4.How do we elicit learners experiences of e- learning, without using this term or asking directly? 5.How should data gathered from learners be analysed to ensure we do justice to the learners own perspective and voice, while addressing our key research questions?

5 Linda Creanor & Kathryn Trinder (Glasgow Caledonian University) Doug Gowan & Carol Howells (The Open Learning Partnership) Interviews and focus groups with learners across the post-16 educational sectors in order to capture the role and impact of technology on their learning. The learner experience of e-learning (LEX)

6 LEX: Meet the Learners Community-based learners in local ICT centre Basic skills learners in a Learndirect centre Adults learning online at home and at work UGs & PGs engaged in a range of e-learning activities Work-based learners in employers premises

7 LEX - emerging themes

8 Personalisation of environment Influence of/on family Strategies/ways of coping Motivation to use technology Control & choices Course design issues Fitting learning around life Expectations of technology Time management

9 Strong emotional response Yeah well basically when I first went on and started to look at it I thought Oh my God! I dont know whether this is for me? but then I thought calm down a bit and sit down and go through it step by step. Adult online learner

10 Skilled networkers Using, like, computers for assignments and even mobile phones …, getting with your friends or even tutors, mobile phones have started coming in a lot.. Just be using text messages maybe and saying, Do you know how to do this bit? FE Hospitality Student, LEX Final Report p.11

11 Learner Experiences of e-Learning: Exploring subject differences (LearnerXP) This project will explore how learners' experiences with e-learning differ in different learning and teaching contexts, working in collaboration with 4 HEA subject centres. Learners' experiences and beliefs will be captured using audio-logs, observations, and structured interviews based around artefacts produced by learners themselves, as well as focus groups. Gráinne Conole, Open University Maarten de Laat, Southampton University

12 1.How is the term blended learning being used in higher education? 2.What are the underlying rationales being used for promoting blended learning? 3.What monitoring and evaluation strategies are being adopted for ensuring and enhancing the quality of blended learning? 4.What impact is blended learning having on the student experience? 5.What are the success factors for blended learning? OCLSD, Oxford Brookes University HEA Blended Learning Review

13 field work (interviews, document analysis) using the teams connections with practitioners and managers, to give access to private/grey literature highlight transformative and thorough studies, making visible the existing research, policy and practice which is transforming the student experience based on real world practice of and actual world of students bring together the literature on student experience and institutional practice. Review Methodology

14 1.Wide scale use of virtual learning environments to provide supplementary course resources 2.Radical, transformative course (re)designs to improve learning 3.A holistic view of technology, including use of own technologies to support learning. Use of term blended learning

15 Evaluated by institutional surveys, Which may: Feed into departmental action plans Take into account institutional rationales Have careful sampling strategy Maximise rates of return Be triangulated with other data. 1. Supplementary blends

16 Students are overwhelming positive about access to supplementary course information we've never done any surveys, ever, that have given other than the students want more of it, wider and deeper (Longside 2). - make regular and frequent use of online resources - are critical of inconsistent use and time and expense of printing 1. Supplementary blends

17 "The ability to obtain most of my course information from home has helped greatly as it means I am already prepared for the lectures. 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]. Flexible access

18 It makes it easier to take notes in class and so I tend to learn more when I only have to write down the extras instead of the basics as well. "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!!!". Access to notes

19 Evaluated by course evaluations, which may: Follow radical course redesigns Promoted by practical issues faced by teaching staff and/or institutional drivers Give voice to the learner experience Be disseminated through institutionally co-ordinated networks 2. Transformative blends

20 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) Differences between students

21 3. Holistic blends Currently very few evaluations: Internet as first port of call Technology use for social networking Development of e-learning skills for global citizenship Complex lives and choices Importance of positive attitudes towards learning and technology

22 its the first thing I turn on in the morning before I even wake up and it actually its very, very bad. I think in future people cant cope without their laptops. My main use of it is I guess social networking. It would be MySpace and Messenger and e-mail things like that..

23 Conclusions Students need support in making the best use of technology in learning e.g. time management, skills, personalisation, integration with other devices, implications for attendance. Staff need support in designing blended courses for diverse groups Institutions need support designing evaluations of technology in use and using them to inform change.

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