Research in Learning Technology publishes papers concerning the use of technology in learning and teaching in all sectors of education, as well as in industry...

News

The Globethics.net library contains articles of Research in Learning Technology as of vol. 1(1993) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Supporting seamless learners: exploring patterns of multiple device use in an open and distance learning context

    Greig Krull; Josep M. Duart (Association for Learning Technology, 2019-08-01)
    Educators need to be aware of not just what their students are learning, but how and why as well. This study investigates how Open and Distance Learning (ODL) students make use of multiple devices for learning, particularly how students use their devices together. This study is situated in the context of ‘seamless learning’, where ODL students learn at different times, in different locations and with the use of different technologies. Understanding the needs and learning practices of students can help to improve the design of learning experiences and support offered to students. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews at two ODL universities, one in Spain and one in South Africa. The results show that while students mainly use one digital device at a time, they sometimes make use of two or more devices together. This usage can be characterised as sequential (moving from one device to another) or simultaneous (using two or more devices together at a time). This article describes the study patterns associated with sequential and simultaneous use of multiple devices, facilitated by the use of different devices and synchronisation tools. A continuum of seamless learners is proposed that can be used to help identify levels of support required by ODL students.
  • Technology-enhanced learning in physiotherapy education: Student satisfaction and knowledge acquisition of entry-level students in the United Kingdom

    James Alexander; Massimo Barcellona; Sarah McLachlan; Catherine Sackley (Association for Learning Technology, 2019-02-01)
    Technology-enhanced learning (TEL) can engage students with learning and offer benefits in knowledge acquisition due to the flexibility of learning it provides. There is difficulty ascertaining best practice for the implementation of TEL in physiotherapy education. This study aims to address this through a case study with pre-registration students using a virtual learning environment (VLE) to supplement their learning. Seventy-nine students were enrolled onto a Movement & Exercise module and had access to the VLE resources. Data were captured by online survey, student focus groups, learning analytics data and comparison of examination results with a previous cohort who did not have access to all the resources. Survey data demonstrated that most students were satisfied with the resources and that they facilitated knowledge acquisition. Thematic analysis from the focus groups resulted in five higher order themes: (1) Content quality, (2) Interaction and accessibility, (3) Learning goal alignment, (4) Satisfaction with resources and (5) Suggestions for the future. Learning analytics data revealed students accessed the resources predominantly before examination periods. There were statistically significant improvements in mean examination marks compared to the previous cohort. In conclusion, satisfaction with the TEL resources was high, and there may be some positive effect on knowledge acquisition.
  • Analysing the impact of e-learning technology on students’ engagement, attendance and performance

    Raj Kapur Shah; Linda Anne Barkas (Association for Learning Technology, 2018-12-01)
    In higher education, e-learning technology such as Blackboard (Bb) is widely used and has become a popular tool worldwide. It helps reduce the communication gap between students and tutors, without time and location constraints. The study of student engagement and the impact on performance is a key issue in higher educational research, so identifying how students use e-learning technology can help contribute to how to design e-learning materials that further support student engagement. This quantitative research study examined two undergraduate engineering modules. Utilising the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, the number of clicks students made on Bb was assessed against their classroom attendance, engagement with activities and their performance in the final grade in the module assessment. The outcomes contribute to the developing literature on students’ interaction with online learning, by providing an insight into the way students’ use of e-learning materials influences their performance in their studies.
  • Training in basic Internet skills for special target groups in non-formal educational settings – conclusions from three pilot projects

    Andrea Berger; Jutta Croll (Association for Learning Technology, 2012-12-01)
    With the progress of Digital Inclusion, it becomes important to address marginalised groups that face specific barriers in being part of the information society. From 2009 to 2011 within the framework of the nation-wide Initiative Internet erfahren, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics, Stiftung Digitale Chancen has accompanied three pilot projects and researched the hindrances and motivations of specific target groups including young migrants from Russia, women in the low-wage sector and disabled elderly people, regarding their use of information and communication technology and related skills. This article describes the teaching methodologies in the training provided in non-formal education settings, exposes the different evaluation methods and sums up the results. A special focus in the discussion is given to the role of the teacher and the relationship between teacher and students as there turned out to be similarities in all three target groups. Understanding the balance between the training and abilities and preferences of the learners will facilitate the further development of training appropriate to those who are still digitally excluded.
  • Critical connections: personal learning environments and information literacy

    Alison Hicks; Caroline Sinkinson (Association for Learning Technology, 2015-01-01)
    Personal learning environments (PLEs) and critical information literacies (CILs) are two concepts that have been presented as responses to the challenges of the rich and complex information landscape. While both approaches support learners’ critical engagement with new information environments, each was developed within a different field. This paper connects and contrasts PLEs and CILs in order to explore the design of pedagogical responses to the information environment. Through a careful examination of PLE and CIL literature, the paper demonstrates that information literacy education intersects with the concepts and goals of PLEs. As such, the authors suggest that PLE scholarship informed by CIL scholarship, and vice versa, will yield a deeper understanding of modern learning contexts as well as a more holistic and responsive learner framework. The example of the research assignment will be used to demonstrate the viability of this approach. With these propositions, the authors invite educators, librarians and information technologists to engage in a dialogue about these concepts and the potential for pedagogical change.
  • On campus, but out of class: an investigation into students' experiences of learning technologies in their self-directed study

    Frances Deepwell; Samina Malik (Association for Learning Technology, 2008-12-01)
    This paper presents an investigation into how students studying at university engage actively with learning technology in their self-directed study time. The case study surveyed 250 students studying at undergraduate and postgraduate level from a purposive sample of departments within one institution. The study has also conducted focus groups and a number of in-depth follow-up interviews with respondents to the survey. In this article we explore three emerging aspects of the learning experience, namely student expectations of the technology, their lecturers' engagement with technology and how the technology might support processes of transition in higher education. One key implication is that more academic guidance is needed on what and how to use the technology effectively for independent learning, even where ICT skills levels are high. The study also identifies the significant role that the lecturer plays in facilitating students' use of technology. The findings of this study will be of interest to those working to incorporate learning technologies more effectively in higher education, in particular for those who are looking to improve the engagement of students in self-directed learning.
  • Handling disruptive innovations in HE: lessons from two contrasting case studies

    Stephen Powell; Bill Olivier; Li Yuan (Association for Learning Technology, 2015-07-01)
    This article aims to show how Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can recognise and best respond to a disruptive innovation. A disruptive innovation creates a new business model using a new process and usually a new technology to offer a product or service with new features and/or lower cost and initially addresses a group of people who are either unserved or overserved by existing offerings. By contrast, a sustaining innovation may use the same technology, but enhance an existing business model. To illustrate this, we set out two case studies that each implement the same innovative model of work-focussed learning differently: one in an autonomous sub-unit of an HEI, while the other sought to embed the same model in existing faculty activities in another HEI. The theory of disruptive innovation (Bower and Christensen 1995) is set out and used to understand types of innovation, from sustaining to disruptive, and to identify the model of work-focussed learning as a disruptive innovation. We then used this to analyse the subsequent trajectories and different outcomes of the two case studies. Our aims then were (1) to show how disruptive innovation theory can be used to recognise different types of innovation and (2) to suggest the appropriate way to organisationally structure disruptive educational innovations as semi-autonomous enterprises. We also note potential constraints that government policy may place on HEIs attempting to respond to disruptive innovations.
  • Research in Learning Technology

    Co-Action PublishingOJS, 2012-05-29
  • Fostering postgraduate student engagement: online resources supporting self-directed learning in a diverse cohort

    Luciane V. Mello (Association for Learning Technology, 2016-03-01)
    The research question for this study was: ‘Can the provision of online resources help to engage and motivate students to become self-directed learners?’ This study presents the results of an action research project to answer this question for a postgraduate module at a research-intensive university in the United Kingdom. The analysis of results from the study was conducted dividing the students according to their programme degree – Masters or PhD – and according to their language skills. The study indicated that the online resources embedded in the module were consistently used, and that the measures put in place to support self-directed learning (SDL) were both perceived and valued by the students, irrespective of their programme or native language. Nevertheless, a difference was observed in how students viewed SDL: doctoral students seemed to prefer the approach and were more receptive to it than students pursuing their Masters degree. Some students reported that the SDL activity helped them to achieve more independence than did traditional approaches to teaching. Students who engaged with the online resources were rewarded with higher marks and claimed that they were all the more motivated within the module. Despite the different learning experiences of the diverse cohort, the study found that the blended nature of the course and its resources in support of SDL created a learning environment which positively affected student learning.
  • Undergraduate paramedic students' attitudes to e-learning: findings from five university programs

    Graham Munro; Richard Brightwell; Andrew Molloy; Malcolm Boyle; Brett Williams; Melinda Service; Ted Brown (Association for Learning Technology, 2011-12-01)
    Computers and computer-assisted instruction are being used with increasing frequency in the area of undergraduate paramedic education. Paramedic students' attitudes towards the use of e-learning technology and computer-assisted instruction have received limited attention in the empirical literature to date. The objective of this study was to determine paramedic students' attitudes towards e-learning. A cross-sectional methodology was used in the form of a paperbased survey to elicit students' attitudes to e-learning using three standardised scales. Convenience sampling was used to sample a cross-section of paramedic students at five universities during semester 1 of 2009. The scales used were: the Computer Attitude Survey (CAS), the Online Learning Environment Survey (OLES), and the Attitude Toward CAI Semantic Differential Scale (ATCAISDS). There were 339 students who participated. Approximately onehalf (57.7%) were female and most (76.0%) were under 24 years of age. Moderate results were noted for the CAS general and education subscales. The CAS results were broadly corroborated by the OLES, although a statistically significant difference between participants preferred and actual results on the OLES Computer Usage subscale identified that participants would prefer to use computers less than they actually do. Similarly, the ATCAISDS found participants were largely ambivalent towards computers. As paramedic degree programs continue to emerge and develop, careful consideration should be given to the usability and utility of various e-learning approaches.
  • Educators' perceptions, attitudes and practices: blended learning in business and management education

    Deborah Anderson; Vladlena Benson; Ann Ooms (Association for Learning Technology, 2011-12-01)
    Adoption of blended learning is a complex process for higher education institutions and academic staff. Although the move towards blended learning is generally instigated at institutional level, factors determining its success and minimising resistance of faculty often emerge at delivery level. This paper explores adoption of blended learning practices in a Business School at a university in the United Kingdom. Based on the interviews with a purposive sample of 16 academic staff members delivering 36 business modules, this case study explores the concept of blended learning from the academic staff's perspective. A typology of three distinct approaches to blended learning – ‘Technology is all', ‘Bolt-ons' and ‘Purely pedagogic' – emerged from the data extending understanding of blended learning practices. A team of three researchers conducted the study. Two of the researchers were academic staff members from the Business School and one researcher was an academic staff member from another faculty within the same university.
  • Perceptions of the effects of clicker technology on student learning and engagement: a study of freshmen Chemistry students

    Jenepher Lennox Terrion; Victoria Aceti (Association for Learning Technology, 2012-03-01)
    While technology – in the form of laptops and cellphones – may be the cause of much of the distraction in university and college classrooms, some, including the personal or classroom response system (PRS/CRS) or clicker, also present pedagogical opportunities to enhance student engagement. The current study explored the reactions of students to clicker implementation in a large, introductory chemistry class. During the final class of the semester, 200 students in an introductory chemistry class responded to an attitudinal and informational student survey using both Likert-type and non-Likert type questions to evaluate their perception of the implementation of the clickers and their impact on student learning and engagement. The results demonstrated that, when implemented effectively, clickers contribute to greater student engagement and, ultimately, an opportunity for professors to enact best practices in higher education pedagogy. This study points to the importance of effective pedagogy in making clickers worthwhile.
  • Empowering the digitally excluded: learning initiatives for (in)visible groups

    Jane Seale; William Dutton (Association for Learning Technology, 2012-12-01)
    There is growing evidence that some digitally excluded groups of learners are receiving more attention than others. Discussions regarding why some digitally excluded learners are more visible than others and therefore worthy of more committed digital inclusion interventions raises important questions about how we define and conceptualise digital inclusion and digital inclusion practice; particularly in relation to empowerment. In this article, we draw on a range of research, practice and policy literature to examine two important questions: what is empowerment and in whose hands does empowerment lie? We argue that empowerment involves making informed choices about technology use, but that learners often require support- human intervention- to make these choices. However, current digital inclusion research has failed to produce a detailed critique of what constitutes empowering support from educational institutions and their staff. A lack of open and reflexive accounts of practice means that we are no closer to identifying and understanding the kinds of empowering practices that are required to challenge the kinds of prejudices, stereotypes, risk-aversiveness and low aspirations associated with the most invisible of digitally excluded learners.
  • Combining the formative with the summative: the development of a two-stage online test to encourage engagement and provide personal feedback in large classes

    Susanne Voelkel (Association for Learning Technology, 2013-04-01)
    The aim of this action research project was to improve student learning by encouraging more “time on task” and to improve self-assessment and feedback through the introduction of weekly online tests in a Year 2 lecture module in biological sciences. Initially voluntary online tests were offered to students and those who participated achieved higher exam marks than those who did not, but completion rate was low. Making the tests compulsory led to high completion rates, but class performance decreased, indicating that using the same assessment for formative and for summative purposes is not always beneficial for learning. Finally, these problems were resolved by introducing a two-stage approach: the first stage of each test was formative and provided prompt feedback. However, students had to achieve 80% to progress to the second summative stage of the test. The two-stage online tests led to significantly improved class performance. This novel test design ensures that students go through at least two attempts and therefore fully benefit from the learning opportunities presented by the formative stage. Two-stage online tests present the opportunity to provide regular feedback in large classes and to improve performance not only of good but also of “weak” students.
  • Undergraduate paramedic students' attitudes to e-learning: findings from five university programs

    Graham Munro; Richard Brightwell; Andrew Molloy; Malcolm Boyle; Brett Williams; Melinda Service; Ted Brown (Association for Learning Technology, 2011-12-01)
    Computers and computer-assisted instruction are being used with increasing frequency in the area of undergraduate paramedic education. Paramedic students' attitudes towards the use of e-learning technology and computer-assisted instruction have received limited attention in the empirical literature to date. The objective of this study was to determine paramedic students' attitudes towards e-learning. A cross-sectional methodology was used in the form of a paperbased survey to elicit students' attitudes to e-learning using three standardised scales. Convenience sampling was used to sample a cross-section of paramedic students at five universities during semester 1 of 2009. The scales used were: the Computer Attitude Survey (CAS), the Online Learning Environment Survey (OLES), and the Attitude Toward CAI Semantic Differential Scale (ATCAISDS). There were 339 students who participated. Approximately onehalf (57.7%) were female and most (76.0%) were under 24 years of age. Moderate results were noted for the CAS general and education subscales. The CAS results were broadly corroborated by the OLES, although a statistically significant difference between participants preferred and actual results on the OLES Computer Usage subscale identified that participants would prefer to use computers less than they actually do. Similarly, the ATCAISDS found participants were largely ambivalent towards computers. As paramedic degree programs continue to emerge and develop, careful consideration should be given to the usability and utility of various e-learning approaches.
  • Training in basic Internet skills for special target groups in non-formal educational settings – conclusions from three pilot projects

    Andrea Berger; Jutta Croll (Association for Learning Technology, 2012-12-01)
    With the progress of Digital Inclusion, it becomes important to address marginalised groups that face specific barriers in being part of the information society. From 2009 to 2011 within the framework of the nation-wide Initiative Internet erfahren, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics, Stiftung Digitale Chancen has accompanied three pilot projects and researched the hindrances and motivations of specific target groups including young migrants from Russia, women in the low-wage sector and disabled elderly people, regarding their use of information and communication technology and related skills. This article describes the teaching methodologies in the training provided in non-formal education settings, exposes the different evaluation methods and sums up the results. A special focus in the discussion is given to the role of the teacher and the relationship between teacher and students as there turned out to be similarities in all three target groups. Understanding the balance between the training and abilities and preferences of the learners will facilitate the further development of training appropriate to those who are still digitally excluded.
  • On campus, but out of class: an investigation into students' experiences of learning technologies in their self-directed study

    Frances Deepwell; Samina Malik (Association for Learning Technology, 2008-12-01)
    This paper presents an investigation into how students studying at university engage actively with learning technology in their self-directed study time. The case study surveyed 250 students studying at undergraduate and postgraduate level from a purposive sample of departments within one institution. The study has also conducted focus groups and a number of in-depth follow-up interviews with respondents to the survey. In this article we explore three emerging aspects of the learning experience, namely student expectations of the technology, their lecturers' engagement with technology and how the technology might support processes of transition in higher education. One key implication is that more academic guidance is needed on what and how to use the technology effectively for independent learning, even where ICT skills levels are high. The study also identifies the significant role that the lecturer plays in facilitating students' use of technology. The findings of this study will be of interest to those working to incorporate learning technologies more effectively in higher education, in particular for those who are looking to improve the engagement of students in self-directed learning.
  • Educators' perceptions, attitudes and practices: blended learning in business and management education

    Deborah Anderson; Vladlena Benson; ann Ooms (Association for Learning Technology, 2011-12-01)
    Adoption of blended learning is a complex process for higher education institutions and academic staff. Although the move towards blended learning is generally instigated at institutional level, factors determining its success and minimising resistance of faculty often emerge at delivery level. This paper explores adoption of blended learning practices in a Business School at a university in the United Kingdom. Based on the interviews with a purposive sample of 16 academic staff members delivering 36 business modules, this case study explores the concept of blended learning from the academic staff's perspective. A typology of three distinct approaches to blended learning – ‘Technology is all', ‘Bolt-ons' and ‘Purely pedagogic' – emerged from the data extending understanding of blended learning practices. A team of three researchers conducted the study. Two of the researchers were academic staff members from the Business School and one researcher was an academic staff member from another faculty within the same university.
  • The social construction of educational technology through the use of authentic software tools

    Allan Jones; Christopher Bissell (Association for Learning Technology, 2011-12-01)
    A major strand of science and technology studies in recent decades has relatedto the social construction of technology (SCOT) movement, whose adherentsmaintain that technological systems are determined just as much by social forcesas by technological ones. Taking this SCOT notion as a starting point, and puttinga focus on the user, this paper looks at some examples of the educationaluse of software tools that exploit the functionality of the software in ways farremoved from the original design. Examples include the use of spreadsheets,graphics editors and audio editors, and online translation software. Connectionsare made between the social construction of technology and constructivist pedagogy,particularly in relation to authentic learning.
  • Digital exclusion or learning exclusion? An ethnographic study of adult male distance learners in English prisons

    Anne Pike; Anne Adams (Association for Learning Technology, 2012-12-01)
    Previous research has highlighted the value of technology to enhance learning. However, digital inclusion research has argued that many issues such as skills, access, usability and choice impact on the effectiveness of technology to enhance learning. The findings in this paper add to the debate by highlighting the importance of value and context. In particular, the value that institutions and individuals place on the role of further and higher distance learning in a prison can affect technology-enhanced learning in that context. This research identified that despite good IT skills and improved technologies, prison learners’ access and use of technology is hampered by conflicting priorities amongst the multiple organisations controlling prisoner activities. This can lead to a prison in which menial work is valued far higher than learning. Technology-enhanced distance learning, perceived by many to be a lifeline in a desolate environment, is heavily restricted in such prisons. The situation is thought to be deteriorating as the number of organisations involved increases and the Government's plans for “working” prisons gather pace.

View more