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Skills Challenges Experienced by Students in the use of Educational Technology / e-learning

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Title: Skills Challenges Experienced by Students in the use of Educational Technology / e-learning


1
Skills Challenges Experienced by Students in the
use of Educational Technology / e-learning
  • Some Perspectives on Skills Requirements, Needs
    Analysis and Development in an e-learning
    context.
  • Paul Catherall

2
Aims of this Presentation
  • To consider...
  • a brief overview of Learning Technology and
    e-Learning
  • the Agenda for Skills development in Higher
    Education
  • the role of Skills in Learning Technology
  • current Research on Skills requirements for
    e-learning
  • frameworks for developing / evaluating Skills
    requirements
  • a proposal for research considering Skills
    requirements in a Part Time study context

3
1. Brief overview of Learning Technology and
E-Learning A Brief History of Learning
Technology
  • Facet of educational experience for decades.
  • Grown from marginal to pervasive presence
    throughout 90s.
  • Remote study via networked facilities only
    recently realised with VLEs.
  • Possibility of distance learning via networked
    facilities.
  • Possibility for distributed model (conventional
    study supported by e-learning).
  • Characterised by remote study, web-based
    interface, online collaboration, online
    assessment submission, online conferencing,
    online communities...
  • Other forms of Information Technology merging
    with e-learning via the Web (library management
    system, e-journals, commercial accounts, Student
    Records System, email).
  • Uncharted territory for pedagogy - relationships
    and processes in online learning.

4
1. Brief overview of Learning Technology and
E-LearningDefinitions
  • E-learningUsually a holistic term for learning
    via technology, covering... Web based learning,
    computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and
    digital collaboration" (Erskine 2003).
  • Learning TechnologyHardware or Software
    facilitating education, the black box view
    (Atherton 1999).
  • VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)Typically Web
    based synthesis of communication, collaboration
    and content dissemination features.
  • Online LearningStudy via the medium of the Web,
    or the Internet generally.
  • Blended Learning (Distributed Learning)Study
    context facilitated both by learning technology
    and traditional teaching methods.
  • Ubiquitous LearningThe computer is an essential
    tool that must be available on demand and
    wherever we expect to support learners." (Skill
    and Young 2002).
  • Mobile LearningUse of hand-held Portable Digital
    Assistants, Pagers, Laptops and other devices in
    the context of WiLAN (Wireless Local Area
    Network) or Internet - via WAP (Wireless Access
    Protocol) or GPRS (General Packet Radio
    Service).

5
1. Brief overview of Learning Technology and
E-LearningKey Features
Document Management and Publishing Basic document upload - file issues, how widely available are viewers for document formats? Free formats (e.g. Adobe Acrobat) vs. commercial formats (such as Microsoft). Advanced document upload - display preferences, date restrictions. Presentation Features - internal presentation features with VLE or possibility for use of 3rd party software. Content Structure - Use of folders, tree navigation etc. to manage content by module, programme or topic. Additional file types - multimedia files, interactive learning resources using third part tools, e.g. RELOAD, Macromedia Authorware. Assessment tools, Survey tools Synchronous Communication Chat / Whiteboard Asynchronous Communication Discussion Email Course-Work Submission Collaboration / Community File exchange Portfolios/ homepages File storage Integration Library Management System Online Journals Student Records 'Single sign on' Other Tools Calendaring, 'Tasks', Address books, Online grades display.
6
1. Brief overview of Learning Technology and
E-LearningInfluences on E-Learning
  • Government Impetus for widening participation,
    innovation in course delivery and accessibility
    (e.g. Dearing 1997, The Learning Age 1998).
  • Closer alignment to industry professions (e.g.
    21st Century Skills 2003, The Future of Higher
    Education 2004).
  • Market-led (or demand-led) impetus as opposed to
    'the supply side' University.
  • Prevalence of home Internet access, growth in IT
    literacy, growing user expectations.
  • Growth of e-learning across education sector,
    e.g. UK E-University, World-Wide Universities
    Network, Open University, NKI University (Norway)
    and commercial examples (Thompson Net G).
  • Growth in Part-Time / Distance-Learning student
    uptake.

7
1. Brief overview of Learning Technology and
E-LearningPossible Benefits of E-Learning
  • Wider access for non-traditional entrants
  • On-Line Portfolio for long-term record of
    achievement
  • Work-based remote study.
  • Flexible curriculum structure e.g. personal
    access to different subject fields.
  • Promoting Collaboration via discussion, chat,
    file upload features.
  • Develop student IT capabilities within learning
    process.
  • New markets, International Market (UKEu, NKI,
    WUN).
  • Provides a knowledge base or repository to
    facilitate study.
  • 'Ubiquitous' access to study resources via
    institutional, home, work, library, third-party
    access possibility for mobile access via PDA
    (Portable Digital Assistant).
  • System Integration - seamless access to range of
    online services via 'single sign on' or common
    institutional login. Closer integration with
    learning support / library systems. Automated
    course administration may be possible when
    integrated with student records system.
  • Improved interaction - online assessment with
    automatic scoring and reporting, course-work
    submission, tracking student participation,
    improved integration of email features within VLE
    for communication, online 'whiteboard' and chat
    to facilitate distance learning.

8
1. Brief overview of Learning Technology and
E-LearningProblems associated with E-Learning
  • System / Technical
  • Reliability - potential for disaster scenarios!
    Hardware / software failure.
  • Continuity often fixed life span of companies,
    how easily may data be exported to other systems
    via standard data protocols?
  • Integration issues - often difficult to achieve
    full integration with other systems /
    institutional course, student databases.
  • Increased user reliance on Technical support

9
1. Brief overview of Learning Technology and
E-LearningProblems associated with E-Learning
  • The Student
  • Lack of personal Internet connection may restrict
    access.
  • Greater reliance on self-discipline of student,
    e.g. self-directed study via VLE.
  • Reduced face-to-face peer contact, possible
    impact on peer-support, collaboration, problem
    solving
  • Reduced face-to-face tutor contact, possibly
    reduced student-tutor relationship.
  • Technical / User Support queries difficult to
    resolve in low contact context.
  • Accessibility / Usability - Is there any unusual
    interface design or operations requiring
    specialist training? Is the system tested for
    accessibility standards (WCAG)? And Web standards
    (e.g. XHTML 1.0). Does the system function in a
    range of browsers/ assistive technology.
  • Off-loading of printing costs on the student, an
    easy alternative to handouts?

10
1. Brief overview of Learning Technology and
E-LearningProblems associated with E-Learning
  • The Lecturer / Learning Support
  • Pedagogical Effectiveness - how far is system
    informed by research in academic practice? Is
    system company responsive to academic input? Are
    there issues regarding US vs. UK academic
    practice, conventions, terminology? Is system
    appropriate to educational level?
  • Academic / User Support - possible increase for
    academic / learning support.
  • Study / Cultural issues - Will the use of an
    e-learning 'repository' discourage attendance at
    classes? Will the provision of a VLE discourage
    personal research and traditional study methods?
  • Increased availability of non-directed resources
    on the Web (Information Overload), need to
    maintain authoritative content / links.
  • Appropriateness of learning in digital context,
    only a limited range of subjects can be delivered
    purely through multimedia - problems associated
    with Humanities and Arts subjects.
  • Issues of security and plagiarism.

11
1. Brief overview of Learning Technology and
E-LearningHow does e-learning Work? Three
Models
  • Britain Liber (1999) - three models for
    delivery of e-learning
  • Content and Support Model
  • E-learning as a repository-focused resource
  • Support provided by tutor support, but low
    interaction via system
  • Conventional class teaching
  • Less radical change in culture for tutors /
    learners.
  • Wrap-Around Model
  • Integration of conventional activities with
    system features
  • Use of discussion tools to facilitate
    collaboration
  • Often referred to as 50/50 model
  • Increasing electronic submission of coursework,
    use of email for tutor support, online
    assessments.
  • Conventional tutor support available, but
    emphasis on electronic support.
  • Integrated Model
  • Course is defined by collaborative activities,
    discussions, group work.
  • Course content is uploaded in response to group
    needs.
  • Participation by tutors within collaboration in
    participatory / mentor role rather than as a
    conventional teacher. (Jones and Fitzgibbon
    2002).

12
2. The Agenda for Skills Development in Higher
Education
  • Many definitions of 'skills' for Higher
    Education Transferable skills, Key Skills,
    Common
  • Skills, Personal Skills etc.
  • Dearing Report (1997) focussed on communication,
    numeracy, ICT and learning how to learn,
    recommended that all Higher Education (HE)
    programmes should provide opportunities for
    students to develop Key Skills and record
    achievements (NCIHE, 1997).
  • Influence of Government Policy emphasising Key
    Skills The Learning Age (1998), ICT Skills
    21st Century Skills 2003, The Future of Higher
    Education (2004).
  • Qualification Curriculum Authority Key Skills
    Descriptors' in response to Dearing
  • communication,
  • application of number (numeracy),
  • information and communications technology (ICT),
  • improving own learning and performance,
  • working with others, and problem-solving.
  • Reflected in Edexcel Key Skills Framework
  • The National Qualifications Framework
  • Framework for Higher Education Qualification
    levels (FHEQ), including advocacy for common
    skills.

13
2. The Agenda for Skills Development in Higher
Education
  • QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher
    Education) - Key Policies
  • Code of practice for the assurance of academic
    quality and standards in higher education
  • B4. Collaborative provision and flexible and
    distributed learning (including
  • e-learning) Students should have access
    to
  • a schedule for any learner support available to
    them through timetabled activities, for example
    tutorial sessions or web-based conferences
  • clear and up to date information about the
    learning support available to them locally and
    remotely for their FDL programme or elements of
    study
  • documents that set out their own responsibilities
    as learners, and the commitments of the awarding
    institution and the support provider (if
    appropriate) for the support of an FDL programme
    or element of study.
  • Frameworks for higher education qualifications in
    England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and in
    Scotland.
  • Subject benchmark statements Key Skills are
    defined when discussing curricular-based skills
    to be assessed as part of a programme of study.
  • Progress files intended to help make the
    outcomes, or results of learning in Higher
    Education more explicit, identify the
    achievements of learning, and support the concept
    that learning is a lifetime activity.

14
2. The Agenda for Skills Development in Higher
EducationInstitutional, National and
Departmental Interaction
15
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyTechnol
ogy Skills Facilitating Learning
  • Technology Skills for e-learning ('Black Box'
    skills)Keyboard, mouse, software applications,
    file management, use of email software, use of
    Search Engines and the World Wide Web for
    information retrieval, use of Information
    Gateways, online journals and other sources of
    information, use of online library catalogues
    (OPACs), basic software configuration and
    preferences, use of removable media (Zip, 3.5
    diskette, CD-ROM), use of Graphics, Multimedia,
    Video or Sound files, Use of application formats
    (e.g. .doc, .ppt) and viewers, e.g. Adobe
    Acrobat, downloading and installing software,
    Security / Virus protection, Basic PC
    maintenance, use of individual features within an
    online learning environment (VLE).
  • Organisational and Social SkillsManaging digital
    resources, maintaining backups, downloading,
    saving and printing files, engaging in online
    debate or group work, developing a rapport online
    with tutors / peers, communicating effectively
    via email, chat or discussion forums, use of
    online essay submission features, assimilating
    core IT skills with social / system-specific
    skills.
  • Self-Regulated StudyZimmerman lists the
    following characteristics of a student who is a
    self-regulated learner self-evaluation,
    organization and transformation, goal setting and
    planning, information seeking, record keeping,
    self-monitoring, environment structuring, giving
    self-consequences, rehearsing, memorizing,
    seeking social assistance, and reviewing. These
    characteristics show how actively involved a
    self-regulated learner must be. They do not
    complete work and then simply move onto the next
    task. They consume what they are involved with,
    learn it , know it, wait for feedback and then if
    necessary revise or redo it (Zimmerman 1990).

16
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologySelf-Re
gulated Learning
  • Lidner and Harris (1993) identify six dimensions
    of self-regulated learning.
  • Epistemological beliefs a person's own
    understanding of their system of knowing. Knowing
    about this gives a person the ability to see
    where they fit into learning or how it influences
    them. It also influences confidence. The more the
    learner understands about a particular situation
    the more success they will experience.
  • Motivation The will to learn or get better at
    learning has to come from internal or external
    motivation. In the case of the self-regulated
    learner this motivation comes from recognizing
    the importance of the task at hand and through
    personal development.
  • Metacognition Awareness of one's own thinking
    and learning. This fits with the use of learning
    strategies. The student must know what tools they
    have in the tool box and how well they use them.
    Learning strategies Strategies the learner is
    aware of and how they utilize them. Students need
    the skills to handle various learning situations.
  • Contextual sensitivity The ability to understand
    a particular learning situation and how to
    identify the problem and solve it. This skill can
    be developed by showing the learner how to
    identify problems. Working through examples will
    build this skill.
  • Environmental utilization/control Use of
    external resources to achieve solutions. Personal
    experience and knowledge can add to a person's
    ability to reach a solution.

17
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Some Questions...
  • How does teaching theory inform e-learning when
    the context is dissimilar from traditional
    learning environment?
  • Is it possible to simply translate teaching
    experience into the Educational technology
    environment?
  • Does the medium matter?
  • Aren't organisational and cultural issues more
    important than teaching approaches?
  • Is learning theory defined by systems anyway?

18
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • A Constructivist Approach. Lebow (1993), five
    principles in integrating constructivism into
    class design
  • Principle 1. Maintain a buffer between the
    learner and the potentially damaging effects of
  • instructional practices.
  • Increase effectiveness on the affective domain of
    learning.
  • Make instruction personally relevant to the
    learner.
  • Help learners develop skills, attitudes and
    beliefs that support self-regulation of the
    learning process.
  • Balance the tendency to control the learning
    situation with a desire to promote personal
    autonomy.
  • Classrooms and learning should be set up to allow
    for success. Give more responsibility to the
    student.
  • Make them want to take hold of the new style of
    learning and be successful.
  • Principle 2. Provide a context for learning that
    supports both autonomy and relatedness.
  • Real-life examples relevant to the learner and
    their environment allow internalization. Students
    should find personal meaning in what they are
    studying.
  • Principle 3. Embed the reasons for learning into
    the learning activity itself.
  • Make the outcomes of the assignment fit into the
    procedure. If you are studying customs of another
    country have the learners discover what they are
    and apply them in class for a day or week.
  • Principle 4. Support self-regulated learning by
    promoting skills and attitudes that enable the
  • learner to assume increasing responsibility for
    the developmental restructuring process.
  • Create a list of skills the student should try to
    achieve. Include with this a set of easily
    implementable steps or logical sequences.
    Feedback will be critical to give the learner
    reinforcement and correction when needed.
  • Principle 5. Strengthen the learner's tendency to
    engage in intentional learning processes,
  • especially by encouraging the strategic
    exploration of errors.

19
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Mapping Technology Skills to Learning Theory /
    e-learning

Theory Description e-learning Application / Relevance
Situated / Social learning (Lave, Wenger) Based on case-studies of how newcomers learn in various occupational groups which are not characterised by formal training. Stresses gradual acquisition of skills through participation. Group working, collaborative working in an IT lab context, group working online via chat / file exchange.
20
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Mapping Technology Skills to Learning Theory /
    e-learning

Theory Description e-learning Application / Relevance
Constructivism(Vygotsky, Freire) Emphasises the importance of learner control, learning in real-life contexts, flexibility in learning, freedom to chose learning resources and openness in discussing issues." (Gulati 2004). Includes "Cognitive Constructivism" describing how the individual learner understands through developmental stages and learning styles and "Social Constructivism" emphasising the importance of social encounters. Self-regulated study, distance learning, incidental use of e-learning or other e-learning tools in social / communicative context.
21
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Mapping Technology Skills to Learning Theory /
    e-learning

Theory Description e-learning Application / Relevance
Imitation (Blackmore) The teacher demonstrates or models (whether or not she is aware of so doing), and the learner imitates. There are no "wrong" answers or dead ends the quality of the learning is purely in the faithfulness of the reproduction of the action which has been demonstrated. (Blackmore 1999) Imitation by peers, using complex e-learning features within groups.
22
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Mapping Technology Skills to Learning Theory /
    e-learning

Theory Description e-learning Application / Relevance
Blooms Taxonomy (Bloom) Attempt to classify forms and levels of learning. It identifies three domains of learning (see below), each of which is organised as a series of levels or pre-requisites. Cognitive the most-used of the domains, refers to knowledge structures (although sheer knowing the facts is its bottom level). It can be viewed as a sequence of progressive contextualisation of the material. Affective Concerned with values, and perception of value issues, and ranges from mere awareness (Receiving), through to being able to distinguish implicit values through analysis. Psycho-Motor Domain Concerned with Manipulation and Articulation of learning, this part of the model was never completed. (Atherton, 1999). Progression from basic use of e-learning as document repository to selective use of communication / interactive features, to more complex communications / electronic whiteboard / group interactions.
23
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Mapping Technology Skills to Learning Theory /
    e-learning

Theory Description e-learning Application / Relevance
Learning Motivation(Atherton) Motivation is either intrinsic/expressive (doing something for its own sake) or extrinsic/ instrumental (doing something for some other reason). Generally speaking, when people fail to learn something which they have been taught, the failure is attributed to one or more of three factors lack of motivation  lack of ability or aptitude  (including skills to undertake effective learning.) poor teaching. the cost of learning. (Atherton, 1999). Barriers to e-learning resource difficulties, lack of readily available online access, lack of core IT skills, lack of confidence, lack of social / communication skills for effective interactions, external factors.
24
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Mapping Technology Skills to Learning Theory /
    e-learning

Theory Description e-learning Application / Relevance
Learning Loss(Atherton) It implies the loss involved in updating knowledge This change may be termed "supplantive learning", to be contrasted with simple "additive learning The natural course of such learning follows three stages De-stabilisation in which the previous way of thinking or acting is upset  Disorientation the "trough" in which loss of competence and morale combine to make the learning difficult, and there is a considerable temptation to return to the "old way".   Re-orientation the gradual climb out of the trough, which follows a similar pattern to the curve of "normal" additive learning.  (Atherton, 1999). Transition from non-IT literate to VLE-dependent course, transition from conventional IT skills, static Web to interactive Web, transition from access-level use of IT to advanced use.
25
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Mapping Technology Skills to Learning Theory /
    e-learning

Theory Description e-learning Application / Relevance
Tacit knowledge andImplicit learning(Polanyi) Knowledge or skills that cannot be taught, although of course there is obvious evidence that it can be learned or acquired. It may therefore be regarded as "know-how", i.e. a "knack" for doing something. (Atherton, 1999). Social, communication and related skills in online interactions.
26
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Mapping Technology Skills to Learning Theory /
    e-learning

Theory Description e-learning Application / Relevance
Behaviourism (Pavlov, Thorndike, Skinner ) Behaviourism focuses on a new behavioural pattern being repeated until it becomes automatic. The theory of behaviourism concentrates on the study of overt behaviours that can be observed and Measured. Breaks down a task into parts and how each is learned individually and incrementally implies the dominance of the teacher argument to explain Skill development. Learning use of system in planned, unit-based approach, training for use of system features in progressive stages of complexity, from simple to advanced application.
27
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Mapping Technology Skills to Learning Theory /
    e-learning

Theory Description e-learning Application / Relevance
Cognitivism (Piaget, Donaldson) "...the acquisition or reorganization of the cognitive structures through which humans process and store information." (Good and Brophy 1990). Broadly, cognitive theory is interested in how people understand material, including  aptitude and capacity to learn learning styles focusing on the maturational factors affecting understanding, e.g. Piaget. Pacing / targeting development depending on prior learner experience or aptitude, possibly based on skills assessment.
28
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Mapping Technology Skills to Learning Theory /
    e-learning

Theory Description e-learning Application / Relevance
Gestalt (Köhler) Concentrates on the way in which the mind insists on finding patterns in things, and how this can be applied to learning, especially the development of novel approaches to the use of existing patterns, or insight. Learning by example, developing / modifying examples to the student's preference.
29
The Role of Skills in Learning TechnologyThe
Relationship between Skills and Learning via
Technology
  • Separation or Unity?
  • Can we separate....
  • Basic Skills, Common Skills
  • Information Technology skills
  • Learning Technology Skills
  • Transferable Skills
  • Information retrieval skills
  • Study Skills
  • Learning Skills (learning to learn)
  • How can skills requirements be assessed in a
    neutral context to identify skill
  • deficiencies and provide appropriate 'training',
    'teaching' etc?

30
4. Current Research on Skills Requirements in
e-learning
  • Current Practice
  • An evaluation of the information needs and
    practices of part-time and distance-learning
    students in the context of educational and social
    change through lifelong learning (2001)
    suggested that change taking place in the
    educational system is often symptomatic of a
    wider transformation of society.
  • Performance indicators in online distance
    learning courses (2004) a study of management
    education results suggest gender and age are
    related to performance in distance learning
    courses.
  • Students perceptions of quality in higher
    education (2003) The main findings are that the
    quality of the lecturer and the student support
    systems are the most influential factors in the
    provision of quality education.
  • The Big Picture
  • SOLE - Students' Online Learning Experiences
    (2003) An LTSN project, SOLE investigated
    students use and understanding of Virtual
    Learning Environments across five discipline
    areas.
  • JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) User
    Behaviour Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
    (2001) General research investigating uptake of
    ICT across the Higher Education sector.

31
Frameworks for Developing / Evaluating Skills
Requirements
  • Skills Analysis and Skills Assessment Models
  • Content-based provide a list of skills and,
    therefore, provide limited information regarding
    learning outcomes or progression.
  • Descriptor / Outcome-based complex descriptors
    for learning outcomes for a variety of skills and
    attributes.

32
Frameworks for Developing / Evaluating Skills
RequirementsContent-based
  • Gilbert and Woolf (1996) describe a module
    validation template, which asks curriculum
    designers to indicate the various types of skills
    "developed", "practised" and/or "assessed" in a
    module.
  • Key Skills Online (self-evaluation application)
    Reflective, hierarchical model, e.g.

33
Frameworks for Developing / Evaluating Skills
RequirementsDescriptor / Outcome-based
  • Educational Testing Service (ETS) EDUCAUSE
  • Selecting the best database for an information
    need
  • Determining the sufficiency (or lack) of
    information in a Web site, given the information
    need
  • Ranking Web pages in terms of their meeting
    particular criteria
  • Determining the relevance of postings on a Web
    discussion board
  • Key to Key skills Project - 1998-2000, Sheffield
    Hallam University

Building Confidence in IT Basic IT Skills Writing Using a Computer -Introduction to Word Processing -Producing Tables -Layout and style Numbers and Data on a Computer -Numbers and Spreadsheets Computer -Information Searching -Gathering Information from the Web Images on a Computer -Using Images to Enhance your Work File Management -Organising your Files Electronic Communication -Email and Computer Conferencing -Graphs and charts Information Searching Using a
34
Frameworks for Developing / Evaluating Skills
RequirementsDescriptor / Outcome-based
  • University of Glamorgan Key Skills in E-Learning
    Project. Compared face to face versus on-line
    teaching of Edexcel common skills and
    Qualification Curriculum Authority (QCA) Key
    Skills - challenges the view that soft skills
    are difficult to develop on line (Jones and
    Fitzgibbon 2002).
  • ECDL provides training programme for IT skills,
    including Keyboard, Web, Communication, File
    Management and document creation/ editing skills
    - has been integrated into curriculum within some
    institutions.

35
6. A Proposal for Research considering Skills
requirements in a Part Time study context
  • What are the skills and learning challenges faced
    by students in the use
  • of educational technology?
  • Perceptions of undergraduate students studying
    professional courses in a part-time,
  • distributed study context.

36
6. A Proposal for Research considering Skills
requirements in a Part Time study
contextGeneral Overview
  • Provide Original Research
  • Contribute to existing research in the area of
    technology skills requirements, by examining
    students' perceptions of skills requirements for
    study.
  • To compare these perceptions with government,
    industry, sector and institutional views derived
    from the literature review and practical research
    elements.
  • Overview of Aims
  • Define generic, discipline-specific and
    context-based educational technology skills
    requirements.
  • Define the role and importance of educational
    technology training / assessment and continuous
    development.
  • Contribute to the development of a tool to query
    educational technology skills requirements within
    a distributed study context.
  • Practical Research Element
  • Conducted in the context of a Higher Education
    provider facilitating the UK Government widening
    participation agenda via innovative strategy,
    teaching and technology.
  • Part-time student groups selected across a range
    of professional-related disciplines.

37
6. A Proposal for Research considering Skills
requirements in a Part Time study contextMethods
  • Literature review
  • Define formal prerequisites within official
    bodies (Objectives 1 and 2) and a selected Higher
    Education provider (Objective 3).
  • To assist in categorising educational technology
    skills to develop a skills assessment matrix
    (Objectives 5 and 6).
  • Student Questionnaires
  • 3-5 part-time, undergraduate student groups of
    30-50 persons (Objective 4).
  • Across several professional disciplines (e.g.
    Education, Nursing).
  • Delivered at 3 key stages in academic year
    (enrolment, mid-year, end of year).
  • Staff Interviews (Semi-Structured)
  • 3-5 academic staff teaching the student survey
    groups, to investigate staff perceptions of
    educational study skills (Objective 3).
  • Open-ended comment.
  • Delivered at 3 key stages in academic year
    (enrolment, mid-year, end of year).
  • 8-10 support staff will also be selected for
    interviewing (Objective 3) at similar stages.
  • Pilot ..for all questionnaires and
    interviews - used before deployment.
  • Synthesis
  • Using Grounded theory' (Leedy and Ormond 2005).
  • To establish a theoretical framework for analysis
    based on trends in the primary data.
  • SPSS will be used for recording, analysis and
    presentation of findings.

38
6. A Proposal for Research considering Skills
requirements in a Part Time study contextAction
Plan
Action Plan (By year, envisaged to comprise 5-6 years) 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Literature review Ongoing throughout study. Ongoing throughout study. Ongoing throughout study. Ongoing throughout study. Ongoing throughout study. Ongoing throughout study.

Investigative Research (Sector Perceptions of educational skills etc.)
Student Questionnaire Design
Academic staff Survey Design
Support Staff Survey Design
Practical Research Pilot / Redesign
Practical Research Deployment
Practical Research Analysis / Synthesis
Write Up Thesis
39
7. Conclusions
  • Wide range of perspectives on Skills requirements
    - Advocacy, Frameworks, Tools, Training
    Courses.
  • Higher Education Lots of advocacy, less
    consensus / detail.
  • Skills and Learning processes can be defined as
    separate, but in practice, these are inseparable
    when considering learning scenarios / models.
  • Differing learning theories can suggest new
    perspectives on skills requirements.
  • Thank You for listening to this Presentation !
  • For further information see
  • http//draigweb.co.uk/elearning

40
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