eAgenda – Shirley Alexander ?? UoT, Sydney

Towards an ecology of eLearning
Based ona n anlaysis of the 77 papers in the 2002 ASCELITE proceedings, Alexander is critical of the form and nature of eLearning research reflected there. She asserts that it is time to abandon piece-meal approach to eLearning research
Need for a coordinated research agenda that focuses on the ecology of eLearning.
Proposing a new way of moving forward ?? with a project in mind

From Shirley??s presentation??
Ref ??Thwarted Innovation?? ?? Robert Zemsky and William Massy (2004)
This report asks ??why did the boom in eLearning go bust??? It looks at three assumptions that have proved unfounded or false:
– if we build it they??ll come
– kids will take to it like a duck to water
– eLearning will force a change in the way we teach
analysis of 77 papers in the 2002 ASCELLITE proceedings and asked
– what are the questions being asked by
– what theoretical positions are being used
– what is being found?
What are the questions?
– student experience
– student learning outcomes
– adoption of eLearning
– academic experience
– academic development
– project issues
– student prior knowledge
– only 2 posed questions about learning design
Calls for a case for systematic approach
Shared one framework developed by Keith Trigwell ?? starts with student at centre. Then looks at influences on student learning outcomes
– teacher stragtegies
– teacher planning
– teacher thinking
– learning context
Biggs 3P model of Learning
– students come in with certain expectations, dispositions
– students have a perception of what they will learn (eg complaints from students asked to engage in a simlulation ?? didn??t appreciate the hard work involved, expected simply to be ??fed?? information)
– teaching content (reflect teacher perception)
– task processing is influenced by these perceptions, including perception of contextf.
How students perceive their learning influences the approach they take to their learning. Eg:
– if intention is simply to pass exam, they??ll simply look for the ??delivery of content??
– if intention is to gain deeper understanding, they??ll participate more fully
Problem with research ?? too often research focuses on the discrete areas of the whole process, often ignoring context
Theoretical positions. ?? papers analysed revealed two references to Bloom??s taxonomies, and two others to Diana Laurrilard??s conversational model ?? apart from that, no explicit theoretical underpinnings.
Critical of evidence gathering methodologies ?? papers very weak in this area, with wide array of trying to decide as ??what counts as evidence?? with regards to research into eLearning.
Key findings from this paper were not very encouraging regarding the quality of research going on into eLearning ?? nor of the conclusions and outcomes of the research itself. Paints a picture of students only superficially engaged in eLearning.
Proposed project ?? ASSESSMENT
Shirely and her colleagues have created an assessment simulation tool. Aim of the Sim Assessment project:
– to improve student??s experience of assessment at ATS by providing an opportunity for academics to understand their own practices and reflect on how they might change or improve their practice
NB ?? t his tool will be available to others to use within the next few weeks.
Contact shirley.alexander@uts.edu.au

2 thoughts on “eAgenda – Shirley Alexander ?? UoT, Sydney

  1. Thanks for giving a summary of the presentations. It is interesting to read about the key themes and link names of people who are presenting them or associated with those ideas.

  2. I like the bit about student perceptions influencing the style of participation – reminds me of the e-Fellows and the apparent priority to simply pass courses or ‘complete’ their research satisfactorily – very outcome-based, as opposed to developing a broader holistic view of the whole educational context …

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