16 SES 04, ICT in Higher Education
The use of technology has never been more widely spread in universities than today. The increase use of open educational tools and concepts, social media and mobile learning, encourages Higher Education (HE) institutions to give firm steps towards ubiquitous learning spaces. New national and European educational directives are set up to give each year more and more emphasis to online education and provision by helping to bridge the gap between learners and between HE and society in general. Different studies however have made the argument that the use of technology by itself does not lead to better learning and in fact can drive to disruptive, unprepared and ineffective practices (Blin & Munro, 2008). In fact as the distance between the learner and the instructor increases, the greater is the chance of increased dissatisfaction, failure and dropout (Levy, 2007; Park & Choi, 2009). Hence there is not a direct link between quality learning and teaching and the use of technology.
A recent study from Hattie (2009) which aims to identify the variables that influence success in the learning process in the different educational levels, in the US context, suggests that e-Learning is considered by the students as not to being a relevant variable in the promotion of better learning experiences. The findings from Hattie’s study suggest that e-Learning is not usually perceived by the instructor and by the student as being aligned with the teaching practice but as something additional to the learning environment, an add-on (Liaw, Huang, & Chen, 2007). Goodyear, et al. (2001) alerted us, back in 2001, that academics need to become different teachers, with different pedagogical competencies if they want to be effective in their e-Learning strategies. This argument is also supported by different authors who perceive the importance of engagement and active learning when using technology for promoting learning (Hannafin, Hannafin, & Gabbitas, 2009; Oliver, 2008). Without a commitment from academics to actively engage and support students, technology does not serve the purpose of learning enhancement and consequently it becomes just another way of delivering content and information.
It is therefore important to unpack the meaning of an active use of e-learning. One meaning that derives us to a pedagogical oriented view of technology which is active and student-oriented and that in fact promotes a better learning experience to the students. This drives the construction of the research questions that oriented the development of this study: What is quality in active e-Learning in Higher Education and how can we defined it? The study objectives are: (i) to identify what is active e-Learning, (ii) to identity what is perceived as quality in active e-Learning by the sector and (iii) what standards can be drawn from the triangulation between theoretical frameworks and an empirical qualitative study.
Blin, F., & Munro, M. (2008). Why hasn’t technology disrupted academics’ teaching practices? Understanding resistance to change through the lens of activity theory. Computers & Education, 50(2), 475-490. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Limited. Corbin, J. M., & Strauss, A. (1990). Grounded theory research: Procedures, canons, and evaluative criteria. Qualitative sociology, 13(1), 3-21. Goodyear, P., Salmon, G., Spector, J. M., Steeples, C., & Tickner, S. (2001). Competences for online teaching: A special report. Educational Technology Research and Development, 49, 65-72. Hannafin, M., Hannafin, K., & Gabbitas, B. (2009). Re-examining cognition during student-centered, Web-based learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 57(6), 767-785. doi: 10.1007/s11423-009-9117-x Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge. Levy, Y. (2007). Comparing dropouts and persistence in e-Learning courses. Computers & Education, 48, 185-2004. Liaw, S.-S., Huang, H.-M., & Chen, G.-D. (2007). Surveying instructor and learner attitudes toward e-Learning. Computers & Education, 49(4), 1066-1080. Oliver, R. (2008). Engaging first year students using a Web-supported inquiry-based learning setting. Higher Education, 55(3), 285-301. Park, J.-H., & Choi, H. J. (2009). Factors influencing adult learners' decision to drop out or persist in online learning. Educational Technology & Society, 12(4), 207-217.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
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Network 10. Teacher Education Research
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Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
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Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
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Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
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Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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