Lecturers working in Higher Education are increasingly engaging with digital technology when teaching (Adekola, 2016, Stott, 2016); working with students in online spaces and supporting academic work with digital tools. Technology has changed the ways in which we access information and, like the knowledge driven workforce, has implications for Education (Bates, 2016). The change of setting mediates practice, breaking down geographic and temporal boundaries (Jung and Latchem, 2011, Kim et. al., 2015). Research has identified the importance of online social presence (Kehrwald, 2008) and explored the factors which influence student engagement (Park, 2015). Lecturers, teaching online, are positioned differently to students, as well as creating presence themselves and interacting in the online space they also support student engagement. The online setting presents the potential for Lecturers to utilise collaborative activities when teaching, capitalising on the lack of physical and temporal boundaries in online interactions.
There are now a generation of experienced online lecturers, particularly in institutions who were quick to take up online delivery. Their experience and knowledge of practice can add to the knowledge base, on effective online learning. This research focused on understanding pedagogic collaboration: the use of collaborative activities when teaching. Focusing on Lecturers’ approaches to collaborative activity, when teaching online, the research sought to understand the changing setting and inform effective development of online modules.
The research asked:
- What influences collaboration in the online environment?
- What is the nature of the online learning experience and to what extent is it collaborative?
- Do Lecturers approach online collaborative activities with the same aims and purpose?
- What effect does digital technology have on collaboration, in the educational setting?
- In what ways does digital technology influence the teaching experience?
Teaching online was observed to be a culturally situated practice, the online space mediated participation but did not determine it; lecturers were observed to use the same online tools in qualitatively different ways, and with fundamentally different purposes. Digital tools mediated experiences, but the intentions and congruity of purpose, in relation to the participants involved, ultimately defined their usefulness. The observations which the research drew highlighted the layers of context in which Lecturers were situated, when teaching online. The structurally framing context, the wider epistemological context and the individual specific context situated Lecturers practice, resulting in different approaches to online collaborative activity.
Adekola, J., Dale, V.H. and Gardiner, K., 2016. Student experiences of transitions into blended learning. Bates, T., 2015. Teaching in a digital age open textbook: https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/ubccommunityandpartnerspublicati/52387/items/1.0224023 [accessed 12th November 2016] Clandinin, D, J (2007) ‘Handbook of Narrative Enquiry, Mapping a Methodology’ Sage: London Entwistle, N and Karagiannopoulou, E (2013) ‘Influences on personal understanding: Intentions, approaches to learning, perceptions of assessment, and a ‘meeting of minds’ Psychology Teaching Review, vol. 19 (2), pp. 80-96 Gubrium, J, Holstein, J, Marvasti, A and McKinney, K (2012) ‘The SAGE Handbook of Interview Research: The Complexity of the Craft, Second Edition, SAGE e-book accessed 2nd September 2015 Jung, I. and Latchem, C., 2011. A model for e‐education: Extended teaching spaces and extended learning spaces. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(1), pp.6-18. Kim, Y, Glassman, M and Williams, M, S (2015) ‘Connecting agents: Engagement and motivation in online collaboration’ Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 49, pp. 333-342 Kehrwald (2008) ‘Understanding social presence in text-based online learning environments’ Distance Education, vol. 29, no. 1 Park, J, Y (2015) ‘Student interactivity and teacher participation: an application of legitimate peripheral participation in higher education online learning environments’ Technology, Pedagogy and Education, vol. 24 (3), pp. 389 – 406 Stahl, G (2010) ‘Guiding group cognition in CSCL’ Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, vol. 5 pp. 255-258 Stott, P (2016) ‘The perils of a lack of student engagement: Reflections of a “lonely, brave and rather exposed” online instructor’ British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 47 (1), pp. 51-64 Wertsch (2007) ‘Mediation’ in ‘The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky’ ed. Daniels, Cole and Wertsch, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge Wright and Parchoma, 2011 ‘Technologies for Learning? An actor-network theory critique of ‘affordances’ in research on mobile learning’ Research in Learning Technology, vol.19, no. 3, pp. 247-258
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
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