32 SES 13 A, Innovating Educational Systems: Cross-National Studies in Organizational Education.
The development of digitalisation in adult education and continuing education was enhanced enormously as the covid-19 pandemic required to switch from face-to-face to online teaching and learning. But what are the conditions for success in the highly heterogeneous field of adult and continuing education? A central goal of the research project "Digitalisation in Adult Education and Continuing Education” (DigiEB) funded by the Federal Government of Education in Germany from 2019 till 2021 is to determine the conditions for a successful digitalisation in German adult education and continuing education organisations and institutions. The current situation of the pandemic and according lockdowns reinforces the importance of the project.
The project analyses the conditions for success from an interdependent multi-level perspective and examines how digitalisation succeeds through an interplay between different levels. Following the tradition of a multi-level perspective on adult education (Egetenmeyer & Schüßler, 2014; Schrader, 2011; Schiersmann, 2010) a multi-level model was developed which contains the following levels: ‘societal context and change’, ‘institutional context’, ‘organisational context’, ‘programmes and offers’, ‘staff and contributors’ and ‘participants’ (Egetenmeyer & Grafe 2017).
In this study, we concentrate on the levels, ‘staff and contributors’ and ‘participants’ and address the following research questions:
- Which goals and measures do German providers and umbrella organisations in adult and continuing education consider to be important for a successful digitalisation?
- Which interdependencies can be identified between ‘staff and contributors’ and ‘participants’?
The research design builds upon the Critical Communicative Method (Gómez et. al., 2011) and a media pedagogical approach of design-based research (Tulodziecki, Herzig & Grafe, 2014, 2019). Accordingly, developments are designed theory-guided on the one hand side. On the other hand, the research process is carried out in close cooperation with practice. The sample of this study was derived from two umbrella organisations and six providers in the field of adult and continuing education. We followed a mixed-methods approach (Creswell et al., 2003), using a quantitative survey for staff and participants and carrying out interviews with staff only. The sample of the questionnaire included 220 staff and 353 participants. The sample of the qualitative data consisted of 58 interviews and 8 group discussions.. The questionnaire collected data with regard to • frequency of use of different digital media in adult and continuing education as well as in leisure time, • use of digital media for teaching and learning purposes, for assessment and consulting, • use and production of open educational resources, • estimated usefulness of digital media in in adult and continuing education, • beliefs with regard to digital media, • demographic background. The interviews followed a semi-structured approach and addressed docents and staff in adult and continuing education. Survey data was analysed using descriptive methods in SPSS. The interview data was transcribed and qualitative content analysis was carried out using MAXQDA.
With regard to participants, the results show that the use of digital media is not self-explanatory, regardless of the age of the participants. As a consequence, it is necessary to design the use of media in a participant-oriented manner. Therefore, a key condition for success is that participants achieve support adapted to their current level of experience with digital media. With the use of digital media in adult education and continuing education, the expectation of participants for participative teaching-learning settings is also increasing. At the same time, participants have high expectations of aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly offerings. The data also show that the use of digital media in teaching and learning settings is making an increasing contribution to the development of participants´ media competencies. From the perspective of staff, the identification of needs and the design of further training is of high importance. The availability of a technical infrastructure is a highly relevant prerequisite. Furthermore, beliefs of staff play an important role. An open-mindedness of the team and positive beliefs towards digital media, the management as a role model and the possibility to be able to work with digital media in a flexible way in terms of time and space are described as important conditions for success. With regard to interdependencies between staff and participants, the results show that a flexible use of digital learning units and materials is equally important for both target groups. The wish for participatory learning arrangements of the participants corresponds to the change of staff being moderator and mentor of participants´ learning processes. With our results we hope not only to contribute to the advancement of digitalisation in adult and continuing education in Germany but to help transferring the impact of the results to a European level.
Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. (2003). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Los Angeles: Sage. Egetenmeyer, R., & Grafe, S. (2017). DigiEB - Digitalisierung in der Erwachsenenbildung und beruflichen Weiterbildung. [Project Proposal]. Würzburg: Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg. Egetenmeyer, R., & Schüßler, I. (2014). Academic professionalisation in Master´s Programmes in Adult and Continuing Education: Towards an internationally Comparative Research Design. In S. Lattke & W. Jütte (eds.), Professionalisation of Adult Educators (pp. 91–103). Frankfurt: Lang. Gómez, A., Puigvert, L., & Flecha, R. (2011). Critical Communicative Methodology: Informing Real Social Transformation Through Research. Qualitative Inquire, 17(3), 235-245. DOI: 10.1177/1077800410397802. Schiersmann, C. (2010). Beratung in Bildung, Beruf und Beschäftigung. In C. Schiersmann & P. Weber (eds.), Beratung in Bildung, Beruf und Beschäftigung (pp. 25–32). Bielefeld: wbv. Schrader, J. (2011). Struktur und Wandel der Weiterbildung. Bielefeld, wbv. Tulodziecki, G., Herzig, B., & Grafe, S. (2014). Medienpädagogische Forschung als gestaltungsorientierte Bildungsforschung vor dem Hintergrund praxis- und theorierelevanter Forschungsansätze in der Erziehungswissenschaft. MedienPädagogik, Zeitschrift für Theorie und Praxis der Medienbildung 2014 (Occasional), 1–18. Tulodziecki, G., Herzig, B., & Grafe, S. (2019). Medienbildung in Schule und Unterricht (2nd ed.). Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt/UTB.
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