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Technology enhanced learning in 21st century mass higher education. Aspects of design, practice and strategy for a necessary step change

By John Dickinson


Modern day mass higher education presents challenges for both learners and teachers. Whilst digital resources, Web 2.0 technologies and online connectivity can add significantly to the learning opportunities of 21st century students, many cross programme Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) provisions remain collections of somewhat disconnected and basic materials. In its early development, organised e-learning has generally been the province of specialist programmes and individuals championing the new technologies. However along with the adoption of technology enhanced learning, there is a growing need to develop, design and embed more fundamental and far reaching strategic approaches that embrace the core of traditional university learning and teaching programmes. This paper focuses upon a large undergraduate core module and discusses the implications of a practice based case study which explored how traditional campus based undergraduate learning and teaching could be redesigned and enhanced by the addition of online technology and e-pedagogy. It considers aspects of both pedagogical and technological design and examines how a VLE can support learners and teaching teams. Findings showed that students were extremely positive about the mix of onsite and online learning. They saw anytime, anywhere access as fundamental, and valued the flexible access and collaborative opportunities offered by Web 2.0 and mobile resources. Considerable operational benefits arose in supporting teaching teams and student marks increased. Drawing upon lessons learned from practice, and feedback gained from students and teachers, the paper examines how the approach may inform future curriculum delivery and programme specification. It considers the contribution that blended learning may make in addressing the needs of 21st century learners in mass higher education, and reflects on the implications of the case study in terms of aspects of design, practice and strategy

Topics: T Technology (General), L Education (General)
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:generic.eprints.org:631/core5

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