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Learners' experiences of blended learning environments in a practice context

By Mary Thorpe, Gráinne Conole and Rob Edmunds


Seven courses which develop and assess learning in a practice or work context are the focus for\ud exploring students’ experience of technology-mediated study practice. Students’ experience of their\ud work practice context brings an added dimension to the rich mix of factors influencing students’\ud approaches to study and to technology use. Research methods draw therefore upon activity theory\ud and social theories of learning that foreground the development of learner identity within practice\ud communities. At this early stage, interview data is presented drawing on a triangulation of\ud perspectives from course developers, tutors and students. Interpretations are tentative, but the\ud importance of students’ work context in relation to positive or negative orientations to technology is\ud evident. Students’ sense of professional identity may position their experience of technology as\ud either at the boundary or closer to the core of their practice, and this materially affects their learning\ud trajectory and their resistance to, or acceptance of, technology as a key element in their course.Publisher version

Topics: Technology-enhanced learning, practice learning, practice boundary, student learning, communities of practice, activity theory, student experience
Publisher: University of Lancaster
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

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