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Computer based learning and changing legal pedagogic orders of discourse in UK higher education : a comparative critical discourse analysis of the TLTP materials for law

By Paul David Wickens

Abstract

This thesis critically examines the discourse of government funded computer based\ud learning (CBL) materials which have been introduced on undergraduate courses at\ud UK universities with particular reference to CBL materials from the Teaching and\ud Learning Technology Programme (TLTP). My study is based on a sample of\ud pedagogic legal discourse from two undergraduate courses for law, one at\ud Warwick University and one at the London School of Economics, and it presents a\ud comparative analysis of the discourse of the TLTP materials for law and the\ud established pedagogic legal genres which are used on these courses. The critical\ud perspective on the analysis of the discourse seeks explanations of discursive\ud change, represented by the introduction of the CBL materials, in the context of\ud institutional and broader social change.\ud The introduction of CBL materials in the 1990s has come at a time of extensive\ud institutional change in UK higher education with large increases in student\ud numbers at a time of static funding. This study explores the justifications for the\ud introduction of such materials, academic, pedagogic and administrative and\ud evaluates these in the light of the analysis of the discourse. The study shows that\ud the academic justifications and the claims of the producers' of the CBL materials\ud for a constructivist pedagogy are exaggerated, and that it is the economic and\ud administrative imperatives of the funding bodies which predominate. The thesis\ud goes on to argue that the CBL materials in this study both reflect and realise the\ud marketisation of higher education and a commodification of pedagogic discourse\ud itself

Topics: LB2300
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:4030

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