243 research outputs found

    Interdisciplinarity in Technology Enhanced Learning: An Interview Study

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    This paper explores the influence of the concept of interdisciplinarity on the work of educational technologists and others involved in technology-enhanced learning (TEL) research. There is a growing recognition of the need for interdisciplinarity in solving complex research problems in many areas of science. Technology-enhanced learning is a relatively young area of research adopting a multidisciplinary approach to investigating the use of technologies for learning. This makes it a field that is worthy of exploration in terms of how the ways of working developed by its practitioners inform our understanding of the challenges of the field as well as its benefits. This paper reporting on work commissioned by the Joint Research Councilsā€™ programme on Technology Enhanced Learning provides a discussion of the growing literature on this topic, and a study of the working practices of academics in TEL research. An interview study of 18 participants was conducted as part of the project. The paper reports on the key findings from the interviews and concludes with some practical suggestions to help participants deal with the challenges posed by interdisciplinary working in TEL research

    Enriching accounts of computerā€supported collaboration by using video data

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    This paper will discuss the approach to the evaluation of computerā€supported collaborative learning developed in our group over the past ten years. This approach depends on the collection of video data to allow the analysis of key features of problemā€solving behaviour within groups of students working on collaborative learning tasks. Our theoretical framework derives from two sourcesā€ the CIAOl framework for evaluating examples of CAL and an analysis of appropriate methods of evaluating computerā€supported collaboration. Our work in this area has been supported by developing the data capture facilities for the CALRG (Computers and Learning Research Group) at the Open University. We will draw on a number of studies to illustrate this approach and will present a brief case study from work done on a computerā€supported learning environment for statistics where we use video records of videoā€mediated collaboration. This case study gives an example of the rich data that can be collected using video recording and analysed to increase understanding of computerā€supported collaboration

    Active learning of statistics: A case study

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    Research at the Open University has investigated studentsā€™ learning of statistical concepts and how information technology can be effectively used to support this process. Previous empirical work has looked at psychology studentsā€™ misconceptions relating to correlation and how computerā€based learning environments can be used to address these. This paper reports on the findings from a qualitative study that investigated studentsā€™ learning collaboratively from a multimedia application called ActivStats

    Educational Technology: The influence of theory

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    In this paper we explore the role of theories in current practice in educational technology. We review a range of writings from the past 30 years on the nature of learning technology research. We discuss influences on learning technologies from the related fields of Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). We identify two groups of theories which have been used. The first group are related to principled decisions about the design of learning materials. The second group influence the ways in which we frame our research on learning. Research in learning technologies in the future will need to draw on both groups of theories. In this paper, we draw on our own experiences as educational technologists and the purpose of the paper is to encourage other educational technologists to join with us in reflecting on their own use of theories

    Simulating chaos: An evaluation of the driven pendulum experiment

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    This paper reports on the use of the Driven Pendulum software as part of the teaching for the Open University course Discovering Physics and provides an account of some of the findings from its evaluation as part of the learning experience provided to students. A driven damped pendulum is a suitable instrument for experimental studies of chaotic motion. The main aim of the simulation was to allow students both to observe some of the generic features of chaotic motion, and to explore ways in which these may be represented graphically. This simulation formed the basis of a threeā€hour experiment for students which provided them with a number of learning opportunities, e.g. the opportunity to build up stateā€space trajectories for various types of pendulum motion, in order to appreciate the advantages of the stateā€space representation for analysing complicated behaviour, and providing consolidation of ideas about oscillations, damping and resonance. An evaluation of the Driven Pendulum at the residential school in 1995 was conducted as part of a universityā€wide project run by the Computers and Learning Research Group investigating computer use in learning science and technology, and developing evaluation methodologies. It was both formative in that the evaluation results were used to redesign the notes guiding students through the activities, and summative in that we were able to draw some conclusions about the role played by the simulation in studentsā€™ learning. The students were extremely positive about the contribution made to their learning by the program, and studentsā€™ performance indicated learning gains. However, the observation data suggested that students were unclear about the distinction between complex and chaotic behaviour
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