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Learning e-Learning: the restructuring of students beliefs and assumptions about learning
Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University. (Informatik)
2010 (English)In: International Journal on E-learning, ISSN 1537-2456, E-ISSN 1943-5932, Vol. 9, no 4, 435-461 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper builds on a case study on e-learning in Sri Lanka with focus on students’ underlying beliefs about how one learns. E-learning programs are most often set up with the assumption that students should think, act and learn independently and with underlying values of constructivism and learner–centred learning. For students used to classroom-based, didactic education the transition to the e-learning paradigm is, however, neither predetermined nor immediate. The objective of this paper is to find out if, and how, the e-learning practice manages to transform students into more independent and self sustaining learners. By drawing on Structuration Theory this study analyzes and compares novice and experienced students’ assumptions about learning when asking for a particular support function, because support needs should change if students start adopting the e-learning view on how learning is achieved. Findings show that students increasingly adopt the e-learning view on learning as they progress through the program. Students take increasingly more ownership of their learning and the teacher is no longer seen as the container of all knowledge. The importance of discussions also increases over time indicating that knowledge is no longer seen as being transmitted but rather created.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 9, no 4, 435-461 p.
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-10268OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-10268DiVA: diva2:306444
Available from: 2010-03-29 Created: 2010-03-29 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Learning to learn in e-Learning: constructive practices for development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning to learn in e-Learning: constructive practices for development
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns technology use in distance educations and learning practices related to this use. The research was carried out over the period 2005 to 2009 in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and has been reported in 6 published papers. The research is situated within the field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) and within this field e-learning. Education is important for development and for many students in developing countries distance education is often the only option to get educated. The research question is if the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in distance education can contribute to development, and if so, how?

This question is explored through two case studies in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. A variety of data collection methods have been used: interviews, questionnaires, participant observations and document review. The research approach is interpretative and findings are analyzed using Structuration Theory.

Initial findings showed that a major challenge for students was the change of learning practices that distance education required. Findings also showed that new constructive learning practices emerged through the use of ICT. For development to take place the learning practices of students are important. Students used to learning practices based on uncritical memorization of facts will not easily take initiatives for change, whereas students used to constructive learning practices will.  Notwithstanding the fact that most students found this transition challenging, it was found that by introducing technology into long-established transmission structures, changes towards constructive learning practices occurred.

A major contribution of this thesis is to increase the understanding of how ICT in distance education can facilitate constructive learning practices. By arguing that constructive learning practices are conducive to societal change this finding also has implications for development. The thesis also makes a theoretical contribution by extending Structuration Theory’s applicability in demonstrating its explanatory power in settings where researcher and informants are geographically and socially distant.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2010. 148 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Informatics, 3
Keyword
ICT4D, distance education, constructive learning practices, Structuration Theory, ICT, developing countries, e-learning
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-10354 (URN)978-91-7668-721-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-05-17, Hörsal M, Musikhögskolan, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-04-12 Created: 2010-04-12 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Annika

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