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ERIC Number: EJ871774
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0360-1315
"There Was a Lot of Learning Going on" Using a Digital Medium to Support Learning in a Professional Course for New HE Lecturers
Chesney, Sarah; Marcangelo, Caroline
Computers & Education, v54 n3 p701-708 Apr 2010
This small scale action research study investigated the experiences of learners over two iterations as they completed a patchwork text assignment within the digital medium of a personal learning system (PLS). The aim was to investigate the extent to which using a PLS can facilitate formative and collaborative feedback to assist student learning. A secondary question, linked to the course being a post graduate Certificate for new HE teachers within a geographically dispersed university, was to examine if using a PLS in the programme would influence their interest in using it with their own students in the future. This question is of particular importance for the tutors of this programme, as the university attracts mainly part-time students who are studying at a distance from the university campus. The study was carried out as part of the JISC funded Flourish Project, whose overall aim was to examine the use of a PLS to support the development of academic staff. A patchwork text assessment is a series of short independent pieces of writing, completed following formative peer feedback and then "stitched" together by a reflexive commentary. A PLS provides a flexible digital online medium in which a learner is able to build a range of objects providing evidence from their professional practice or learning activities and to link these through reflective writing creating an e-portfolio for assessment. The digital medium allows the learner to share selected elements with others, including their peers and tutors, and to receive and give timely feedback electronically. Learners were asked to complete an on-line survey to capture initial evaluative feedback followed by focus groups to explore emerging concepts further. The findings identified that use of a patchwork text design was seen as beneficial by both participants and tutors in creating early and sustained engagement in the module, managing their assessment workload effectively, and making use of formative peer and tutor feedback to enhance their learning. Whilst our study concerns small numbers of participants and there was a low response rate in the second iteration, findings suggest that using the PLS stimulated ideas for future use within the participants' own pedagogic practice. Further research is needed, with a larger number of respondents, to confirm whether this is a growing trend. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom