Research in Learning Technology: round-up of recent articles

RLT bannerResearch in Learning Technology is the peer reviewed Open Access journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT). It aims to raise the profile of research in learning technology, encouraging research that informs good practice and contributes to the development of policy. The journal has a policy of continuous publication, with articles posted online as soon as they are ready for publication. The following three articles have been published since our last round-up in February.

The educational problem that MOOCs could solve: professional development for teachers of disadvantaged students 
Diana Laurillard is one of the leading names in the learning technology field, and her Conversational Framework for teaching and learning has been highly influential. Diana also has a strong interest in teachers’ professional development for technology enhanced learning, and members of Academic IT were involved in the ‘Learning Designer’ project which she led from 2008-2011. In this article Diana reports on a project that harnessed MOOC (massive open online course) pedagogy in order to engage teachers in the use of ICT in the primary classroom. 

Fostering postgraduate student engagement: online resources supporting self-directed learning in a diverse cohort
Luciane V. Mello describes a project which worked with doctoral and masters’ postgraduate students. We know from our own ‘Thema’ study of 2007-9* that taught masters’ students can struggle with the transition to a more independent mode of study, and so we read with interest this more recent investigation into the part that the online resources can play in this respect.  

Nurturing global collaboration and networked learning in higher education
Catherine Cronin, Thomas Cochrane, and Averill Gordon describe an approach to networked learning based on Wenger’s concept of communities of practice, which ’emphasises collaboration across strong ties and the process of membership from initial peripheral participation to fuller participation as members of a community engaged in a process of collective learning.’ They conclude from their ‘iCollab’ project that students and teaching staff can ‘move beyond the rigid role definitions often prescribed for them within higher education’ toward ‘more equal roles in creating content, sharing resources, participating in conversations and starting conversations.’ 

You can access all articles through the Research in Learning Technology website.

* Masterman, E. & Shuyska, J.A. (2012). Digitally mastered? Technology and transition in the experience of taught postgraduate students. Learning, Media and Technology, 37(4): 335-354. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2011.608361

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