Through the eyes of the learner Key findings and thoughts on the learners’ use and perceptions about e-learning Ellen Lessner, JISC Learner Experience Scoping Study 7 July 2006
JISC E-Learning and Pedagogy • Overall aim: to ensure that e-learning in the UK post-16 sector is: ‘pedagogically sound, learner-focused and accessible’
And the point is? • The learner experience is changing • Formal and informal learning is taking place on the www as well as in coffee bars • What do we know about this experience? • Scoping study literature review (Sharpe et al, 2005) found that most research was teacher or institution based • Outside of the classroom, not many people were asking the individual learner about their experience of technology and learning
This strand aims to: • The managers • The design of buildings and spaces The Learner The Practitioner The Developer
The studies hope to find out… • How do learners experience ‘e-Learning? • What makes for an effective e-learner? • What aspects of the learner behaviour need closer scrutiny? • What aspects of the learner experience are effective and can be built on?
Scoping, support and synthesis • Literature review of HE, FE and ACL found very little research from the learner’s point of view • Much of the literature is teacher focused or evaluated a specific course or technology • Concept maps and a report are available from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/elp_learneroutcomes.htm
LEX study structure – HE,FE,ACL • Start from the premise that learners are experts on their own experiences • Has completed 22 interviews and 6 focus groups to gather information – 55 learners • 3 HE, 4 FE, 2 ACL • Community based • Work based • LearnDirect • Undergraduates and post graduates • Adults learning online at home and at work
Emerging themes from the LEX study… Fitting learning around life Control & choices Expectations of technology Strategies/ways of coping Personalisation of environment Influence of/on family Motivation to use technology Course design issues Time management
Findings from the draft of the LEX report: • Emergent themes were common across all sectors, ages and stages of learning • Few learners talked about ‘e-learning’. For most it was simply another method to help them learn • Effective learners were those who were confident, able to network through a variety of communication channels, highly effective time managers, and had the skill to integrate and balance learning with work, leisure and family commitments • Technology rates as a relatively minor factor in the profiles of those who might describe themselves as effective learners!
The learner perspective (LEX) - • What factors influence what I do with my learning? • What factors influence how I feel about my learning? • Control • Identity • Feelings • Relationships • Abilities
Learner XP project – Exploring subject differences - HE • IT, Medicine, Languages and Economics • In conjunction with HE Academy subject centres • 500 online surveys completed • 86 audio logs completed • 8 interviews to be completed • It’s not yet clear whether the use of e-learning is discipline neutral (Conole)
Three interesting points • “There is a mismatch between an institution’s perception of the use of technology by learners and the actual use.” (Grainne Conole, 5/6/06) • “Analogue institutions in a digital world" Chris Yapp, Head of Public Sector Innovation, Microsoft, 5/6/06) • “There is an underworld of texting and messaging.” (Creanor, et al)
A word about research methods • Flexible to meet the widely differing situations of learners, capturing the learner voices through interviews, focus groups, audio files and questionnaires • Current methods of analysis of data need to be adopted, redefined, and tested…. • ‘Evolutionary’ (Creanor)
Time out ! • Most of us are learners as well as teachers • Are you a digital immigrant or native? • A bit of fun… ??????
Q1. Where did most of the action take placeduring the recent NUS elections? No, not this time 1. In the bar Apparently not this time 2. Public meetings For fun Yes, and you are up to date or read the Guardian 3. MySpace When they are older this will be the right answer 4. In a committee Source: Victor Keegan, Opinion, TechnologyGuardian, 1 June 2006
Q2. What is MySpace? For fun No, you probably don’t know anyone under 21. 1. A place to design a kitchen 2. A bolt hole from work No, not in this context No, not really 3. A blog site Yes, well done! You probably know someone under 21. 4. A social online community
Q3. Which British University is experimenting with podcasting lectures? Do they know what a podcast is? 1. Oxford For fun 2. Leicester Yes, 10 minutes which include a joke or rap Maybe, but they weren’t in the news! 3. Edinburgh Probably in the not too distant future 4. All of them Source: The Guardian Education Higher Diary, 6 June 2006
Q4. What is the difference between a wiki and a blog? For fun Wiki wiki is Hawaiian for ‘rapidly’ 1. A wiki is Hawaiian and a blog isn’t 2. A wiki is private and a blog isn’t Yes, you can choose who you allow to access a wiki No, you can search for blogs 3. A blog is private and a wiki isn’t 4. It’s greek to me You aren’t alone!
What’s your e-story? • An email from a colleague • The difference e-learning makes to some Deaf students • Video case studies – A day in the life of 5 learners and their use of technology to support their learning. A work in progress
For more information • JISC e-Learning and Pedagogy website: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/elearning_pedagogy.html • Sarah Knight, Programme Manager- Pedagogy and Innovation Strands of the JISC e-Learning Programme email@example.com • Ellen Lessner, Scoping, Support and Synthesis Group for the Learner Experience Projects, firstname.lastname@example.org