Hanson, J., 2002. Developing a strategic approach to using online learning in vocational higher education. In: The New Educational Benefits of ICT in Higher Education, 2-4 Sept 2002, Rotterdam, pp. 214-220.
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This paper presents a case study of a strategic approach to developing online learning in a vocational university in the UK. Bournemouth University is no different to many other post-92 universities in the UK in the challenges it faces, which may be described as 'having to do more with less'. Learning technologies are being promoted to address some of these challenges and their increased use is a key priority within the University's Learning and Teaching Strategy, recognising that, in reality, it is a case of 'we can't not do it'. For the past three years, funding has been made available to support small-scale projects. These have included the development of subject websites, the use of computer conferencing and computer assisted assessment, but their impact has been local rather than university-wide, and the lecturers involved are mainly the technology enthusiasts. The University is now considering how to encourage the majority of its lecturers to move towards adopting online learning. The vehicle which is being proposed to achieve this is an in-house managed learning environment (MLE) known as BUBBLE. Research suggests that successful and widespread implementation of online learning in higher education, as with any technological innovation, depends on a number of factors. It takes time to achieve, the technology must be practical to use and supportive professional development must be provided (Somekh, 1998). The introduction of BUBBLE happened concurrently with the re-focusing of the University's Learning and Teaching Strategy, so the opportunity was taken to meet with lecturers and their managers to discuss issues surrounding the adoption of online learning. Information gained from these interviews was used to inform the revisions to the strategy, both in its written form and in its implementation. This paper presents the findings from that investigation and includes an examination of the role of online learning as viewed by lecturers in a vocational university. Prior to the interviews, the factors influencing the adoption of online learning were investigated, with reference to research findings from the UK, USA and Australia, (for example: Johnston and McCormack, 1996; Steel and Hudson, 2001; Spotts, 1999). Particular attention was also paid to the 4E model developed by Collis and her colleagues, (Collis et al., 2000). In addition to being a strategic investigation with a practical purpose, it was also situated within research being undertaken by the author for a Doctor in Business Administration (DBA). The research methodology used is action research and the issues discussed in the paper are derived from the results of the first cycle of the research and will be used to inform the second and third cycles. The paper will also consider the rationale for adopting action research for the investigation, and illustrate some of the issues faced by the researcher conducting research in her own organisation.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Subjects:||Social Sciences > Education|
|Group:||Student and Academic Services > Centre for Academic Practice|
|Deposited By:||Ms MJ Bowden|
|Deposited On:||18 Dec 2007|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 14:37|
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