The Kaleidoscope of Voices: An Action Research Approach to Informing Institutional e-Learning Policy.

Roushan, G., Holley, D. and Biggins, D., 2016. The Kaleidoscope of Voices: An Action Research Approach to Informing Institutional e-Learning Policy. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 14 (5), pp. 293-300.

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Abstract

The EU policy framework (EU, 2020) is designed to encourage and support digital competency, offering this as a solution in addressing the huge gap in digital skills. Digital competence and capability are an essential for enhancing immediate and enabling life-long learning (EC DIGICOMP, 2013). Measuring Digital Skills across the EU (2014) estimated 39% of the workforce had insufficient digital skills, while 64% of those in disadvantaged groups have insufficient digital skills for the workspace. This policy agenda is reflected in UK Government policy documents, the House of Lords (2015) reports that 2.2 million people can be categorised as ‘digital muggles‘. Yet Labour force studies (UKCES, 2015) indicate 300,000 recruits are needed to invent and apply new technologies. This reflects earlier work by Frey and Osborne (2013) whose model shows that as technology adaptation and use speeds up, low-skill workers will be replaced. The challenge for Higher Educational Institutions is how best to embed these skills, and enable and facilitate institutional change? Heppell (2016) states: ‘the use of digital technology in education is not optional’. This paper draws from the experience of a single university and evaluates their approach to managing change. Our methodology is located within an action research framework (Norton, 2009). Informed in conjunction with a ‘Panel of Experts’, thought-leaders drawn from industry and academia, and incorporating a strong student voice, we believe this approach is relevant for complex and policy based studies, as the framework can encompass a mixed methods technique (Johnson and Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Findings indicate that strong research and technological leadership, building internal alliances with key stakeholders, focusing on the ‘middle out’ (Bryant, 2016a) and a partnership approach to working with the Students Union all contribute to a transformational and shared approach to institution-wide change at a time of complexity and contestation in Higher Education policy.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1479-4403
Uncontrolled Keywords:Higher Education; Action Research; Digital Competencies; Technology Enhanced Learning
Group:Faculty of Management
ID Code:24920
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:03 Nov 2016 12:53
Last Modified:20 Feb 2017 15:46

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