Welcome to Croatia, and to the 11th Networked Learning Conference

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Parallel Session 1 - Ban Zrinski [clear filter]
Monday, May 14

2:30pm CEST

Teachers' experiences using networked technologies for teaching
At a given Maltese Higher Education complex there is increasing drive to encourage teaching academics to incorporate networked technologies in their teaching therefore expanding face-to-face campus-based education to blended and online provision. This paper reports on research findings of an explorative study investigating variation in academics' accounts of their experiences using networked technologies for teaching in this local context. Twenty-seven participating academics were purposively chosen from different faculties, institutes, centres and colleges. The sample was also balanced in terms of tenure, ranking, gender and age. Phenomenographic analysis of interview transcript data led to a configuration made up of 5 hierarchically inclusive categories describing the act of using networked technologies for teaching as: (i) Accumulating subject content for passing on to students for learning; (ii) Motivating and accommodating students to understand subject content in learning; (iii) Building a positive teacher-student rapport in extending students' learning; (iv) Modelling behaviour inspiring students to exploratory learning; (v) Fostering a community of learners participating and convening in dialogic learning. These categories of description are also configured as structurally threaded by three critical themes of expanding awareness including perceived affordances of networked technologies for teaching, human roles in teaching, and teaching pedagogic strategy. This phenomenographic description suggests a watershed between the third and fourth categories going from the incorporation of networked technologies in teaching activity for their auxiliary capacity for learning - teaching as transmission (of subject knowledge, of understanding, of empathy), to the incorporation of networked technologies as a seamless facet of teaching activity - teaching as participation (in exploratory learning, in dialogic learning). This description of variation in teachers' accounts of their experiencing using networked technologies for teaching confirms previous research but also adds new detail and insight. Besides, the resultant configuration projected as an emergent progression of expanding awareness is reckoned a means for positively inspiring network enhanced development of teaching practices. The thinking about variation in teachers' experiences as promoted by this research is potentially a means to encourage and facilitate the professional development of teaching academics steering away from pressure for change. Potentially it evokes a constructive outward view in the attempt to support best practices in HE teaching.


Monday May 14, 2018 2:30pm - 2:55pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 1 - Ban Zrinski, Paper
  • Key Words teacher experience, networked technologies, teaching, phenomenography, higher education

2:55pm CEST

Domesticating Everyday Technologies for Teaching
The complexity of technology integration into the teaching and learning practices of higher education students and instructors is not adequately captured in technology adoption models. Technologies are shaped not only by faculty as they integrate these tools into their teaching, but by students in their learning. Studies examining technology integration tend to take the classroom as the beginning and ending point for technology integration; however, beliefs, values, expectations, and experiences of technology begin long before the classroom. This study takes these experiences into account, exploring university faculty understanding of social media for teaching through the lens of domestication theory.
Domestication theory (Berker, Harmann, Punie & Ward, 2006; Haddon, 2011; Silverstone & Hirsch, 1992) draws on family studies, media consumption studies and studies of the social construction of technology to examine the confluence of the social meanings and political structures of the home as technology become integrated into domestic practices. This study uses the domestication framework to explore how values, beliefs, and experiences of social media and of teaching shape the decision-making processes of instructors as they integrate these everyday communication platforms into their courses. The domestication framework traces the trajectory of a technology from the point at which it enters the home through the social processes of domestication. The first stage is appropriation, in which the imagined uses for the technology lead someone to bring it home. The dual processes of objectification and incorporation describe the ways in which an individual or a group integrates a new technology into the physical arrangements and everyday routines of the household. It is through these negotiations that values and beliefs about everyday practice and the role of the technology become apparent. Finally, conversion, in which newfound practices and technologies are displayed, begins the process of appropriation for others.
Twelve university faculty were interviewed about their decision-making and experiences as they integrated social media into their teaching practices. Participants had varying levels of experience with social media prior to their decision to use social media in their teaching.
Analysis using the domestication framework suggests that the everyday experiences with technology outside the classroom affect the approach to integrating new technology into teaching. The domestication framework provided a valuable lens for teasing out the social and material beliefs inherent in the negotiation processes in which both instructors and students engage as technology is introduced into the classroom.


Monday May 14, 2018 2:55pm - 3:20pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 1 - Ban Zrinski, Paper
  • Key Words Technology adoption, Domestication Theory, Sociomateriality, Higher Education

3:20pm CEST

Interactive Digital Learning in a University Lecture Room
This article examines modern methods for higher education digital pedagogy in a lecture room. Over the last ten years, technology has changed lecturing in many different ways. Most of the students entering the university are in their twenties and therefore are seen as experienced in, and capable of, utilizing modern tools for communication. The research data for this paper was drawn up from two university courses which utilized several digital tools alongside other traditional lecture room teaching methods. The essential purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of students' habits and needs concerning digital media use during the lectures. Course teachers have numerous ways to engage the students in the lecture situation, and during the course. Although educational technology is available, with low costs for mobile devices and Internet browser environments, the traditional face-to-face discussions are still relevant. Learning goals should define the expectations which are placed on the different tools. Course teachers should also be reminded that tool registration, as well as trial tests, are time-consuming. In addition, their operation in a teaching situation might require robust guidance or teaching assistants. This paper especially examines five tools for lecture/course activation - image wall, web-based voting, small group discussions, project blogs and online video.
According to the results, students can be extremely active users of digital tools and media in some fields and yet uninterested in other uses of digital resources. 28 out of 30 respondents had a mobile device with them, but less than half felt the device was suitable and natural for lecture activities. Even if the students have a mobile device while attending the lecture room, a majority of them find teacher-guided digital activities laborious and extraneous. 26 respondents would participate in the lectures whether or not the recordings are available. All university students may need technical support, for discussions, and with enthusiasm for the use of educational technology, regardless of their age or whether they own a mobile device. Learning cannot be outsourced to discussion forums or blog platforms, but they can serve as excellent resources for learning community communication and as support for the learning process.


Monday May 14, 2018 3:20pm - 3:45pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 1 - Ban Zrinski, Paper
  • Key Words Digital media, Interactive tools, Digital Natives, Mobile Learning

3:45pm CEST

Understanding the variation in MBA students' experiences of using Learning Technology in Pakistan
Today, technology is increasingly being viewed as a key resource for enabling innovation within teaching and learning approaches. Social media platforms and applications such as Facebook and Twitter, WhatsApp, Skype and Viber have emerged as one of the most popular mechanisms for developing the social perspective in learning. Some recent studies even refer to this phenomenon as the development of a ‘parallel infrastructure’ to institutional offerings such as Moodle. However, when any artefact (such as technology), is introduced into a learning environment, there is a possibility that it will be responded to and utilised in different ways. This paper presents the initial analysis from MBA students’ experiences of using learning technology within their studies in a Pakistani business school, to see if technology has any impact on the learning approaches, in terms of the way and the purpose for which it is being used. Phenomenographic analysis revealed some initial categories of description, which include ‘access to learning materials and other information sources’, ‘organisation of course-related activities’, ‘improved communication and connectivity’, ‘developing cooperation and collaboration’ and ‘means of overcoming socio-cultural barriers’. The degree of variation within these categories can be related to the established concepts of deep and surface level approach. For example, there were students who preferred to use technology ‘as and when required’ by their teachers, and within the same environment there were others, who appeared to take a 'deep level' approach that involved some critical thinking about the use of technology and its subsequent influence on learning approaches. Our analysis highlights that students in relatively less developed regions are also making efforts to change themselves from ‘passive recipients’ of knowledge to active participants, who can support the learning activities of each other, using diverse forms of technology. We argue that while students may be developing an ‘alternative or parallel infrastructure to their institutional offerings’, there is no disconnect between them. It is this blend in using different forms of technology, which is encouraging the students to develop ‘informal networks’ among themselves – in an environment, which is majorly instructor-led. However, for addressing a possible 'dis(connect)' in students' use of various forms of technology, there is still a need for educators to ‘temper’ the enthusiasm of students, to develop a better understanding of how they should interact with technology, as this may provide some new insights for networked learning.

avatar for Ahmad Timsal

Ahmad Timsal

Doctoral Researcher, Lancaster University

Monday May 14, 2018 3:45pm - 4:10pm CEST
Ban Zrinski Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 1 - Ban Zrinski, Paper
  • Key Words Collaboration, Communication, Experiences, Informal Networks, Learning Technology, Pakistan