A study of e-learners experiences in the mixed-mode professional degree programme, the Master of Teaching
Caroline Daly, The Centre for Excellence: work-based learning for Educational Professional, Institute of Education
On behalf of the research team:
Norbert Pachler, Research Officer, IOE
Jon Pickering, Research Officer, IOE
Jeff Bezemer, Research Officer, IOE
The project investigated the experiences of e-learners studying for the mixed-mode Master of Teaching (MTeach) degree at the Institute of Education, University of London, during the first six-month module of the course starting in October 2005. By focusing on the experiences of e-learners, it has investigated an area identified by the Higher Education Authority (2005) and JISC (2005) as under-researched and has responded to the need for far greater understanding of the pedagogical potentials of new technologies to enhance and deepen the student learning experience. In order to investigate the subjective and perceptual experiences of the learners, an innovative methodology was devised based on the collection and construction of learner narratives.
The project presents findings from longitudinal data collection conducted with twelve beginning students (though not necessarily e-learning novices) throughout their first online module on the MTeach. A variety of types of learner narratives were collected through both online and face to face methods. From these, sample cases of e-learners were constructed. Major achievements from the project are:
- The identification of four content categories of experience which indicate the dominant features of the experiences as recognised by the learners;
- The identification of key themes of transition among the content categories of the learners’ experiences which appear in the sample cases;
- The identification of meta-learning features as core to enhancing the learning experience in the distance context;
- A set of methods for narrative data collection within a mixed-mode context;
- A pilot framework for embedding evaluation within a mixed-mode course;
- A set of sample cases, including DV film material, for supporting staff development.