Thorpe, Mary; Conole, Gráinne and Edmunds, Rob
Learners' experiences of blended learning environments in a practice context.
In: Networked Learning International Conference, 5-6 May 2008, Sani Beach Hotel, Halkidiki, Greece.
Seven courses which develop and assess learning in a practice or work context are the focus for exploring students’ experience of technology-mediated study practice. Students’ experience of their work practice context brings an added dimension to the rich mix of factors influencing students’approaches to study and to technology use. Research methods draw therefore upon activity theory and social theories of learning that foreground the development of learner identity within practice communities. At this early stage, interview data is presented drawing on a triangulation of perspectives from course developers, tutors and students. Interpretations are tentative, but the importance of students’ work context in relation to positive or negative orientations to technology is evident. Students’ sense of professional identity may position their experience of technology as either at the boundary or closer to the core of their practice, and this materially affects their learning trajectory and their resistance to, or acceptance of, technology as a key element in their course.
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