e-Learning in a Rural Irish Primary Classroom: Implementation and Possibilities

Moriarty, Anne (2015). e-Learning in a Rural Irish Primary Classroom: Implementation and Possibilities. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000ef8d

Abstract

The aim of this practitioner-research was to ascertain the nature of pupils’ literacy practices when I implemented e-learning practices through a ‘multiliteracies pedagogy’ in my Irish, multi-age rural, primary classroom. Through action research, I explored the suitability of the four components of a multiliteracies pedagogy: Situated practice, Overt instruction, Critical framing, and Transformed practice (New London Group (NLG), 2000) for enacting e-learning practices in a multi-age classroom. Additionally, this study aimed to better understand the potential for fostering teacher creativity using a multiliteracies pedagogy to implement new e-learning practices over more traditional print-based practices. I researched the production and design of short animated films by my 7-9 year old pupils, based on a strand unit in history. The research focused on 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes in one multi-ability and gender classroom. It employed a mixed methods approach, incorporating action research and engaging pupils as researchers. Critical incidents were used to select data on the basis of multiliteracies pedagogical components (NLG, 2000). The analytic strategy of data sets was deductive and inductive, based on deductive categories of pupils’ literacy practices (Lee and O’Rourke, 2006; NLG, 2000) and features of creative teaching (Jeffrey and Craft, 2004). I used these to analyse the e-learning aspect, exploring the possibilities of learning ‘through’ rather than ‘about’ technology. The findings of the study advance the understanding of using a multiliteracies pedagogy to implement e-learning practices in a primary classroom. Findings highlight the potential of multiliteracies pedagogy to foster teacher creativity and the impact of e-learning to motivate and to make pupils’ literacy practices more relevant in the classroom, currently under-researched in an Irish context.

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