Researching the impact of the networked information environment on learning and teaching

Zenios, M.; Goodyear, P. and Jones, C. (2004). Researching the impact of the networked information environment on learning and teaching. Computers and Education, 43(1-2) pp. 205–213.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2003.12.014

Abstract

During the last decade, the focus of innovation and research in the field of computers and education has shifted from strand-alone to networked computers. The rapidly growing educational use of networked computers raises questions about which approaches to research can tell us most about improving educational impact. A key aim of this paper is to stimulate discussion about such research approaches by presenting a methodological case study of the use ‘project logic’ evaluation methods. The paper draws on our formative evaluation of what is currently the largest learning technology development programme in UK tertiary education. Originally called the Distributed National Electronic Resource (DNER) and more recently re-named the Information Environment (IE), this development is intended to create a managed environment for accessing quality-assured information resources on the Internet (DNER, 2002). These resources are intended for a variety of purposes in tertiary education, including research. However, our focus has been on the use, or likely use, of these resources for teaching and learning – something that was the intended focus of a substantial number of projects funded under the DNER/IE umbrella. The paper illustrates a method for helping project teams articulate their implicit theories about learning and change, which we argue are important in predicting and improving educational impact.

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