Interdisciplinary cohesion of TEL – an account of multiple perspectives

Meyer, Philip; Kelle, Sebastian; Ullmann, Thomas Daniel; Scott, Peter and Wild, Fridolin (2013). Interdisciplinary cohesion of TEL – an account of multiple perspectives. In: Hernández-Leo, Davinia; Ley, Tobias; Klamma, Ralf and Harrer, Andreas eds. Scaling up Learning for Sustained Impact. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (8095). Springer, pp. 219–232.



Research areas and academic disciplines are not static: they change over time with new strands emerging and old ones disappearing. Technology-enhanced learning is a relatively young field of academic activity, getting more broad in scope as it matures. In this paper we seek to assess the state of interdisciplinarity in this academic community, presenting the findings of a quantitative study on mutual engagement, shared practices and methodologies, and sense of joint enterprise via a European research network in between learning and technology disciplines. An exploratory cluster analysis is used to identify different stakeholder groups in technology-enhanced learning research and a social network analysis shows how these are connected to each other. Statistical analysis suggests that a multidisciplinary workplace and study background of researchers are major influencing factors for the choice of border-crossing methodology and terminology. Additionally, results from a supplementary survey on the interdisciplinary cohesion between the fields of technology-enhanced learning and educational development support the view that pedagogical and technological sub-disciplines highly intersect in this field.

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