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Letters from the field: e-learning students change of learning behaviour in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
Örebro universitet, Handelshögskolan vid Örebro universitet. (eGovernment)
2008 (Engelska)Ingår i: Proceedings of ECEL 2008: 7th European conference on e-Learning, 2008, 29-37 s.Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports the findings from two case studies on e-learning in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In these countries much hope is set on e-learning as a means to disseminate education to a larger population, but statistics show that drop out rates from e-learning courses are much higher than from traditional, classroom based, courses. In this paper it is argued that one reason for this is that the introduction of e-learning and a more student-centred learning model involves a drastic shift for students who are brought up in very teacher-centred didactic educational cultures. In order to investigate how this change in learning is perceived by its main stakeholders (i.e. the students) visits to learning centres in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were made during 2007 and 2008. To capture the students’ opinions an open approach was chosen where students were asked to write letters about which major challenges they experience in changing their learning behaviour and completing the courses. Altogether the study is based on 107 student letters that have been analyzed and coded based on major differences and challenges identified by the students. Findings show that most students find learning on their own to be the major difference. They find this challenging because they feel very distant and because they do not know how to learn on their own. They have difficulties in managing their time and a lack of flexibility combined with a sloppy administration makes it even worse. Students used to being spoon-fed and learning by memorizing obviously need much support in taking ownership of their own learning in order to be able to learn by themselves. By comparing and mapping these findings to solutions suggested by existing research this study therefore suggests that support functions should be provided for students on ‘how to be an online learner’ and on ‘how to learn by yourself’. The teacher interaction and presence should also, at least in the early stages of the course, be frequent and active in order to make the student confident in his or hers ability to learn on their own. Finally, course flexibility (in regards to delivery mode and pace) should be high and much effort should be put into creating a supportive and well-organized administration

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2008. 29-37 s.
Nyckelord [en]
e-learning, developing countries, educational structures, pedagogical differences, learning behaviour, support functions
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap
Forskningsämne
Informatik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-5909OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-5909DiVA: diva2:201283
Konferens
7th European Conference on e-Learning, Agia Napa, Cyprus, 6-7 November 2008
Tillgänglig från: 2009-03-05 Skapad: 2009-03-03 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-10-18Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Learning to learn in e-Learning: constructive practices for development
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Learning to learn in e-Learning: constructive practices for development
2010 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns technology use in distance educations and learning practices related to this use. The research was carried out over the period 2005 to 2009 in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and has been reported in 6 published papers. The research is situated within the field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) and within this field e-learning. Education is important for development and for many students in developing countries distance education is often the only option to get educated. The research question is if the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in distance education can contribute to development, and if so, how?

This question is explored through two case studies in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. A variety of data collection methods have been used: interviews, questionnaires, participant observations and document review. The research approach is interpretative and findings are analyzed using Structuration Theory.

Initial findings showed that a major challenge for students was the change of learning practices that distance education required. Findings also showed that new constructive learning practices emerged through the use of ICT. For development to take place the learning practices of students are important. Students used to learning practices based on uncritical memorization of facts will not easily take initiatives for change, whereas students used to constructive learning practices will.  Notwithstanding the fact that most students found this transition challenging, it was found that by introducing technology into long-established transmission structures, changes towards constructive learning practices occurred.

A major contribution of this thesis is to increase the understanding of how ICT in distance education can facilitate constructive learning practices. By arguing that constructive learning practices are conducive to societal change this finding also has implications for development. The thesis also makes a theoretical contribution by extending Structuration Theory’s applicability in demonstrating its explanatory power in settings where researcher and informants are geographically and socially distant.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2010. 148 s.
Serie
Örebro Studies in Informatics, 3
Nyckelord
ICT4D, distance education, constructive learning practices, Structuration Theory, ICT, developing countries, e-learning
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning
Forskningsämne
Informatik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-10354 (URN)978-91-7668-721-5 (ISBN)
Disputation
2010-05-17, Hörsal M, Musikhögskolan, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, Örebro, 13:15 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2010-04-12 Skapad: 2010-04-12 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-10-18Bibliografiskt granskad

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