Scenario-based evaluation of an ethical framework for the use of digital media in learning and teaching
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Abstractnterest in educational podcasting, audio feedback and media-enhanced learning, in its various forms, has grown due to the increased access academic staff and students have to new technologies. The benefits have been widely reported in the educational development and disciplinary literature on learning technology, mobile learning, digital age learning, and assessment and feedback. However, such literature focuses more on what can be done, rather than if it should be done. Hargreaves (2008) signals the need to balance ethical risk in the creative curriculum with actions that maximise beneficence, especially within the context of a sector that espouses to develop critical skills in learners. In a world of constantly developing technology, it is not always easy to appraise the implications of a pedagogic innovation. As practitioners concerned with academic development, our aim is to facilitate academics to reflect on their practice from a variety of perspectives, and we felt that an easy–to-use ethical framework could assist academics to identify potential ethical problems. The Media-Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group (MELSIG) is a UK network of academics, developers and learning technologists. They identified the need to consider the ethical risk associated with using digital media in response to examples described in recent literature, and ideas generated by its community. It was as a result of discussions at MELSIG that this collaborative work began. The three members of MELSIG were joined by a colleague with an interest in ethics but who was relatively inexperienced with new technologies. When this work began we looked primarily at digital media, but it is considered that such a framework can be used to appraise the use of other new technologies in learning and teaching. This paper will begin by giving a brief explanation of ethics, as a discipline, and the approach to ethics which underpins this framework. We will then discuss the results from a scenario-based evaluation of the framework, undertaken by the four authors. Following this evaluation, the framework is now being evaluated by a wider community of practitioners, on real examples, and continues to develop as it is exposed to wider use. However, it is considered that the initial scenario-based evaluation raised some interim findings that will be of interest to a wider audience.
CitationRegan, J., Middleton, A., Beattie, C. & Sextone, R. (2011) 'Scenario-based evaluation of an ethical framework for the use of digital media in learning and teaching', Journal of Pedagogic Development, 1 (2), pp.39-48.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
JournalJournal of pedagogic development
Series/Report no.Volume 1
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