• Adaptation for a changing environment: developing learning and teaching with information and communication technologies

      Kirkwood, Adrian; Price, Linda; Open University (Athabasca University, 2006-01-01)
      This article examines the relationship between the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and learning and teaching, particularly in distance education contexts. We argue that environmental changes (societal, educational and technological) make it necessary to adapt systems and practices that are no longer appropriate. However, the need to adapt can be perceived as being technology-led and primarily concerned with requiring academic staff to develop their skills in using ICT. We provide a critique of continuing professional development (CPD) for using ICT in teaching and learning that does not entail examining the impact of environmental changes upon the assumptions, goals and strategies which underlie and shape an organisation's educational practices. In particular, we oppose CPD that concentrates on the individual teacher and their use of ICT. Instead, we contend that professional development should focus upon the scholarship of teaching and learning and must also reflect the wider organisational context within which ICT is managed and used.
    • Promoting reflection in asynchronous virtual learning spaces: tertiary distance tutors' conceptions.

      Rivers, Bethany Alden; Richardson, John T.E.; Price, Linda; University of Northamptonshire; Open University (Athabasca University, 2014-01-01)
      Increasingly, universities are embedding reflective activities into the curriculum. With the growth in online tertiary education, how effectively is reflection being promoted or used in online learning spaces? Based on the notion that teachers? beliefs will influence their approaches to teaching, this research sought to understand how a group of distance tutors at the UK Open University conceptualised reflection. It was hoped that these findings would illuminate their approaches to promoting reflection as part of their online pedagogies. Phenomenographic analysis indicated that these tutors conceptualised reflection in four qualitatively different ways. Furthermore, the data suggested that these educators held a combination of two conceptions: one that understood the origin of being reflective and one that understood the purpose of reflection. Analysis of structural aspects of these conceptions offered insight into tutors? own perspectives for what is needed to make online learning environments fertile territory for reflective learning.