DEVELOPING ACE: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR ENHANCING ICT CAPABILITY FOR FLEXIBLE DELIVERY IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Access to information and educational materials, as well as communications between learners, educators and educational institutions, have been transformed as a result of the availability of low-cost computers, the development of sophisticated web browsers, increased connectivity to high-bandwidth telecommunications and the increased access to a range of digital databases (Statistics New Zealand, 2007; HEFCE, 2005).
Flexibility in course delivery must be considered by educational institutions who wish to provide high quality learning opportunities to learners who are otherwise unable to access education through conventional face-to-face modes of delivery (Clayton & Elliott, 2007). Moreover, not only do educators need to be convinced that embedding flexible learning in the culture of the educational institution will enhance the learning experiences of participants, but they also need to feel pedagogically and technically confident of operating successfully in this new environment. Both these requirements can be addressed by the provision of ongoing and relevant professional development (Mitchell, Clayton, Gower, Barr & Bright, 2005).
The Emerging Technologies Centre at the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) has created a pictorial conceptual framework to illustrate to staff the benefits of undertaking ongoing professional development in flexible learning. It is envisaged that this framework will also be used to guide the development and delivery of flexible learning initiatives offered by Capability Development team members.
This poster presentation will show how this conceptual framework is underpinned by three As, Cs and Es, hence the name A.C.E. Conceptual Framework. The three As are aligned with the identifiable stages of a project life cycle: awareness, action and accomplishment. The framework also aligns with what Wintec considers to be the three foundation pillars of flexible learning (Clayton, Elliott, Twohey, 2009): context, content and capability, with progression to an indicator layer conceptualized by the team as the 3Es, enabled, engaged and empowered.
Clayton, J & Elliott, R. (2007). Report 1: A review of the literature: E-Learning Activities in Aoetearoa / New Zealand Industry Training Organisations. Tertiary e-Learning Research Fund, Wellington Retrieved January 14, 2009, from http://ito.e-learning.ac.nz/
Clayton, J., Elliott, R., & Twohey, S. (2009). Open, Flexible and Networked Education Capability of the Waikato Institute of Technology. ETC White Paper: Waikato Institute of Technology.
Higher Education Funding Council for England [HEFCE]. (2005). HEFCE strategy for e-learning. Retrieved January 14, 2009, from http://www.rsc-south-west.ac.uk/files/HEFCE%20elng%20strategy.doc
Mitchell, D., Clayton, J., Gower, B., Barr, H., & Bright, S. (2005). Final report for the Tertiary eLearning Research Fund project: An investigation into the factors that influence New Zealand polytechnic/institute of technology tutors' uptake of e-learning, with particular reference to early and later adopters and resisters. Hamilton: Ministry of Education. Retrieved January 14, 2009, from http://cms.steo.govt.nz/elearning/projects/showall.htm
Statistics New Zealand. (2007). Information and communication technology in New Zealand: 2006. Wellington: Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved January 14, 2009, from: http://www.stats.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/B45B1ECD-E10F-4948-B243-6E7EAF34E712/0/58072SNZICTWEB.pdf