About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4382-4391
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

ENHANCING THE EDUCATIONALLY SOUND USE OF A LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM WITHIN A RESEARCH-INTENSIVE UNIVERSITY - A JOURNEY WITH THEORY U

D. Scheepers

University of Pretoria (SOUTH AFRICA)
Our institution is a residential, research-intensive university with more than 50 000 students. The university has been using various WebCT & Blackboard versions as their Learning Management System (LMS) since 1998 to support teaching and learning. The strategic importance given to the use of the LMS is reflected by the fact that the use of the LMS as part of a blended approach is included in strategic plans and performance indicators of the university.

The e-Learning support group is responsible for staff development and endeavours to ensure optimal and appropriate use of the learning platform as part of a drive to transform teaching and learning. Previous training strategies have directed the academic staff’s attention to know how to use the tools technically, but may have hindered the sound pedagogical implementation of the system to its fullest potential. Coates, James and Baldwin (2005) warn that the use of an LMS should encourage effective pedagogical practices and should go beyond the mere transition of text.

Investigations into the use of the system conducted in 2007 and 2009 revealed that 80% of modules used only the most basic functions within the system, with 6% of modules using the system to its full advantage to facilitate and manage learning. Lecturers perceived the educational value added by the LMS mainly with regards to content delivery and administrative functions with much lower usage of the communication and assessment functionalities available in the system. Lecturers also indicated that they needed shorter training sessions, more flexibility within the sessions to address their immediate needs, accommodation of different computer literacy levels, and asynchronous self-study opportunities that address various learning preferences.

It became clear that the e-Learning group would have to adapt their strategies find a way to shift the use of the LMS to a higher level to transform teaching and learning, while also accommodating the needs of the lecturers.

According to Hall (2010), technology adoption in education takes place where technological innovation intersects with the dynamics of personal and organisational change. This paper will report on how a major upgrade of the LMS was used to implement a new training strategy within the university to develop a more pedagogically sound use of the system to transform teaching and learning. This paper will report on the various strategies that were employed to address the needs expressed by lecturers. It will also explain how Theory U (Scharmer, 2009) was applied in our training sessions to support lecturers in their personal change journey to reflect on appropriate educational use and their own practice, while learning to use the new system. Finally, the impact of the new training strategy on the institutional use will be illustrated through Learning Analytics.

References:
[1] Coates, H., James, R. & Baldwin, G. (2005). A critical examination of the effects of learning management systems on university teaching and learning. Tertiary Education and Management, 11, 19–36.
[2] Hall, G.E. (2010). Technology’s Achilles Heel: Achieving High-Quality Implementation. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 42( 3), 231–253.
[3] Scharmer, C.O. (2009). Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
@InProceedings{SCHEEPERS2015ENH,
author = {Scheepers, D.},
title = {ENHANCING THE EDUCATIONALLY SOUND USE OF A LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM WITHIN A RESEARCH-INTENSIVE UNIVERSITY - A JOURNEY WITH THEORY U},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {4382-4391}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Scheepers
TI - ENHANCING THE EDUCATIONALLY SOUND USE OF A LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM WITHIN A RESEARCH-INTENSIVE UNIVERSITY - A JOURNEY WITH THEORY U
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 4382
EP - 4391
ER -
D. Scheepers (2015) ENHANCING THE EDUCATIONALLY SOUND USE OF A LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM WITHIN A RESEARCH-INTENSIVE UNIVERSITY - A JOURNEY WITH THEORY U, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 4382-4391.
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