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Is there a fit between pedagogy and technology in online learning?

Dorit Maor
School of Education, Murdoch University
Archie Zariski
Law School, Murdoch University
The study followed a group of online lecturers from different disciplines who were engaged in different levels of online teaching. The researchers' experiences with e-learning have indicated there are a variety of ways by which teaching staff approach e-learning. As new technologies provide a challenge to make learning an interactive and collaborative experience that is guided by a social constructivist approach to teaching and learning, some academic staff embrace the technology to enhance their pedagogy and others are reluctant to use the technology, although in the pedagogy they promote is a social constructivist learning approach.

We conducted a qualitative research project in an attempt to answer the research questions of what pedagogies are used by teaching staff to facilitate e-learning, and how do teachers change their use and understanding of e-learning techniques. The study suggests that there is a continuum in the way the constructivist pedagogy had been implemented by the different university teachers and also a continuum in the way the technology had been embraced by them.

From our observations, we categorised the university teachers in relation to their pedagogies (level of social constructivist approach) and to the level at which they used the technology, in order to explore how the relationship between these two elements changed. The study helps us understand how the technology enabled some of the teachers to develop their pedagogies and change their perspectives on social learning online. In addition, for others who used social features of the technology to an optimal level, the technology helped them accommodate and reinforce the notion of a social constructivist approach to teaching and learning. Finally, the interchange between the ability to use the technology and the adoption of social constructivist approach to teaching raised new questions in relation to implementation of online learning.

Please cite as: Maor, D. and Zariski, A. (2003). Is there a fit between pedagogy and technology in online learning? In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/maor-abs.html

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Last revision: 16 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/maor-abs.html