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Title: Exploring readiness for online learning
Author: Greener, Susan Linda
ISNI:       0000 0000 3822 0261
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2008
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This research set out to discover why some Higher Education (HE) students adapted very quickly to online environments and showed excellent learning behaviours and outcomes, while others found many barriers to the same activity. Given the rapid spread of virtual learning environments (VLEs) in HE Institutions, HE teachers need clear ideas about how to prepare and support learners in these environments. If individual differences among students could be identified, which affected “readiness” for learning online, then this information could be used to develop appropriate support and prevent such differences working to disadvantage groups of students. The project explored the perspectives of a group of HE teachers who could speak from experience as 'early adopters' of VLEs for pedagogic purposes, in order to discuss the 'readiness' of students for learning in an online context. Research questions focussed on how teachers could manage transition and integration of online technologies within HE, and how they could identify variations in students' approaches to the technologies and mediate the less successful ones. A grounded analysis method was applied to transcripts of interviews with HE teachers with experience and enthusiasm for integrating online and face-to-face teaching and learning. The 'constant comparative' method was used to fragment the data and develop categories of ideas in relation to the research questions. The findings confirmed differences between traditional and online teaching and learning, affecting the approach of both teacher and student, but gave no support to the concept of 'readiness'. Conclusions focussed on the process of preparing students for learning with online technologies. Further outcomes related to the changing teacher's role and the impact of teachers' beliefs on the design and integration of online technologies. Detailed suggestions were produced for appropriate learner induction to enable a more positive engagement with online technologies. The potential plasticity of the online learning space is shown to offer opportunities for supporting diverse learning approaches.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: X300 Education Studies