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Title: A design science research approach to self-regulated e-learning : design, development and evaluation of a web-based component in a blended learning environment for phonetic transcription
Author: Fang, Linhao
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2020
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Traditional teaching and learning methods face both challenges and opportunities from the wide availability of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). E-learning, in particular, has become a focus for Information Systems (IS) research. Excelling in supporting self-learning, e-learning technologies are frequently adopted as part of integrated blended learning environments. Combined with other pedagogical approaches, self-regulated e-learning may be designed to overcome its inherent weakness while optimising efficiency. This application of ICT best supports learning in disciplines with particular characteristics, such as where iterative practice is important. Phonetic transcription learning is by its nature such a type of subject that could be effectively delivered by e-learning. An opportunity to research these issues was identified in a Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) course in Birmingham City University (BCU). The phonetic transcription module provided in this course had the potential to be improved through e-learning technologies. An implementation of a self-regulated e-learning system to achieve the pedagogical goals of the module was thus set as the main aim of this PhD research. ICT artefacts are considered to be the core subject of IS research in general and e-learning in particular. However, the theoretical, empirical and evidence base used in designing such artefacts for educational environments is often taken for granted in e-learning work. The need to discuss theories around the design of these ICT artefacts in education is now being increasingly recognised in the field. The Design Science Research (DSR) methodology is considered to fit such a task well. Following the systematic structure suggested by this approach, this study aims to theorise the design, development and evaluation of an e-learning system in a specific blended learning environment. Adaptations were made to the DSR process in order to meet specified contextual requirements. One complete research cycle of DSR was conducted including sub-cycles in the development phase. A rapid application development (RAD) prototyping model was adapted for the context and carried through in the design and development of the e-learning system. Then formal evaluation of the system was carried out through a sequential explanatory QUAN-qual mixed method, where survey data was collected prior structured interviews. The designed and developed e-learning system supports students in the learning of phonetics transcription. It plays a central role as the self-learning component of a more comprehensive blended learning environment. It was reported in the evaluation process that the individual learning needs of the learners were addressed through the system design. And by optimising customisability in a drill and practice exercise model, efficient acquisition of the desired skill was achieved. Various factors that influenced the success of the e-learning system were investigated and discussed. An explanatory account of the system’s performance was provided with a reflection on the theoretical basis that guided the design. The system’s potential in supporting self-regulated learning (SRL) is also explored. In addition, the interactions between different components of the blended learning course were investigated. Conclusions about the specific requirements for embedding a self-regulated e-learning system into a phonetic blended learning environment were drawn, which resulted in a design brief that provides guidelines for the next design cycle in DSR. A number of contributions are made by this research. The DSR has its strengths and weaknesses and these are examined by the thesis. The study succeeded in effectively yielding both practical results and theoretical knowledge. The specific implementation of the DSR methodology in this particular research context was extensively discussed in the thesis. This has yielded insightful suggestions for DSR to be employed as an effective approach in addressing similar novel problems. A pedagogical hypothesis was proposed from this research: namely, that a constructivist implementation of drill and practice can be integrated into a self-regulated e-learning system. This hypothesis can be verified in a later DSR cycle. Other contributions and implications around the specific context of phonetic transcription teaching and learning were also presented.
Supervisor: Cox, Andrew M. ; Stordy, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available