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  • 2017avardphd

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Technology enhanced learning innovation, TEQSA threshold standards and Australian higher education: a developmental phenomenographic study of educational designer's understandings and experiences

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
  • Georgina Louise Avard
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Publication date2017
Number of pages230
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In this Developmental Phenomenographic study, twenty-six Educational Designers/Developers’ (EDs’) understandings and experiences of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) innovation both generally, and whilst working under TEQSA Threshold Standards (TS), were investigated with the aim of illuminating how TEL innovation is shaped within Australian Higher Education (HE) contexts. I employ Feenberg’s (2005, 2006) Critical Theory of Technology as a lens for exploring EDs’ understandings of TEL innovation and the socio-political environments in which HE sits.
The variances in understanding and experiencing is illuminated by four outcome spaces, with each showing understandings and experiences in a hierarchical manner, and with higher levels subsuming understandings and experiences of lower levels. In outcome space one, EDs’ understandings of TEL innovation in general were labelled as: Maintained; Enhanced or; Transformed; whilst in outcome space two, their experiences of TEL innovation on-the-ground were labelled as Sustaining, Constraining, or Influencing. In outcome space three, EDs understandings of TEL work under TEQSA TS were Static; Narrow or; Broad; whilst in outcome space four, their experiences were: Maintained; Constrained; Supported or; Encouraged. The inclusion of a referential aspect of Support suggests that EDs believe that support via projects or strategies offer additional reinforcement when it comes to innovating under TEQSA TS.
Further presented is an analysis of: outcome space one cross referenced with outcome space two; and outcomes space three cross referenced with outcome space four. Variations here were attributed to the EDs general understanding of TEL innovation and the socio-political influences that they encounter on a daily basis.
Overall, it is suggested that the variation of EDs’ experiences of TEL innovation under TEQSA TS were similar to that of generally innovating. One difference was that institutional projects and strategies were seen as beneficial to innovating with TEL and working under TEQSA TS, whilst outside of this, they were to some extent seen as constraining innovations. The study also constructively critiques the concepts of pedagogy before technology; evidence and best practice, which were repeatedly mentioned by EDs as underpinning their understandings and conceivably shaping their experiences of TEL.