Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > A Change Laboratory

Electronic data

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

A Change Laboratory: A collective approach to addressing issues in laptop-mediated English language classrooms

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Rob Miles
Publication date2021
Number of pages298
Awarding Institution
Award date30/06/2021
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis describes a Change Laboratory (Engeström et al., 1996; Virkkunen & Newnham, 2013) intervention carried out by a group of English Language Teaching (ELT) professionals with the aim of improving teaching and learning in laptop-mediated English language classrooms. The research was carried out in the English preparatory course at a federal institution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Following the methodology of the Change Laboratory, the project first identifies a number of historical and current contradictions, manifesting as dilemmas, conflicts, critical conflicts and double binds, which may be causing unintended outcomes of attrition and failure among students on the preparatory English course. Using the principles of expansive learning, the participants, a group of eight English language teachers, propose, model and examine a number of solutions to the contradictions identified. These solutions are presented as a proposed future model of the activity system. The results are specific for the English preparatory course, but the solutions proposed provide a model for effective device usage, increased student collaboration and sound pedagogical practice that could be applicable in other university teaching environments where one-to-one devices are deployed. Rather than proposing a state-of-the-art solution focusing on hypothetical possibilities, the Change Laboratory has focused on the state-of-the-actual, and proposed a new model of teaching that is effective in this context and could provide a starting point at least in other contexts where technology is being used to enhance learning. This project contributes to knowledge using Change Laboratory methodology and in particular the insider Change Laboratory, activity theory, ELT and technology enhanced learning (TEL) in face-to-face teaching environments. Opportunities for future research are also identified.