Browsing Faculty of Social Sciences by Subjects
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Management of e-learners: some implications for practitionersInformation technologies have played a leading role in supporting many recent changes in teaching and learning approaches in Higher Education. Contemporary innovation finds information technology (IT) at the heart of Higher Education transformation. The opportunities afforded by these learning technologies are well documented in popular academic literature. They point to new applications of the latest communication technologies. However, they also bring with them a host of new questions and challenges. The management of e-learners is likely to be part of a more far-reaching organisational change. Where learning technologies are introduced, a layer of technical complexity is added. The redesign of business processes and structures is far from simple ‘technical’ matter. It involves significant social redesign. The extent to which enabling technology has driven the shift towards learner-centred learning in all educational contexts is a matter of debate. As the century turns, establishing the acceptance, let alone the effectiveness and quality of technology-mediated learning, is still seriously problematic (Salmon, 1999). However, the suitability of information and communication technology (ICT) as a means of encouraging self-directed learning is not in doubt, nor that the role of the tutor is changing to ‘guide on the side’: a facilitator not transmitter, of information (Marchmont, 2000). This paper reports findings of a single case study at Wolverhampton Business School. Qualitative data was collected through structured and unstructured interviews with learners and tutors on Business Administration Award. A total of 20 learners and 5 tutors form the basis of the findings.
PowerPoint and pedagogyPowerPoint began as a business package which allowed for the seductive presentation of information to achieve particular objectives, usually to sell a product. Many of the features were thus designed to impress prospective customers and persuade them to purchase a particular product, and guidance in manuals seeks to serve that purpose. This project grew out of a school staff development session where staff shared perceptions of PowerPoint and raised questions and concerns about pedagogy. Essentially the crucial question is how can a product designed for a different purpose assist us in the presentation of information in a teaching and learning situation?