An Insight into Higher Education Teachers’ Perceptions During Emergency-Remote-Teaching Through a Networked Learning Lens : A Phenomenographically-Informed Inquiry

Acuyo Cespedes, Alex and Lee, Kyungmee (2022) An Insight into Higher Education Teachers’ Perceptions During Emergency-Remote-Teaching Through a Networked Learning Lens : A Phenomenographically-Informed Inquiry. PhD thesis, Educational Research.

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Abstract

Higher education has long been experiencing a shift towards digitization, as teachers have grappled with the challenges of incorporating technology into various aspects of their role. During the recent Covid19 emergency-remote-teaching period, these educators were forced online at short notice and with little more than their personal learning networks to rely on. This investigation thus targets how teachers perceived and used networked learning during this turbulent remote working period, in order to identify lessons that can be taken forward to facilitate their roles in an increasingly digitized work environment. Literature gaps in the fields of networked learning and emergency-remote-teaching can be found in terms of in-depth qualitative studies that specifically target teachers’ perspectives. There is also a relatively modest amount of work targeting informal approaches to professional development throughout the emergency-remote-teaching period. A phenomenographically-informed approach is adopted as a methodological framework due to its prioritization of variation across an individual’s perception. The investigation reveals four outcome spaces with multiple description categories within each. These outcome spaces are structured in the discussion chapter with the guidance of additional literature. This reveals that teachers generally perceive networks as useful tools through which a sense of community belonging can ultimately be developed online, while the most notable challenge relates to the feeling of seclusion that networked learning can induce. In terms of networked behaviours, teachers identify the exchange of personal feelings as the most sophisticated use of their connections to people, as well as the tailoring of a bespoke online resource depository. The prevalence of connections to people over online resources is identified as a key conclusion, as is the tension between multiple weaker ties versus fewer stronger ones within an individual’s networks. The willingness and ability of teachers to stretch the user of their networks to more distant and less easy-to-access connections is also considered. Institutions should provide scaffolding to encourage networked practices among teachers in a manner that promotes the gradual transition away from traditional one-off professional development events and towards collaborative social learning. Future studies should target the longer-term implications of networked learning in a post emergency-remote-teaching period context.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
187788
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
01 Mar 2023 14:45
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
12 Jul 2024 02:02