Mining for European Pedagogy; looking into the Diversity of Educational Designs using Qualitative Data

Poster presented at LASI2018, Aalborg University, Copenhagen

By Soegaard, Mette, Cphbusiness, Copenhagen, Denmark

Introduction and problem

Using software for word processing affords i.e. writing. Using that tool does not require the same amount of manual dexterity nor the same eye-hand
coordination as writing with a pen on paper. What else changes, when using digital tools for learning?
If the digital tools in and off themselves offer affordances for some learning activities and not requiring other activities one must assume the chosen
pedagogy is mirrored in the students’ use of digital tools and consequently the learning outcome.
Educational design needs to take both the formal and the informal teaching/learning provided by the tools into account.
This poster suggests one way of mining for questions to be examined further in regard to the European Commission’s “Key Competences for Lifelong Learning”

Methodology and Empirical Basis

A survey (N=375) was made in regard to the use of software for study purposes among students and teachers at two universities in Denmark. The
different types of software were analysed in regard to Learning Affordances supporting the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning.

Theory

I used the European Commission’s “Key Competences for Lifelong Learning” (EUR-Lex, 2006) dissolved into required learning affordances (Bower, 2008) to triangulate the qualitative data (Jansen, 2010) with Bower’s affordance analysis e-learning design methodology (Bower, 2008), looking for outliers.

Figure 1: Affordance analysis e-learning design methodology (Bower, 2008) with my notes

Results

Here I (Soegaard, 2016) report two correlations between study program and use of digital tools with significant effect size:

  • Video conference is being used more by one study program (47.4% against 27.6% on average). The study program is an online program, using video conferences as one primary way of communication between students and staff and students in study groups.
  • The affordance “search-ability” did not show significance in itself, but the tools used for searching did: The use of Wikipedia was on average 25.4%, but students from one study program did not mention using it. The use of library databases was on average 10.2% and one study program reported using it significantly more with 27.8%

Analysis and Discussion

The reporting of one tool over another does not imply how the tool is being used.
The use of video conference in an online masters program is an unsurprising pedagogical choice and might be indicated in the numbers.
If use of search engines is tied to critical thinking, it might be worth examining the pedagogy of the study programmes further and find out if the numbers show choice or hidden bias.

Conclusion

This poster does not claim to report any results of validity!
If triangulating European pedagogical goals with learning affordances at the used tools reported in the survey and qualitative statistical analysis
results in a glimpse of the pedagogy and biases, the procedure could be suggestion for a stepping stone to further qualitative inquiries prior to
isolating variables to be quantitatively verified.

Acknowledgement

Thank you Pantelis Papadopoulos for encouraging me to mine the data set as well as supervising me as I wrote my master thesis.

Literature

Bower, M. (2008). Affordance analysis–matching learning tasks with learning technologies. Educational Media International, 45(1), 3-15.
EUR-Lex – 32006H0962 – EN – EUR-Lex. (2006). Retrieved from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32006H0962
Soegaard, M. (2016). From Students to Lifelong Learners: How the Offered Affordances of Digital Personal Learning Environments Support the
Students. Master. Aarhus University.
Jansen, H. (2010). The logic of qualitative survey research and its position in the field of social research methods. In Forum Qualitative
Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (Vol. 11, No. 2).

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