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Designing technology to innovate teaching practices: a critical assessment of a learning design support environment

Pujadas, Roser (2015) Designing technology to innovate teaching practices: a critical assessment of a learning design support environment. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis, at the meeting point of information systems and education research, starts with a critical assessment of the theoretical assumptions underlying ICTmediated learning research, and takes issue with instrumentalist approaches to technology as a means of encouraging learning through collaboration and of achieving innovation in work practices. I argue that technologies and knowledge (as well as what is considered worth learning) are imbricated in an ongoing “scene of struggle” where different interests, institutional logics, rationalities, and realities are negotiated. This research draws on an empirical case study which follows the efforts of an interdisciplinary research team in a 3-year project while developing and evaluating a Learning Design Support Environment (LDSE). The expected aim of the LDSE project was to foster a community of practice among academics that would share knowledge of teaching practices, and collaboratively discover innovative approaches to technology-enhanced learning. I also bring the broader sociotechnical context into the discussion, to understand the different institutional logics entangled with this technology. A conceptual framework is developed that integrates insights from recent contributions in institutional theory and actor-network theory. The former sensitise us to the broader social context and the complex interaction of different institutional logics. The latter emphasizes the entanglement of technology, knowledge, and practices. This framework offers an effective lens to understand how technologies aimed at supporting collaborative learning at work, and particularly in teaching, are bound up with practices and institutional logics in a given sociopolitical context. Such understanding will reveal the assumptions of straightforward means-to-ends innovation in technological interventions aimed at achieving learning and change, by laying bare the complex sociotechnical processes involved in making “a technology work” and in legitimating knowledge and practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2016 Roser Pujadas
Library of Congress subject classification: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Whitley, Edgar A.

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