eworkCHAPTER 2 Theoretical Framework and Literature Review
We are on the cusp of a completely “new era”, and changes must be made in education to ensure that all students leave school prepared to face the challenges of a redefined world.
Collaborative learning through structured blending of online tutorials, and lecture supplemented with Socratic dialogue, role-based group assignments and other similar activities seems to be a viable option in the context of the University of Botswana (UB). Successful blending requires an understanding of the pedagogical attributes and affordances1 of new and emerging learning technologies, the most desirable aspects of face-to-face teaching and the ways in which these aspects can be appropriately integrated as discussed in the following sections. Therefore, this chapter discusses the scope of these technologies in Higher Education (HE) from various perspectives, its potential impact on the net generation students, its affordances in student learning and research, distinct features of elearning and blended learning, how these modes of delivery compare with traditional face-to-face approaches, and their benefits to higher education as well as the challenges they pose. This chapter also helps to gain understanding of the conditions under which the enabling potential of technology will be realised and further, establish the purpose of this study. In order to establish the rationale of placing blended learning at the core of this study, this chapter proposes a theoretical framework that serves as the foundation for the study; it is critical to have a theoretical framework as this is a descriptive and interpretive qualitative case study; it helped the Researcher to review the underlying theories, philosophies, assumptions, and methodological techniques of the study, and to formulate the basis for developing instruments for data collection.
The organization of learning and engagement of learners through educational technologies is essential to pedagogy (Gayol and Schied, 1997).
Chapter 2: Theoretical framework and literature review
Blended learning does not have a pedagogy of its own, but it draws its strength from the three basic theoretical perspectives on learning: behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism. Therefore, a review of all these three basic learning theories and a few other theories derived from these that have relevance to the design of studentcentred blended learning environments (e.g., social constructivism, activity theory, and situated cognition) was made. Such a review of learning theories is critical to formulate a scaffold upon which this study can be grounded. The literature review continues to Chapter 3 where a review of instructional systems design models, constructivist design principles and emerging views around learning designs will be made in order to identify appropriate learning design principles based on relevant perspectives from learning theories (which are descriptive). Moreover, this chapter addresses the first two specific objectives and the first part of the third one listed under the research question posed in Chapter 1, Section 1.8.
2.1.1 Societal foundation of the study The 21st century society makes great demands on its members because of rapidly developing and ever-changing political, cultural, social, economical and technological situations. Personal computers, cell phones, and social networks, all of which were once considered frivolous, have made such a huge impact on our culture that our daily lives will not be easy without them. Consequently, the society expects its members to keep pace with these changing situations, and adapt their skills and expertise in all aspects of life. Many societies around the world strongly believe that it is the duty of higher education institutions to provide its youths with these skills and expertise. This raises increasing societal concern...
Cited: Adapted from: Rovai (2004)
However, it has been noted that even those who preached constructivism seldom use it practically in their own teaching due to several reasons, one of them being the practical difficulty in its implementation
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