The Evidence Base: Research into eLearning


These pages provide a repository for some of the current research into eLearning and its place in the curriculum focussing on the pedagody of the 21st Century classroom, effective teaching and learning using ICT, how students learn particular content with today's technologies, classroom management strategies and eLearning as it relates to assessment and curriculum.

NB: Documents are not listed in any priority order.......all are worth a read and will support your professional learning around effective integration of eLearning.

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Shrek meets Vygotsky: Rethinking adolescents' multimodal literacy practices in schools

Recent research has emphasised the multimodal and digital nature of adolescent literacy practices. These practices cross multiple social spaces, particularly settings outside of schools. This article re-examines current research to yield three caveats that counter assumptions about the pervasiveness, relevance, and spontaneity of youths’ multimodal practices in the digital communications environment: 1. It is incorrect to assume that today’s adolescents are all “digital natives”; 2. Engaging adolescents in multimodal textual practices must involve more than conforming the curriculum to their interests and practices, extending students’ repertoire of skills and genres; and 3. While some new multimodal practices are taken up by adolescents with minimal instruction in informal contexts, greater emphasis should be placed on expert scaffolding of these literacies in school settings.

Listening to Students' and Educators' Voices

"New research shows technology is vital to 21st Century learning." Media release from the office of Minister for Education, Julia Gillard [October 22, 2009]
The research was undertaken to improve teachers’ understanding of how ICT may be used to improve learning outcomes. More than 1000 students from primary and secondary schools, vocational education and training institutions and universities were surveyed. Listening to Students’ and Educators’ Voices: Research Findings found that students believe technology is a vital learning aid as it can provide access to detailed information, opportunities to practice for tests, help with maths and development of problem solving skills.


On the way towards Personal Learning Environments: Seven crucial aspects

To sum up, learning with PLE leads to changes concerning: (1) the role of the learner as active, self-directed creators of content; (2) personalisation with the support and data of community members; (3) learning content as an infinite “bazaar”; (4) the big role of social involvement; (5) the ownership of learner's data; (6) the meaning of self-organised learning for the culture of educational institutions and organisations, and (7) technological aspects of using social software tools and aggregation of multiple sources.

Equipping Every Learner for the 21st Century

This paper proposes a new paradigm of 21st century learning; one that will require a holistic transformation of education systems. It will be guided by a comprehensive roadmap of curricular and assessment reform, new teacher recruitment and training strategies, leadership development, and the integration of collaborative technologies.It will be facilitated by exceptional teachers and supported by technologies that allow individuals to create, adapt, and share content. Students will complete project-based, cross-disciplinary tasks that encourage innovation and cross-cultural collaboration, and apply their knowledge and creativity to solving real-world problems.....

Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow—Today

Not surprisingly, students today expect to learn in an environment that mirrors their lives and their futures—one that seamlessly integrates today’s digital tools, accommodates a mobile lifestyle, and encourages collaboration and teamwork in physical and virtual spaces....
....The disconnect between a student’s digital life and school matters because students learn better when they are engaged, and research about what engages them points to technology. Numerous studies have shown that effective integration of technology into teaching and learning can result in higher levels of student achievement.

The Positive Impact of eLearning

This paper summarizes some key research findings, to help educational leaders identify relevant eLearning benefits and make judicious decisions as they develop their eLearning strategies........

........Waxman’s meta-analysis of 42 peer-reviewed papers showed a positive impact on student performance, and concluded that “overall effects of technology on student outcomes may be greater than previously thought."

Harnessing Technology Review 2008_Summary Report

Research identifies a clear role for technology in overcoming disadvantage and disaffection in young people, but also a large degree of unmet potential in this area (Bradbrook et al., 2008). Though there are many examples of projects which have made use of technology for supporting disadvantaged learners, most projects are currently achieving isolated impact. However, existing projects demonstrate clear benefits in relation to enhancing achievement, confidence and promoting positive attitudes towards learning (Russell and McGuigan, 2007), providing successful alternatives to the school environment, enabling confidential support and advice, and sharing information and experiences through peer-to-peer networking.

Using Technology for School Improvement - A guide for School Leaders

Manage the ICT in your school in line with established best practice and you can expect better learning outcomes and more effective use of valuable resources. Becta’s self-review framework helps you assess how you’re doing and plan for improvement. In this guide, you’ll find out more about how self-review works. [January 2008]


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