A study of the role of a technology-enhanced learning implementation group in mediating an institutional VLE minimum standards policy
Recent years have seen a focus on responding to student expectations in higher education. As a result, a number of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) policies have stipulated a requirement for a minimum virtual learning environment (VLE) standard to provide a consistent student experience. This paper offers insight into an under-researched area of such a VLE standard policy development using a case study of one university. With reference to the implementation staircase model, this study takes cue from the view that an institutional VLE template can affect lower levels directly, sidestepping the chain in the implementation staircase. The Group’s activity whose remit is to design and develop a VLE template, therefore, becomes significant. The study, drawing on activity theory, explores the mediating role of such a Group. Factors of success and sources of tension are analysed to understand the interaction between the individuals and the collective agency of Group members. The paper identifies implications to practice for similar TEL development projects. Success factors identified demonstrated the importance of good project management principles, establishing clear rules and division of labour for TEL development groups. One key finding is that Group members are needed to draw on both different and shared mediating artefacts, supporting the conclusion that the nature of the group’s composition and the situated expertise of its members are crucial for project success. The paper’s theoretical contribution is an enhanced representation of a TEL policy implementation staircase.
(Published: 29 November 2016)
Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2016, 24: 32815 -http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v24.32815
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to Research in Learning Technology retain the copyright of their article and at the same time agree to publish their articles under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially, under the condition that appropriate credit is given, that a link to the license is provided, and that you indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.