The chicken or the egg? Investigating the transformational impact of learning technology

  • Janet F. Buchan
Keywords: transformation, learning technology, online learning environment, adaptive cycle framework, learning management system, para-analysis


This study aimed to investigate the transformational impact of introducing significant new learning technology in an Australian university over the time period 2007–2009. The exploration of this transformation is grounded in a social–ecological systems approach to the management of technology enhanced learning environments in the face of constant change. The transformational impact is described using the Adaptive Cycle Framework. The single case study had a whole-of-institution systems focus. Data collection targeted a variety of stakeholders involved in the use of, support for users of, implementation and maintenance of learning technology. A variety of data collection methods were used including interviews, document collection and a reflective journal. The research shows that learning technology has significant transformational potential at both individual and at institutional levels. However, this study has unearthed a ‘chicken or the egg’ conundrum. Although learning technology is an important part of the future of educational institutions, the adaptability of the organisation and capacity to predict, plan for and support ongoing changes in learning technology is an important part of realising the transformational potential and effectiveness of learning technology.

Keywords: transformation; learning technology; online learning environment; adaptive cycle framework; learning management system; para-analysis

DOI: 10.1080/21567069.2011.586674


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How to Cite
Buchan J. F. (2011). The chicken or the egg? Investigating the transformational impact of learning technology. Research in Learning Technology, 19(2).
Original Research Articles