Teacher Practice and Pedagogical Competence Building in a Digitally Permeated Learning Environment

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Abstract

Teachers in Danish primary schools face new professional challenges because digital learning environments are changing the professional practices regarding pedagogy, classroom management and the agency, roles and relationships between students and teachers. This paper presents the results from a qualitative research and development study conducted as an action research-based case study. The study aimed to explore the impact on teachers’ practice in a digitally permeated learning environment and to identify areas for their competence building. The research questions were as follows: 1) What options and constraints affect students’ potential as active learners? 2) How do students perceive the learning objectives of the activities in question? 3) How do feedback and process-evaluation improve students’ ability to actively contribute to their own learning process? The study took place over the course of one week in January 2016 at a large Danish provincial primary school. The learning design was student-centred and open, aiming to invite students to actively contribute and take responsibility for their own digital and multimodal productions within various subjects or interdisciplinary topics. As action research, the researcher and the teachers collaboratively discussed the emerging challenges regarding the students' ability to take on responsibility and agence, and explored new practices and methods. The anthropological data collection methods included observation and thick description, informal conversations, meetings, interviews, video documentation and the collection of various artefacts. The study identified three learner strategies. These emerged in relation to the combined digital learning environment as well as the open and student-centred learning design. The study found that teachers’ awareness of and attitude toward the learners’ strategies and their way of inquiring into the students’ work and reasoning were more important teacher competences than digital skills when facilitating the students’ learning in a digitally permeated learning environment. Based on the findings, the paper presents areas for further teacher competence building.
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Teachers in Danish primary schools face new professional challenges because digital learning environments are changing the professional practices regarding pedagogy, classroom management and the agency, roles and relationships between students and teachers. This paper presents the results from a qualitative research and development study conducted as an action research-based case study. The study aimed to explore the impact on teachers’ practice in a digitally permeated learning environment and to identify areas for their competence building. The research questions were as follows: 1) What options and constraints affect students’ potential as active learners? 2) How do students perceive the learning objectives of the activities in question? 3) How do feedback and process-evaluation improve students’ ability to actively contribute to their own learning process? The study took place over the course of one week in January 2016 at a large Danish provincial primary school. The learning design was student-centred and open, aiming to invite students to actively contribute and take responsibility for their own digital and multimodal productions within various subjects or interdisciplinary topics. As action research, the researcher and the teachers collaboratively discussed the emerging challenges regarding the students' ability to take on responsibility and agence, and explored new practices and methods. The anthropological data collection methods included observation and thick description, informal conversations, meetings, interviews, video documentation and the collection of various artefacts. The study identified three learner strategies. These emerged in relation to the combined digital learning environment as well as the open and student-centred learning design. The study found that teachers’ awareness of and attitude toward the learners’ strategies and their way of inquiring into the students’ work and reasoning were more important teacher competences than digital skills when facilitating the students’ learning in a digitally permeated learning environment. Based on the findings, the paper presents areas for further teacher competence building.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th European Conference on e-Learning
EditorsAnabela Mesquita, Paula Peres
Number of pages310
Volume1
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Publication dateOct 2017
Edition1
Pages304
ISBN (Print)9781911218593
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
EventEuropean conference on e-learning 2017 - the Polytechnic Institute of Porto., Porto, Portugal
Duration: 26 Oct 201727 Oct 2017

Conference

ConferenceEuropean conference on e-learning 2017
Locationthe Polytechnic Institute of Porto.
LandPortugal
ByPorto
Periode26/10/201727/10/2017

    Research areas

  • Digital learning environment, teacher competence building, learner strategies, learning design

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