What you will study
Digital education includes online, blended and technology-enhanced learning. All these approaches to teaching, learning and assessment can improve access to quality education. However, if used unwisely they can perpetuate inequity, disadvantage and injustice. This module supports you in developing research and scholarship skills to evaluate the effectiveness of online, blended and technology-enhanced teaching and assessment. This includes investigating how educational technologies can be employed to meet diverse learners’ needs and the extent to which open practices can support the scholarship and research process.
Block 1 offers an introduction to research and scholarship. You’ll consider the relationship between the two and explore ways of generating ideas for research and scholarship projects, including conducting literature reviews and writing research questions. You’ll explore the role of reflection in research and scholarship and investigate the ethical considerations involved when researching online teaching, technology-enhanced learning and educational technology. The section ends by discussing the role of theory in scholarship and research and outlining some of the key theories that inform practice in digital education.
Block 2 covers the process of planning research and scholarship related to digital education. You’ll explore methodologies, approaches and data collection methods that are particularly appropriate to investigating online, blended and technology-enhanced teaching, learning and assessment. You’ll look at the ways in which digital data can be used in a research study and consider the role of stakeholders in research and scholarship, and how collaboration with them can enhance the research process.
Block 3 focuses on broader considerations related to ethics and social justice. You’ll consider how a theory of change approach can be the basis for researching the impact of digital education on learners and on society and allowing the influence of contextual factors to be explored. You’ll look at transformative and democratic research and scholarship practices and consider the impact of the researcher on the research process and the significance of the power relations that are inevitably involved in educational research. You’ll explore the challenges involved in researching across cultures and continents and investigate how the effectiveness of cutting-edge technologies and pedagogical innovation such as extended and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence-based systems, can best be evaluated.
Block 4 focuses on the ways in which research and scholarship data can be analysed and how study findings can be shared with the wider world in order to maximise their impact. You’ll explore how to write formal research reports and how to use informal dissemination methods such as data visualisation and digital arts-based approaches. You’ll look at the role of conferences and collaboration in disseminating research findings. The section ends with an online conference in which you’ll be invited to participate.
In the final block you’ll carry out independent study as you prepare your final piece of assessed work, either a report on a small-scale scholarship investigation conducted during your study of this module, or an extended research proposal suitable as potential preparation for doctoral study and/or as the basis for bidding for research funding.