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|Title:||Improving Networked Learning in Higher Education: Language Functions and Design Patterns|
|Authors:||Yang, Dai Fei|
Education, Higher -- Computer network resources.
Instructional systems -- Design.
Language functions, Systemic functional linguistics (SFL), discourse analysis, pattern languages, design patterns, educational design in higher education, networked teaching and learning, online discussion
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
Faculty of Education and Social Work
|Abstract:||The thesis of this study is that two seemingly disparate research disciplines can be coalesced to develop an effective pedagogical framework for educational design in the context of networked learning. That contention is grounded in, and inspired by, the rapid developments in educational technologies which have greatly changed the landscape in teaching and learning in higher education over the last decade. The study attempts to add to the corpus of contemporary learning theory which sees students not merely as passive recipients of knowledge, but as active participants in the learning process, having much greater control over their selection of technological learning tools, learning resources and learning methodologies. This is very much in line with the shift from the traditional focus on content design and knowledge transmission towards a more student-centred design for knowledge co-construction, a development which demands the type of new thinking about the design of learning tasks and learning resources contained in this study. Also set out are new lines of action for the fashioning of a collaborative learning environment, for community interaction and the sharing of knowledge, and for promoting good teaching and learning practice. The central argument of the study is that such pedagogical goals may be attained by juxtaposing the theories of Systemic Functional Linguistics (hereafter SFL) and pattern languages. These have not, thus far, been used in combination. SFL is a well established theory in the study of language, and is used in this thesis to help analyse and classify discourses produced and shared by teachers and students in networked learning. Pattern languages have their origin in architecture. Design patterns can be used as a means of representing and sharing important and specific empirical research results and design experiences. This new knowledge can be used to support and improve the quality of educational design. The study has two central components. The first uses the SFL theoretical framework to demonstrate how text is used as a key medium in networked learning. In other words, it is argued in this section that the quality of texts has a direct impact on the quality of learning and learning outcomes. The quality of text is assessed by means of a detailed discourse analysis of selected texts. This process involves deconstructing, identifying and capturing the linguistic resources and language strategies used in the texts. The detailed discourse analysis also illustrates and reveals how language is used in the construction of knowledge and the promotion of collaboration in teaching and learning. The second component centres on the argument that SFL provides valuable language knowledge which can be represented by using Alexander’s design patterns. New knowledge encoded in these design patterns can be used by teachers and designers as reusable and shared resources to help them improve their design work. The empirical research was carried out in three phases. The first involved a) the identification of text patterns of discourses used in networked learning based on detailed discourse analysis; b) Interviewing experienced academic staff to identify their perspectives on good online teaching practices and success factors. The second phase involved using the data which emerged from these interviews and discourse analysis to model illustrative patterns. (Here, illustrative means that due to the scope of the study, it is only possible to develop a limited number of patterns to illustrate the methods used for pattern development. It is not the intention to develop a full repository of design patterns in this study). In the third (validation) phase the patterns were reviewed by two groups of academic staff, with the aim of improving these patterns. Improved patterns were then tested on a group of educational design students for their usefulness and application. It is concluded from this research that it is possible to develop design patterns which ensure the best use of linguistic resources in both the teaching and learning process. Finally, it is argued that the combination of SFL and pattern languages provides a promising theoretical framework for the complex and demanding task of educational design. Future research could make use of such a framework to explore a fuller application of the pattern- based approach for the representation of new knowledge for educational design. Suggested additional research directions include finding new ways of capturing a new pedagogical approach to mobile learning and blended learning. Also, a promising direction could be the use of SFL Appraisal theory (Martin, 2000) for the investigation on how students construct interpersonal relationships (appraise peer work) in online joint projects. In the conclusion, it is contended that through its exploration of new ground in the use of SFL and pattern language theory in the construction of education design patterns, the study makes a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of networked learning.|
|Description:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis.|
|Type of Work:||PhD Doctorate|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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