• Inger-Marie Falgren Christensen
4. term, Master of ICT and Learning (MIL) (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
The purpose of this project is to answer the question: “How can the E-learning Workshop at the University of Southern Denmark facilitate competence development of teachers within the field of e-learning?” In order to answer the question, the concept: competence is discussed and defined, the techno-organisational and the socio-cultural learning environments are analysed to identify barriers to and opportunities for competence development, and the life worlds of four teachers are scrutinised to determine their prerequisites for participating in competence development including their learning needs and preferences. The overall purpose of the project is to formulate a competence development design tailored to teachers at the university. The project takes a social constructionist view and sees identity, self narratives and the perception of meaningfulness as crucial elements for the successful competence development of individuals. Narratives can be open or closed and thus facilitate or obstruct competence development. It is not enough, however, to voice opportunities for the use of e-learning and related competence development. Teachers must also be ready to experiment in their everyday teaching practice to get a feel of the world and thus obtain experience with e-learning. Therefore the social constructionist view is supplemented with experiential learning based on a pragmatic view. The methodological framework consists of both desk research and field research. An e-survey and focus group interviews that were earlier conducted at the University of Southern Denmark are analysed. Furthermore four interviews with teachers and a future workshop are conducted. An analysis model is established that combines a semiotic and a narrative approach. Using this model, the signs, themes and narratives from the empirical data are identified and interpreted. In the project, competences are defined as the collected professional, personal and social resources of a human being and are thus seen as part of an individual’s identity. In order to be competent, an individual must possess the potential, be able to reflect on the use of knowledge and skills in a given context, and be able to act in a specific situation. The support of the environment in terms of narratives concerning what is to be seen as important domains and the voicing of one’s own competence development are important for success. Professional competence, change competence and social competence are the necessary competences in today’s society which is marked by departure from fixed rules and traditions. Earlier surveys investigating the teachers’ use of and visions for e-learning and competence development have been analysed. This analysis has focused on signs and themes in the teachers’ narratives with the purpose of identifying barriers and opportunities in the techno-organisational and the socio-cultural learning environments. Narratives that spoke of lack of time, lack of knowledge and a restricting curriculum were identified as strong barriers to competence development. These narratives point to missing professional and change competences. However, the social competence was seen as an opportunity in the shape of knowledge sharing and exchange of experiences. Individual interviews were conducted with four teachers to obtain an insight into their life worlds. The analysis of these interviews concludes that competence development must take its starting point in the teachers’ everyday life and specific problems relating to domains that are perceived as important by the individual. Furthermore, the teachers clearly have different needs and preferences which means that it must be possible for teachers to make individual plans. The overall conclusion is that competence development is not a simple project and that the E-learning Workshop cannot facilitate competence development on its own. Both top and middle management together with the teachers must participate actively. The competence development design consists of these components: 1. Voicing opportunities and creating a framework, 2. Constructing and sharing knowledge and 3. Facilitating experiential learning.
Publication date2008
Number of pages96
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 14371925