Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Alison Hudson (2009) New Professionals and New Technologies in New Higher Education? Conceptualising struggles in the field, Umeå University, Department of Interactive Media and Learning (IML)

This thesis explores the practices and positionings of two groupings of professionals in UK higher education, ‘educational developers’ and ‘learning technologists’. It investigates the emergence of the groupings, and their professional paths and respective approaches to supporting teaching and learning. It also explores the use of information and communication technology within what is seen as a changing university context. These two ‘new’ professional groupings are most associated with a shift of focus in universities from teaching towards learning, heightened emphasis on the quality of teaching and learning, the increased impact of learning technologies on practice, organisational transformation, and increased numbers of students attending universities, i.e. massification of higher education world-wide. Thus, equivalent exemplars and variations can also be found throughout Europe and in other international settings. The social structure and practices that govern the two groupings have been analysed by means of a wide range of theories, concepts and methods which include Bourdieu’s (1988) concepts of habitus, field, position and capital, Boyer’s (1990) ideas about new scholarship, Palmer’s (1998) conceptualisation of the university teacher and Clark’s (2003) identification of the entrepreneurial university. The work of others, in particular Schön (1967) and Ball (2003), also provides an insight into the powerful relationship between technology, society, education and change.

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