Systemic programme research and development using technology

Robert Fox
University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR, China
Sue Trinidad
Curtin University of Technology

Studies conducted in higher education identify limited experience in using technology in and for education and the lack of pedagogic support as the main reasons for the potential failure of e-learning (Irani 2001; Brogden and Couros 2002; Bates 2003; Howell et al. 2004). Based on this research, it is clear that faculties and universities as a whole need to pay close attention to staff capabilities and their use of technology, and to offer staff development in ways that will best afford staff opportunities to improve on and re-think the ways they teach and their students learn when using information and communication technologies (ICT).

At the university in this study, one faculty was selected to conduct research into how its teachers use technology-enhanced learning to support their teaching and their students' learning, and to identify what support is necessary to help teachers use the technology more effectively. The study made a number of assumptions (Fox and Trinidad 2007) about the use of technology, namely that:

This paper reports on a research and development project that promotes systemic development of taught degree programmes offered in a higher education faculty through the use of an online learning network as a lever for curriculum change. The Interactive Learning Network (ILN), which supports collaborative learning, is a community-building environment designed to scaffold virtual education communities of practice where teachers and students work together as teams and engage in reflective, collegial interaction and patterns of working.