Enhancing student learning experiences in digital learning spaces: pedagogy that works

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 42: Next Generation, Higher Education: Challenges, Changes and Opportunities

March, 2020, 125 pages
Published by
Eva Heinrich & Roseanna Bourke

Academics at Central Queensland University, a multi-campus, regional university use the video conferencing technology called ISL - Interactive System-wide Learning to teach students across campuses. This paper reports on the way lecturers in the Bachelor of Education degree program made pedagogical changes to ensure that these ISL digital learning spaces are interactive and responsive; teaching spaces that enhance student learning experiences. Both students’ and academics’ perceptions and engaged experiences with the interactive ISL teaching and learning space are presented. A focus on the pedagogical approaches used by lecturers is explored. Participatory Action Research methods (Kemmis, McTaggart & Nixon, 2014) informed the use of surveys and focus groups. Data was gathered from participating lecturers and students prior to, and after the delivery of targeted first and second year Bachelor of Education units. The findings were analysed using a “three resources” framework (Nasir & Cooks, 2009); materials and activities, relationships and professional identity. The findings highlight the ways in which the use of a virtual teaching space can optimise student learning experiences in a range of discipline areas in the broader context of higher education.

Keywords: pedagogy, synchronous blended learning, digital learning spaces