An eMatrix approach to integrating technology facilitated learning

Walsh, Anne (2011) An eMatrix approach to integrating technology facilitated learning. [Conference Proceedings]


Within education provision, technology enhanced learning (TEL) has extended the ways in which distance learning programmes are managed and experienced. This includes the way content is delivered, the methods by which students are supported, communication between students, administrators and tutors and the ways in which students engage with learning. Within the Open Learning Centre, NUI Galway, technology such as offered by the learning management system Blackboard promises not only to optimise the management of programmes, but to enhance distance learning student engagement and learning experiences.A review of literature suggests that a phased process of implementation of technology into programme management offers the optimum chance of acceptance and success. The difficulty within a phased approach is balancing the dynamics of programme factors; that is aligning the human factor with the technology factor. One approach that can support successful implementation is the eMatrix plan. Mapped onto established practices it offers to provide effective and efficient options for programme management and pedagogical approaches.This case study describes the ongoing integration of Blackboard into the distance learning BA (Training and Education) programme offered by the Open Learning Centre. The integration is guided by a phased process of implementation that draws from the eMatrix approach which specifies a range of programme items including communication to students, course module delivery, tutor/student interaction, student to student interaction, pedagogical approaches, managing assignments and assessments, training for administrators, tutors, students and e-moderators and resources needed. Identifying such items and how they might be managed is worthwhile in ensuring effective and efficient integration of technology into an established programme. Drawing from experiential evidence, the value of the eMatrix in providing indicators as to the phases and level of integration of technology needed for effective implementation is highlighted and discussed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the approach.

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NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf

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