93 paper

Who’s learning and how? Researching the learner experience

Linda Creanor, Kathryn Trinder
Glasgow Caledonian University

Doug Gowan, Carol Howells
The Open Learning Partnership

This paper provides an overview of the recently completed Learner Experience of E-learning (LEX) research study which was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK. By interviewing learners from a range of post-16 educational contexts from across the country, the study aimed to elicit their views, not only on technology enhanced learning, but also on how they use technology in their everyday lives, and the impact this may have on their attitudes and approaches to learning. The paper will explain the rationale behind the research, describe the development of an innovative research methodology and outline the main findings as illustrated in the final project report. The findings indicate that there are several under-researched aspects of e-learning which would merit further investigation including the ubiquitous use of social software, learner control issues and the emotional impact of technology use. The paper concludes that tutors, course designers and managers would benefit greatly from taking time to listen to their learners.

Keywords: learner experience, learner voices, research approaches, technology in life and learning