A framework for co-construction of knowledge within eLearning

Axmann, M 2017, A framework for co-construction of knowledge within eLearning, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title A framework for co-construction of knowledge within eLearning
Author(s) Axmann, M
Year 2017
Abstract Instructional designers, course developers and academics require ways to create eLearning courses rapidly and support learners to be engaged with authentic learning tasks. Social media tools within eLearning courses are in the discovery phase and rely heavily on social constructivist design that includes meta-cognition, collaborative learning, active knowledge-making and recursive feedback. Emergent models and frameworks that allow for optimisation of social networking and the co-construction of knowledge are required for sound eLearning design.

This research study investigates the effectiveness of learning design elements and identifies components informed by a constructivist instructional design (C-ID) approach. The study explores how learning design elements that facilitates the co-construction of knowledge can be implemented within a framework applicable to the Australian eLearning higher education context. Pragmatism as a research paradigm views knowledge as constructed and based on the reality of the world one experiences and lives in, and aligns with a social constructivist approach. Following on from a pragmatic viewpoint, this study selected exploratory sequential design within a mixed methods approach as it enables both narrative data collection and numerical analysis.

A group of subject-matter experts from Australian higher education institutions were purposefully invited to participate in an eDelphi expert panel. A total of 53 (n = 53) instructional designers and academics that adhered to the selection criteria were contacted by means of email. Seventeen (17) respondents agreed to the study, resulting in a response rate of 32%. Qualitative data sets of semi-structured interviews with respondents were analysed to determine emergent themes and topics.

An electronic questionnaire was administered to a larger sample. The survey was sent out to 434 prospective respondents, of which 143 started the survey and n = 113 respondents completed all Likert scale questions in the survey. The Wilcoxon rank-sum test and Kruskal–Wallis process were applied to investigate if the perception of respondents was different depending on variables identified for the research.

Complex, multi-layered eLearning modalities are a new field within instructional design, and there are minimal empirical studies for instructional designers and course developers to find shared meaning of critical learning design elements. The results from the study indicated that learning design elements associated with constructivist concepts such as social learning presence, learning interaction, meta-cognitive load, knowledge-sharing space and knowledge construction are conducive to social networking and the co-construction of knowledge. The categories emerging from coding of the data sets were learning activities and interactivities, social communication, collaboration, diversity, fears and the student-lecturer relationship. These categories need to be considered when designing for social learning interaction as they are aimed at addressing human interaction with technology. Relationships surrounding activities therefore need to be taken into account when designing the learning activities, and not merely the learning content and outcomes.

The instructional guidelines considered most important when designing for online social interaction were authentic, meaningful and relevant instruction; conscious modelling of behaviour; rules for engagement; user-centred design; and spontaneous design. Establishing a strong social learning presence fosters the building of trust and opportunities to create social learning experiences critical for social networking.

The eLearning framework presented by this study underpins a shared meaning, categories and recommended learning activities that can be utilised by instructional designers, academics and course developers when creating multi-layered complex online learning spaces.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business IT and Logistics
Subjects Higher Education
Computer-Human Interaction
Educational Technology and Computing
Keyword(s) eLearning
social learning
Australian higher education
learning interaction
constructivist instructional design
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Created: Thu, 13 Jul 2017, 13:15:34 EST by Denise Paciocco
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