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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/378

Authors: Allen, Stephen
Supervisor(s): Dr. Debra Hoven (Athabasca University)
Examining Committee: Dr. Paul Kellogg (Athabasca University)
Dr. Jon Dron (Athabasca University)
Dr. Malcolm Brown (EDUCAUSE)
Degree: Doctor of Education (EdD) in Distance Education
Department: Centre for Distance Education
Keywords: Learning Management System
Lifelong Learning Literacies
Outcomes Based Education
Self Directed Learning
The Networked Society
Issue Date: 25-Apr-2022
Abstract: This study of students in an Ontario College sought to describe and assess the emergence of lifelong learning literacies and whether these are constrained by the learning management system (LMS) and the outcomes-based education (OBE) model. I hypothesize that these limit students’ control, restrict choice and self-directed learning during a program of study and lead to more instrumental approaches to learning. I employed a descriptive analysis methodology using an online survey to gather quantitative and qualitative data. The survey received responses from 618 participants and sought to reveal the range of, and attitudes towards student and institutional use of digital technologies, technology and learning, and the development of digital skills. A number of conclusions are extended. First, the presence of essential lifelong learning skills is not restricted by the top-down OBE and LMS centered online instructional environment but developing these requires institutional support and that self-directed learning behaviours were present, but students did not organize these activities in personal learning environments. Secondly, students were seeking support in digital tools they expected to use in the workplace yet look for on-demand, audio-visual guidance with tools they can use to help organize from learning support services. I also find that the ability for students to construct their own learning goals and outcomes are not restrained in OBE models as students reported making decisions in seeking resources to support goals they value. The study also finds that the LMS does not place constraints on student choices in seeking supplementary resources outside the learning platform, yet the results do not indicate what prompts students to seek these additional resources. Lastly, OBE models and LMS-centered online learning environments encourage an instrumental approach to learning that emphasizes skills development directly related to future workplaces over learning that facilitates the development of lifelong learning literacies. I make recommendations for future research into heutagogy centered online learning, support for students and instructors in online learning and to revisit assumptions of where and when learning takes place in an increasingly networked society along with the ramifications for the mode of education following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Graduation Date: Jun-2022
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/378
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