Technology-Enhanced Learning refers to the potential, application and implications of technologies, especially digital technologies, in educational contexts (such as schools, professional training environments, and online distance learning) across multiple domains (such as compulsory and post-compulsory education, health care, voluntary organisations, and the public and private sectors). As such, it can be an appropriate area of research for professionals including educational technologists, learning centre advisory staff, learning systems managers, lecturers, librarians, media specialists, support staff, teachers, trainers and others. Potential research areas include, but are not limited to, accessibility of digital learning systems, citizen science, digital games-based learning, e-learning, learning analytics, learning design, networked learning, open educational resources, participatory learning, and technology-enhanced assessment. Below describe three themes in further detail. Proposals are nevertheless welcome for studies that fall outside these themes.
1.Design, delivery and evaluation of online and distance education
Research into the design and implementation of open and online distance learning might build on your experience of various technologies, including wikis, blogs and social media. Possible research topics, all of which need to be informed by robust theoretical and methodological underpinnings, include:
- learner support in online and distance learning
- the use of media and digital tools to meet learning design objectives
- developing and/or evaluating an application or intervention
- exploring the implications for learning designs that employ technologies such as wikis, blogs, social networking, e-portfolios, podcasts and games
- evaluating a policy initiative centred on the introduction of new technologies in a school, university or training organisation.
2.Open educational learning and open educational resources
Research into the principles and implications of open educational learning, and the design and use of open educational resources. Possible research topics include:
- the affordances and challenges of open educational resources
- effective methods for selecting appropriate open educational resources
- the motivations and learning approaches of learners using open educational resources
- the challenges involved in developing and making available open educational resources
- evaluating the quality of open education textbooks
3.Other possible Technology-enhanced Learning research areas
Here we give a range of other possible research topics:
- multi-modality in relation to technology-enhanced learning
- socio-cultural and social practice approaches to technology-enhanced learning
- theoretical paradigms (such as computer-supported collaborative learning, activity theory or communities of practice) in technology-enhanced learning.
- emergent study patterns that arise with the use of social networking sites to support learning
- the use of mobile technologies, microblogging, social networks, digital games to support teaching and learning
- e-portfolio and blockchain technologies and links between education and work
- the effect of digital technologies on the way scientists engage with the wider public
- networked learning in a particular formal or informal learning context (for example, in nurse education or in the development of school leaders)
- using video feedback to support distance learners
- mobile-assisted language learning.
Examples of successful EdD theses
- An investigation into the blogging practices of academics and researchers.
- Developing online teacher communities to support communication and collaboration.
- E-learning in a rural Irish primary classroom: Implementation and possibilities.
- Enabling disruptive technologies for Higher Education.
- Engagement of learners undertaking Massive Open Online Courses and the impact of design.
- Gender, age and technology: A feminist analysis of older women learning the internet.