The field of online and distance learning (ODL) has expanded exponentially in the networked society becoming part of mainstream higher education practices and a catalyst for both reform and educational transformation, ushering in new pedagogical models of open and distance learning through the affordances of networked information and communication technology.
The guiding research problem recognizes an urgent need to think more holistically and critically about online learning across a variety of contexts, and deliberately consider the interconnections between institutionalized learning and the informal, incidental and tacit learning that happens in contexts outside of formal environments.
This paper presents a conceptual framework that contributes to the literature base on student experiences of learning in online higher education, seeking to broaden understanding of ecological approaches and student experiences of online learning. A digital learning ecologies conceptual framework is introduced as an organizational scheme, extending from Brofrenbrenner’s (1979) ecosocial system model, that can be used as a guiding heuristic and analytical model for researching and conceptualizing student learning in virtual contexts across a continuum of learning formality. It presents conceptual findings useful in examining the role of emerging digital learning ecologies in online higher education, analysing the individual microsystem dimensions of students in relation to their digital learning ecologies that offer opportunities for learning.
This paper presents a conceptual framework that contributes to the literature base on student experiences of learning in online higher education, seeking to broaden understanding of ecological approaches and student experiences of online learning.
|Mitchell Peters, Montse Guitert Catasús, Marc Romero Carbonell, Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Spain
|Type of provider
|Learning opportunity type
|Open to all
|Type of credential