Year

2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Education

Abstract

The implementation of Technology Enhanced Learning Environments (TELEs) within higher education has been popular over the past two decades (Brown, Kregor, & Williams, 2013). The popularity could be attributed to providing flexibility and distance support to typically marginalized populations (Groff, 2013) and enhancing students’ involvement in lessons (Hicks, 2011). However, despite the benefits of TELEs, some issues associated with the design and application must be addressed (Hartnett, 2010): (1) the design principles utilized by instructors (e.g. Professors) within their course(s), (2) support students’ use and understanding of Self- Regulated learning strategies for working in a new context like a TELE, and (3) supporting students’ motivation to self-regulate in a TELE. The interplay between the concepts is important because each can facilitate the overall quality of learning and teaching within a TELE. As such, this study aims to examine the design, development and implementation of a Technology Enhanced Learning Environment within a Physical Education Teacher Education program; and with that to extend the research on TELEs by addressing the lack of inquiry around online education within Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE).

To examine the aforementioned research aim, this study was grounded in a hybrid of Self- Regulated learning (SRL) (Pintrich, 1999) and Self-Determination Theory (SDT) (Deci & Ryan, 1985). For the purpose of this study, both theoretical frameworks were used to examine the design and implementation of a TELE within a Physical Education Teachers Education (PETE) because these theories provide a framework for understanding the motivation, behaviours and experiences of both students and teachers Investigation of the design, implementation and evaluation of the TELE in PETE was conducted using a Design-Based Research (DBR) methodology, also called Design-Based Methodology (DBM); a viable research approach to achieve the blending of theory and practice within a dynamic teaching and learning environment (Reeves, Herrington, & Oliver, 2004).

Participant data were collected using both qualitative and quantitative methods across four distinct phases: design, implementation and evaluation of the TELE. Data were collected using questionnaires, interviews and focus groups with professors who taught the subject, students and academic/administrative staff within the university. Furthermore, researcher field notes were conducted during the interviews and focus groups. All those data collection tools helped to ensure the rigor of the study through trustworthiness strategies such as triangulation. Further coding and summarizing were used on the completed data set to identify themes and patterns. The analysis of questionnaire data was conducted using Excel for descriptive statistics. Descriptive statistics allowed for a more robust and detailed picture to be illustrated within the particular phase of the study were such data were collected.

The findings from this study seem to support the effectiveness of using SDT and SRL for designing a TELE in a PETE program, however, the reality of their application, demonstrates the complex process to reach not only a functional design for a TELE in this academic environment, but an effective application. At first students, professors and staff expressed positive views that using a TELE in PETE could be beneficial, however, both students and professors showed a lack of understanding about aspects of Self-Determination and Self-Regulated learning. Overall, students, professors and staff did engage with the TELE in the PETE’s program in a superficial manner. Finally, even though faculty within this specific university was working according to an educative environment promoting Self-Regulation, this study revealed how organizational culture may impact the design and application of TELEs, both in Physical Education and general higher education. This finding provided support for future research on this Faculty’s educational context and current academic model’s supporting the application of TELEs.

The study as such, provides an initial inquiry into the implications of the implementation of online education within a practical movement-based subject, such as those common in the study of PE. Specifically, this study contributes to and extends the body of knowledge around SRL and SDT within an online educational setting. Finally, this study will assist in understanding the elements of design principles that could be used as a base for future designs and implementations of TELEs, specially with areas and subjects traditionally relying on practical activities, as PE; as well as within other higher education settings more generally.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.