Doctoral Programme in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning: Programme Structure and Modules
The course lasts four years, and is divided into two parts. Part One consists
of five compulsory modules aimed at offering you guided study in important
and topical areas of technology enhanced learning and e-research. There will be two four day compulsory residential meetings in Part One.
Two you will carry out an original piece of research under the supervision
of a member of staff.
Part One (Years 1 and 2)
(Part 1 modules do not always run in this order)
- Module One:
Research Methods in Education and Social Science Settings: Philosophy, methodology,
techniques and tools. 40 credits.
- Module Two:
The Development of Professional Practice. 30 credits
- Module Three:
Researching Technology Enhanced/Networked Learning, Teaching and Assessment.
- Module Four:
Groups and Communities: Researching the Design of Technology Enhanced Learning.
- Module Five:
Interculturality and Globalisation in TEL. 30 credits.
Part Two (Years 3 and 4): Preparing for the Thesis
- Module Six:
Reflecting on Technology Enhanced Learning in Post-Compulsory Education.
This module includes the writing of a research proposal, for the individual
research carried out in Part Two and written up in the thesis.
- Thesis (approx
50,000 words). The qualification awarded is a PhD.
Module One: Research Methods in
Education and Social Science Settings
(Year One, January - June - 40 credits)
The primary purpose of this module is to provide you with an understanding of research methods and methodologies used within the field of technology enhanced learning (TEL). You will have the opportunity to learn about a range of methodological approaches, data collection and analysis strategies that can be used to design and evaluate enquiries into professional practice. These include ethnography; case study; action research; evaluative approaches, grounded theory; interviews and observation; questionnaire design; descriptive statistics, and analysis of qualitative data. We will introduce you to a range of resources (some traditional, some in digital forms) that you can draw on in your own research, and you will critically evaluate methodologies, methods and resources, and their application in educational settings.
The first few weeks are aimed at helping you and the programme tutors get to know each other, and share perspectives on being an online learning community. You will participate in a series of activities designed to orientate you to the programme and to help us all (participants and tutors alike) get to know each other and start developing a sense of community.
Residential (Year One,
March or April)
The four day residential meeting in Part One is compulsory. It is designed
to allow us to get to know each other and discuss research methodologies and
methods, and for us to introduce you to the various modules, the virtual learning
platform and associated technologies.
The first year residential dates for 2014 intake are 31st March - 3rd April, 2014
More information on the residentials
Module Two: The Development of Professional
Practice. June - September with 3 week Summer Break)
Lead Tutor: Dr
The purpose of this module is to support your development of a reflective approach to research-based professional practice in the field of technology enhanced/networked learning. You will have the opportunity to contextualise research interests and problems in analyses of reflective practice, expansive learning, and communities of practice. Approaches to social and organisational learning will be examined, as will models for leadership in innovation and change initiatives.
Module Five: Interculturality and Globalisation
(September - December - 30 credits)
Lead Tutor: TBC
The purpose of this module is to introduce you to the rise of globalisation in education and the particular role of e-learning in that phenomenon. Many universities are globalising their market and reaching out to diverse cultures in order to recruit more students to their courses. Online learning is seen as a means to this end, and there are many experimental and evolving forms in higher education, for example. The challenge is to produce forms of learning that are sufficiently robust to attract and maintain large and diverse student populations. Universities and tutors need to engage with a range of cultural differences in their classes, yet many are not well-equipped to develop pedagogies that support and capitalise on cultural diversity. This module will examine the issues surrounding this phenomenon and will look critically at globalisation of higher education, and in particular the role of interculturality in the educational process.
Residential (Year Two,
March or April)
The residential in year two includes reviewing the course to date, looking
ahead to the final two modules of Part One and community and social activities.
It also looks ahead to years three and four (Part Two) and begins discussion
on individual research activities and the writing of a research proposal (Module
The second year residential dates for 2012 intake are 9th - 12th April, 2013.
Module Four: Groups and Communities: Researching
the Design of Technology Enhanced/Networked Learning.
(August - December - 40 credits)
Lead Tutor: Dr Sue Cranmer
The purpose of this module is to introduce you to recent advances in research and the ways in which TEL/networked learning communities can be formed, nurtured and maintained, including (1) applications of social technologies: (2) issues around participation, interaction, collaboration, and engagement in community design and assessment; (3) conditions for developing trust and social capital; (4) emerging avenues of scholarship and research; and (5) challenges and implications of forming a technology-philosophy nexus.
Module Three: Researching Technology Enhanced/Networked
Learning, Teaching and Assessment. (January - June - 40 credits)
Lead Tutor: Professor Don Passey
This module examines recent research and theorising about the nature of technology enhanced learning, teaching and assessment in HE/FE. Its focus is on understanding and researching the relationship between: learning,
knowledge and pedagogy as part of TEL, including theories of learning and the ways in which participants learn in technology enhanced learning contexts and environments; and assessment, including current understandings of the aims and purposes of assessment and the ways in which assessment is conceptualised and conducted in HE/FE, and professional contexts generally and specifically in TEL settings. The module covers a range of qualitative methodological approaches and includes themes such as approaches in researching knowledge creation, learning communities, identities online and evaluation initiatives in TEL. The aim of module 3 is to enable you to gain knowledge and skills in researching TEL through reflecting on research advances in the field and by undertaking small empirical research projects relevant to your professional interests and concerns.
Module Six: Preparing for the Thesis: Research
and Reflecting on Technology Enhanced Learning: Writing a research proposal
Lead Tutor: Dr Julie-Ann Sime
During this module you will be reflecting on the knowledge and skills you have gained during Part One of the programme and planning the research you will be undertaking in Part Two. In this module you prepare a research proposal setting out your research questions and the proposed research plan, it shows your ability to write about the literature, state research questions and objectives and any associated ethical issues, describe the methodology to be used, and associated methods and tools, describe the ways in which data will be analysed, and describe the timetable for carrying out the research project.
The thesis is a major part of the Doctoral Programme and, for many programme participants, often the most challenging and rewarding part of the programme. A very wide variety of study is possible, including original empirical investigations employing one or more of a range of research methodologies. Usually studies have direct relevance to your own professional concern; a topic may also be chosen which is of concern to your own institution or employing authority.
Because we believe it is important that the study you undertake should excite you, we ask you to play a major role in the selection of the topic. Of course, you will be provided with assistance within your learning set by your tutor and other learning set members.
Thesis (approx 50,000 words)
You will complete a thesis of around 50,000 words. The thesis will represent
a significant contribution to knowledge and will contain material which is
of publishable quality. It will be comparable, in its presentation of the
results of the your work, with 'normal' PhD theses at Lancaster University.
It will also demonstrate some broader aspects of your capacity to pursue scholarly
research or scholarship in your field of study, though this demonstration
of competence will be made in conjunction with your assessed work on the five
modules in Part One of your studies.
Most of the work on the thesis will be carried out during Part Two of the
programme (Years 3 -5) though it is hoped that a serious start will be
made on defining research objectives and a research plan during years one
and two. The thesis will be similar in form to and at least as rigorous in intellectual
demands as the conventional PhD thesis. It will be more concisely written
and presented as it will not have to demonstrate the full range of competences
and achievements, as these are also partially documented through the module