|Ph.D Student||Sagy Ornit|
|Subject||Designing a Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment to|
Encourage an Internal-Value-Based Culture of
Learning in Higher Education
|Department||Department of Education in Science and Technology||Supervisors||Professor Emeritus Dan Zilberstein|
|Professor Yael Kali|
|Full Thesis text|
The study presented here is one of two doctoral dissertations that explored an intervention, designed to improve the teaching and learning in a large, undergraduate-level biology course at the Technion. One of the studies focused on deep learning of biology, while the one presented here, synthesizes various perspectives stemming from a variety of disciplines regarding the notion of “learning culture”, and merges them into one generic framework, the “Cultures of Learning and Teaching Continuum” (CLTC). This continuum ranges from learning that is driven by external-values to internal-values, and from teaching that fosters learning culture based on external-values, to teaching that emphasizes internal-values. The CLTC was used to explore the effect of the intervention that was designed by a collaborative multi-expertise team with a dual challenge: infusing a pedagogical-technological innovation into the system, while adhering to its culture.
The gradual, three-leveled intervention was based on the use of an online-tutorial that I have developed. In the first-level, the use of the online-tutorial was optional. In the second-level, students used it to learn contents omitted from lectures, to allow instructors to delve deeper into more complex topics. In the third-level, students learned most of the contents on their own using the online-tutorial, in addition to their participation in small knowledge-building teams focusing on various aspects of a topic they have chosen. Each team studied and prepared a presentation about their aspect for four weeks, at the end of which they presented it in a "mini-conference" attended by teams focusing on other aspects of the topic, and led by the instructor.
Two sets of tools were used to analyze data. The first was used to provide evidence for the Technion that the intervention adheres with its core standards and values. The second set of tools was used to understand the reciprocal relations between learning and teaching cultures.
Findings indicate that: (a) the model for introducing the pedagogical-technological innovation was productive, (b) only 37% of the students were identified as representing an external-values-based learning culture (c) a more internal-values-based learning culture was found in higher levels of the intervention, and (d) instructors' interviews revealed compromises in teaching, based on views about the typical student.
The reciprocal relations found between learning culture and teaching cultures, suggest that traditional higher education teaching can become stagnant, but, these relations can also be channeled into a productive cycle that fosters a learning culture based on internal-values.