Exploring the use of an on-line environment to develop the learning biographies of mature students on a foundation degree programme.

Grant type: Development (2000-08)
Round: October 2005
Amount awarded £1,901.59
Completed: May 2007
Leader(s): Alan Bainbridge
Organisation: Canterbury Christ Church University College
Contact Email: a.bainbridge@cant.ac.uk
Contact phone: 01227 782452
Address: North Holmes Road, Canterbury, Kent. CT1 1QU
Linda Rooke
Staff Development Advisor. Newham Local Education Authority
Simon Starr
Canterbury Christ Church University College
Start Date: 3 October 2005
End Date: 31 October 2006
Interim report received: 20 January 2009
Final report received: 20 January 2009
This project is seeking to investigate the use of a virtual learning environment (VLE) as a focus to discuss and develop the learning biographies/narratives of mature students on a foundation degree programme. Learning biographies are more usually shared and developed in an experiential group setting that facilitates reflexive learning and provides insight for the participants into past motivators and inhibitors of educational success/engagement. A VLE has been chosen as a focus of this project as it offers; the potential of reducing face to face contact hours; and increased participation, without effecting quality of dialogue. The contributors involved in this project will regularly ‘present’ biographies to be shared and discussed asynchronously in a VLE; these will then be the focus of occasional experiential group meetings. Past research has found that that use of narratives and learning biographies can; be a particularly significant motivator for adult learners; and also provide valuable insight into the lived experience of adult learners for HE providers and policy makers. The process is therefore a true collaboration of a teaching and learning method and a research procedure. What is new and challenging about this proposal is to evaluate the effectiveness and efficacy of using a virtual environment for narrative/biography purposes.