Gorby, Aisling (2008) An Investigation into the Use of Learning Management Systems by Third Level Faculty. Masters thesis, National College of Ireland.
The moodle learning management system is developed in line with‘social constructionist’ pedagogy. Social constructionism is concerned with the idea of a social group constructing things for one another,collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings. Is this social constructionist pedagogy reflected in the way lecturers actually use the system? This dissertation examines how and why lecturers use the moodle LMS in NCI.
A sample of NCI lecturers were sent a questionnaire to ascertain their teaching style, their reasons for using moodle, the manner in which they use moodle and their personal preferences in relation to the system. Results of this questionnaire were cross-referenced with actual moodle usage statistics which were obtained using the moodle reporting tool. Course modules which have high and varied levels of moodle usage were also examined and benchmarked against other modules.
It is found that many lecturers have not yet fully exploited the constructivist potential of moodle, but rather use it as a repository for course notes. They use moodle for pragmatic rather than pedagogical reasons. A disproportionately small number of lecturers use a large proportion of model tools to create a socially meaningfully collaborative learning environment. It was not possible to prove that teaching style is a primary factor in the way lecturers use moodle, as other factors such as experience with technology, resources available, culture of department and moodle expertise have a significant influence.
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