Learning Agency in New Learning Environments: An Australian Case Study of the Influence Context
Hitendra Pillay (Queensland University, Australia), John A. Clarke (Queensland University, Australia) and Peter G. Taylor (Bond University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2006
The Bandurian concept of learner agency was originally embedded in a para-digm where behavior, self and environment influenced each other significantly.However, evolution of the concept has focused almost exclusively on individualsas the locus of agency ignoring the potential contribution of context. It is arguedthat learning environments should be considered truly reciprocal with individualsthrough mutual and iterative influence by contextual elements and by individuallearners. It is postulated that learner agency be broadened to a more inclusiveconcept of learning agency. This concept is explored empirically with data col-lected on an e-learning university campus from 125 students about theirapproaches to learning, perceptions of their learning environments, and episte-mological reflections on themselves as learners. Results indicate that students’behavior cannot be explained by individual characteristics but by the influencesof the technology-rich learning environment and peers, suggesting that individu-als’approach to learning arises from mutual interactions between individual andcontextual agency.