Future Media Adoption in Learning and Teaching: Current Study Design from the Perspective of Cultural Studies

Future Media Adoption in Learning and Teaching: Current Study Design from the Perspective of Cultural Studies

Sandra Schaffert (Salzburg Research, Austria) and Christina Schwalbe (University of Hamburg, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-678-0.ch001
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Abstract

A lot of effort is put into studies to find more elaborated forecasts of future media adoption in learning and teaching. In this chapter, some methods of futurology, such as the Delphi method or the scenario technique, will be sketched. Afterwards, this current study design will be critically considered from the perspective of cultural studies. For this, the terms of media and culture will be introduced and Debray’s approach of mediology and the adaptation on education will be discussed. Through this, we aim to illustrate that the current study designs could be enhanced by a bigger awareness of the insights of the cultural studies and their adaptations for education, the pedagogical media theory. The presented approach does not explicitly deal with the processes of adoption of new educational media systems on a practical level. But pedagogical media theories and studies on cultural and social changes and media provide a basic framework for various specific approaches dealing with the future of technology enhanced learning. Just as we can hardly understand how it feels to live in an oral culture, we are not able to imagine how we will think, act and communicate in the future of the evolving new “mediosphere”.
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Current Study Design: Using The Wisdom Of Crowds Of Experts

There are several methods available for use from the field. Futurology is derived from ideas about the future development of media within learning and teaching. In the following, we describe some methods of futurology, building on the idea of the “wisdom of crowds of experts” to illustrate each approach with some exemplary current studies. These approaches build on the idea that widespread information research and knowledge building should be the source for forecasts. The opinion of experts or crowds of experts are seen as superior to the knowledge of one person due to synergy effects and several perspectives on developments. In the following we describe the Delphi method, the scenario technique, and the method of road mapping as such approaches. All are already used in the field of educational technologies and media within learning and teaching. Additionally, we will sketch the methodology of the Horizon report with its own, newly derived format.

Delphi Method

The Delphi method involves experts from different related disciplines in two-step moderated group discussion to identify possible future developments. This strategy is described as helpful when new technological trends or innovations with a wide range of given possibilities should be discussed. There are several examples where these methods were used to get insights about future developments. For example, the Delphi method has been used for a prediction of future adoption of online assessment within higher education in Germany. Schaffert (2004) brings together the answers and ideas of 48 experts in a two-step process based on questionnaires. The experts came to the (not very surprising) conclusion that a moderate rise in of the adoption of online assessment is expected, especially in branches, where the usage of computers is a daily routine.

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