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A case study of a blended e-learning programme for carers and practitioners in the field of autism spectrum disorders

Guldberg, Karen (2008)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This research focuses on the productive learning processes of students studying a blended e-learning programme for practitioners and carers of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It is an ethnographic case study undertaking a holistic analysis of learning processes. It draws upon socio cultural and activity theory as theoretical lenses and using dimensions from the communities of practice framework to interpret the kinds of discourse that are suggestive of a community of practice. The study examines how learners appropriate the professional discourse, values and goals of the ASD carer and the kind of collaborative engagement students have with each other’s contributions. Findings highlight that online discussions are powerful mechanisms for the development of reflection, for giving parents a strong voice and for shaping the values of this community. The research suggests that a facilitation model that enables students to be co-learners and co-tutors together, supports the development of a community of practice, thus enabling students to acquire knowledge in one context in order to transform it to another. Recommendations include the need for further studies that examine a particular communication medium in detail and over time, that communities of practice can add value to pedagogy in higher education and that programme tutors need to consider the specific properties of different communication mediums when designing programmes.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Pilkington, Rachel
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
L Education (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:252
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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