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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Postgraduate Course: Learning Spaces and Digital Technologies (EDUA11443)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course considers the complex and changing relationship between technology and space, including the ways that digital resources profoundly affect the conceptualisation and construction of those settings where educational activity is performed. Combining theoretical work with practical activities, students will examine how the flow of data and proliferation of digital resources actively shape learning spaces, for instance through personalisation, mobility, commercialisation and the de-centring of the physical classroom and campus.

Course description As digital technologies have become an everyday feature of our educational surroundings, it is vital to consider how these resources shape the classroom and campus, as well as other kinds of learning spaces. A 'learning space' refers here to any setting where teaching, writing, reading or other educational activity is performed. Meanwhile, 'technology' is understood as hardware, software, digital infrastructure and the flow of data. This course will draw on the growing body of critical research around space and technology to critically evaluate how the procurement, deployment and configuration of digital technologies affects a range of learning spaces. Students will work with theories of space and technology, and will generate and analyse data, in order to evaluate and understand the complex relationship between digital resources and educational environments. This will include interrogating how space and technology are woven together with pedagogy, policy, profit and other constraints and pressures.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 19/09/2022
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Part 1 (30%) Sociomaterial analysis of a learning space

Building upon the conceptual and methodological grounding covered in the opening weeks of the course, students will undertake a sociomaterial analysis of a learning space. Across the duration of a week, students will complete a journaling exercise where they document their learning space through photographs, audio field recordings and written notes. These data will then be presented alongside a 1000-word written or spoken commentary that critically reflects upon the presence and prominence of digital resources in these spaces. This exercise will challenge students to combine theory with a practical approach in order to examine the complex relationship between a learning spaces and digital technologies.

Part 2 (70%) Essay

Selecting from a list of suggested titles, students will prepare a 2500-word essay that explores one of the course themes in depth. This will be a written essay, although students will be encouraged to include visual and other material where it helps to illustrate ideas or advance arguments. This exercise will provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate: critical understanding of key course concepts; analytical and interpretive skills as they identify and critique the relevant research literature, and; the ability to construct academic discourse.

Feedback The course will be characterised by regular feedback opportunities, including formative and summative feedback from staff, peer feedback achieved through group exercises, and opportunities for self-generating feedback.

Each 2-week block will include a short (non-assessed) practical exercise where students will share examples of work before offering comments and encouragement in response to artefacts produced by their peers. As well as nurturing an active and collaborative community, each student will benefit from being exposed to a broader range of perspectives, while also engaging in dialogue with their peers. Staff will take a light touch approach in these activities, offering general pointers to the group that will enable students to generate their own feedback.

The first piece of formal feedback will be provided at the midway point in the course. The Sociomaterial analysis of a learning space assessment (worth 30%) is designed and timed to provide timely and constructive feedback in a relatively low-stakes setting. Students will receive individualised feedback from course staff that will feed forward into the second half of the course and the major summative assessment exercise (the essay).

Upon completion of the essay, students will be provided with individualised feedback that evaluates the submitted work against the assessment criteria, but also offers feedforward that can support subsequent study.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Use key theoretical work to conceptualise the relationship between learning spaces and technologies
  2. Engage critically with the growing body of published research around learning spaces, including the potentialities and conflicts associated with digital technologies
  3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the varied and complex ways that digital technologies affect a range of traditional and emergent learning spaces
  4. Generate and critically analyse data in order to understand the relationship between digital technologies and a specific learning space
Reading List
Acton, R. (2017). Place-people-practice-process: Using sociomateriality in university physical spaces research. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 1-11. doi: 10.1080/00131857.2017.1309637

Bayne, S., Gallagher, M. and Lamb, J. (2013) Being 'at' University: the social topologies of distance students. Higher Education. DOI: 10.1007/s10734-013- 9662-4

Boys, J. (2016). Finding the Spaces In-Between: Learning as a Social Material Practice. In L. Carvalho, P. Goodyear, & M. de Laat (Eds.), Place-based spaces for networked learning (pp. 59-72). New York: Routledge.

Carvalho, L., & Yeoman, P. (2018). Framing learning entanglement in innovative learning spaces: Connecting theory, design and practice. British Educational Research Journal. doi: 10.1002/berj.3483

Fenwick, T. (2011). Reading Educational Reform with Actor Network Theory: Fluid spaces, otherings, and ambivalences. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43(sup1), 114-134. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2009.00609.x

Goodyear, P., Ellis, R.A. & Marmot, A. (2018) Learning Spaces Research: Framing Actionable Knowledge. In Ellis, R.A. & Goodyear, P. (Eds.) 2018. Spaces of Teaching and Learning: Integrating Perspectives on Research and Practice (pp221-230). Singapore: Springer.

Gourlay, L., & Oliver, M. (2016). Students' Physical and Digital Sites of Study: Making, Marking and Breaking Boundaries. In L. Carvalho, P. Goodyear, & M. de Laat (Eds.), Place- based spaces for networked learning (pp. 73-86). New York: Routledge.

Hamilton, E. C., & Friesen, N. (2013). Online Education: A Science and Technology Studies Perspective. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 39(2)

Lamb, J. and Ross, J. (2021). Lecture capture, social topology, and the spatial and temporal arrangements of UK universities. European Educational Research Journal. pp.1-22.

Lefebvre, H. (1991) The Production of Space. Nicholson-Smith D (trans.). Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

Massey, D. (2005). For space. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Mulcahy, D., Cleveland, B., & Aberton, H. (2015). Learning spaces and pedagogic change: envisioned, enacted and experienced. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 23(4), 575-595. doi: 10.1080/14681366.2015.1055128
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical and reflective thinking: the ability to critically interrogate the complex ways that digital technologies affect learning spaces and practices

Communication: the ability to effectively present academic knowledge in digital and richly multimodal ways

Research: the ability to undertake a small-scale qualitative research exercise, including the generation and analysis of visual and sonic data.

Keywordslearning space,education,technology,digital
Course organiserMr James Lamb
Tel: (0131 6)51 6243
Course secretaryMiss Miao Zhang
Tel: (0131 6)51 6265
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