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Culture of Integration: Literacy Tools for the Masses
Darracott A, Clarke NL
Advances in Communications, Computing, Networks and Security Volume 8, ISBN: 978-1-84102-293-2, pp127-136, 2011
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The purpose of this research is to assess the impact of literacy tools, which for this research are defined as wikis, blogs and discussion forums, on teaching and learning to determine the factors that might be inhibiting a realisation of their potential, and to begin to build a case for a change in research and implementation directions within teaching and learning environments from a focus of one literacy tool to a focus of using all three literacy tools. The survey data suggests that discussion forums are used a lot more in teaching and learning than existing literature suggest; additionally tutors and students use more than one tool for their teaching and learning, and overall students and tutors have a very positive view of their uses in teaching and learning. The data also shows evidence that students and tutors are willing to use the latest technologies such as mobile phones to access literacy tools, but it has to be questioned whether or not using mobile phones and other technologies such as iPads actually contribute to a pedagogic understanding of literacy tools. The results show that there is a lack of tutorial support for both teachers and students: over half of the student population and over three quarters of the tutor population state that they have not received any training on the technical and pedagogical uses and understanding of literacy tools because there is no training available, or that there is training available but they have not been made aware of such training. A culture of integration is possible, where students, tutors, course managers, researchers, institutional managers, and course tutors work together to integrate literacy tools and other technologies such as mobile phones and iPads in a way that complement, not compete with, existing teaching and learning styles within a given teaching and learning environment. More work needs to be completed, however, before a culture of integration is realised: assessing the suitability and effectiveness of existing student and tutor tutorials, integrating tutorial support for tutors within formal teaching and professional development programs, and to monitor the effectiveness of all tutorials to ensure that they are technically and pedagogically appropriate.

Darracott A, Clarke NL