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Learning Enhancement and Development

Building Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills Utilising Student-Centred Edtech

PhD by prior Publication

Greg Blackburn

This thesis establishes a theoretical account for understanding how emerging technologies are reshaping authentic learning contexts. Technology continues to impact on how people work, play, gain information, and participate in communities. Technology is also changing the way we think about learning environments, the delivery of education, impacts on teaching staff and their training, the impacts on students, building and sustaining international knowledge societies, e-maturity of schools and their guiding bodies, plus it opens questions of how to embed IT into the curriculum. While much education technology is well delivered, there remains a need to predict, and to explore, where and why problems occur.

This thesis presents six published works, which contribute to the existing body of knowledge by providing a theoretical and empirical evaluation of the integration of technology and pedagogy in creating technology-enhanced learning environments that foster critical thinking and problem solving; skills demanded by business. The six publications explore innovative technology-supported university-level learning environments and the effects these have on students and teaching staff, as well as educational policy and institutional strategy.

This research suggests that it is not educational technology in isolation that improves teaching and learning, but rather, how the technology tools themselves are designed and implemented into practice, how educators are supported in applying them, how outcomes are measured, how appropriate infrastructure is necessary, and what communities are in place to support technological innovation in the classroom.

Globally, the higher education sector is facing challenges, such as reducing government funding and increasing competition; therefore, it is imperative to discover innovative strategies to deliver quality education since this is the crux of service offered.

Subject: Professional Education

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.