Chapter 5 Theory and methodology in learning design research (May 2011)

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Gráinne Conole
5 May 2011

This chapter will provide an overview of the theoretical perspectives and associated methodologies that und2erpin learning design. It will articulate how learning design is distinct from, but relates to, related research such as Instructional Design and Learning Sciences. Discussing learning technology as a field, Oliver et al. argue that the object of investigation is the knowledge-technology-society nexus. (Oliver, Roberts, et al., 2007). They describe how the study of each of these, knowledge, technology and society, draws on a rich range of research fields across the Social Sciences; including Instructional Design, Education, Philosophy and Sociology. Clearly which research fields are drawn on has implications for both the methodologies used and the theoretical perspectives chosen by the researchers. It will locate learning design within the broader field of e-learning, drawing on the findings of a study which looked at the nature of interdisciplinarity in Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) (Conole, Scanlon, Mundin, & Farrow, 2010) and a Networked Learning conference hotseat on theory and methodology in Networked Learning (Conole, 2010). 

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