Title page for ETD etd-06192007-132241

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Johannes, Hermien
Email johannesh@tut.ac.za
URN etd-06192007-132241
Document Title In search of the latent structure of an e-learning practitioner construct
Degree PhD (Curriculum Studies)
Department Curriculum Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof J G Knoetze
  • e-learning practitioner
  • unstructured environment
  • e-learning practice
  • structured environment
  • e-learning practitioner system
  • interactionist model
  • latent structure
  • behavioural style
  • person-job fit
  • e-learning
Date 2007-04-26
Availability unrestricted
In this study systems thinking approaches were applied to uncover the structure of the e-learning practitioner construct. Assumptions abducted from the systemic view of the e-learning practitioner construct hold that the e-learning practitioner system involves the e-learning practitioner and the e-learning practice as two subsystems that interact in the e-learning work environment. The characteristics of the subsystems are patterned to reflect their respective structures, which collaboratively construe the structure of the e-learning practitioner system.

Different lenses were used to take ’snapshots’ and to illuminate the separate parts (the environment, the e-learning practitioner and the e-learning practice) of the system and to tell the e-learning practitioner’s story. Work behavioural styles expressed in terms of DISC language were used to describe a particular aspect of work personality structure. A personality-orientated job analysis, namely the Human Job Analysis, was used to identify and describe job characteristics and job structure. Person characteristics from the individual and characteristics from the job are the inputs into the e-learning practitioner system, and through a process of reciprocal interaction lead to certain outputs, for example person-job (P-J) fit, moderated by environmental influences, and constantly monitored by feedback systems.

Environmental changes act as drivers in the system and practical interventions, such as the implementation of support programmes, job redesign and career development, may be applied as leverage points to change the output, for example to create a number of P-J fit scenarios. The characteristics of each subsystem and their relationships form the building blocks of the system structured in an e-learning P-J fit triad. Triad congruence is dependent on the characteristics of each leg of the triad, as well as influences and drivers from the environment. The different parts work together towards a specific goal according to a specific plan driven by organising principles to fulfil a common purpose, which gives meaning to the system. Different scenarios may alter the congruence of these three legs, which may then emerge in different configurations from their latent position.

To gain a better understanding of this construct, a case study was applied focusing on the characteristics and work behavioural styles of e-learning practitioners in the e-learning work environment at the Tshwane University of Technology. A bricolage of data collection methods and instruments was applied to collect evidence for answering the research questions. Rich and varied sources of data, for example interviews, participant observation, documents and archival records, were tapped during the data collection phase. Data analysis included quantitative and qualitative analysis, and reasoning though both inductive and abductive logic.

Synthesis of these research findings resulted in a classifying scheme as a form for expressing the latent structure of the five possible e-learning scenarios to answer the main research question: “What is the latent structure of the e-learning practitioner construct?

The study focused on the creation of knowledge about the ‘goodness of fit’ between the e-learning practitioner and the e-learning job in the e-learning environment by using the combined languages of systems thinking and the DISC profiling system. The uniqueness of this study pertains to the following:

-- the interplay between the characteristics of e-learning practitioners, the e-learning practice and the e-learning environment;

-- P-J fit scenarios in the e-learning environment, and

-- a classification scheme for the e-learning practitioner construct displaying five categories, namely job structure, job theme, person attributes, roles and applications against the dimensions of an environmental structuredness continuum.

Findings from this research may support initiatives to establish benchmarks for the e-learning practitioner job description. Practical applications may be useful to practitioners using electronic learning management systems and to planners of staff development and e-learning training programmes.

  Filename       Size       Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds) 
 28.8 Modem   56K Modem   ISDN (64 Kb)   ISDN (128 Kb)   Higher-speed Access 
  00front.pdf 129.85 Kb 00:00:36 00:00:18 00:00:16 00:00:08 < 00:00:01
  01chapter1.pdf 1.20 Mb 00:05:34 00:02:52 00:02:30 00:01:15 00:00:06
  02chapter2.pdf 3.96 Mb 00:18:18 00:09:25 00:08:14 00:04:07 00:00:21
  03chapter3.pdf 1.72 Mb 00:07:57 00:04:05 00:03:34 00:01:47 00:00:09
  04chapter4.pdf 4.61 Mb 00:21:21 00:10:59 00:09:36 00:04:48 00:00:24
  05chapter5.pdf 678.89 Kb 00:03:08 00:01:36 00:01:24 00:00:42 00:00:03
  06references.pdf 183.74 Kb 00:00:51 00:00:26 00:00:22 00:00:11 < 00:00:01
  07appendices.pdf 1.87 Mb 00:08:39 00:04:26 00:03:53 00:01:56 00:00:09

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