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Title:An online participatory action research inquiry into online inquiry-based music learning
Author(s):Schmidt Jones, Catherine Anne
Director of Research:Johnston-Parsons, Marilyn
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Johnston-Parsons, Marilyn
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bresler, Liora; Burbules, Nicholas; Oh, Eunjung; Thibeault, Matthew D.
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):participatory action research
open education resources
online learning
inquiry based learning
music learning
activity theory
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to better understand what is happening when learners are unsuccessful in using online open education resources (OERs) for self-directed learning. Supporting self-directed learners is an important step towards realizing the open-education goal of equalizing educational opportunities, but little is known about the needs and perspectives of this group. To find self-directed learners for whom OERs did not provide sufficient help, visitors to music theory OERs were offered personalized help in reaching their own music-learning goals. Participatory action research provided the study methodology, with participants acting as co-researchers who understood the purpose of the study and offered their perspectives on the issues, and myself acting as both primary researcher and facilitator of their music-learning inquiries. Of the 44 participants who began the study, 11 pursued substantial inquiries. Data from all 44 participants suggested that lack of a relevant community of practice may be a particularly high barrier to self-directed learning, but the analysis focused primarily on the 11 long-term inquiries, using activity theory as a framework for organizing and interpreting the data. The primary barrier appeared to be the difficulty of making connections between formal ways of knowing about music, such as music theory and notation, and experiential ways of knowing about music, such as playing instruments, improvising, and composing. Progress in the inquiries relied in part on specific supports that can only be provided through human interaction and which may be the most useful roles for instructors when students have access to open online resources. However, the study also indicated specific changes to music OERs that might make them more useful as stand-alone help, and the underlying issues suggest ways that OERs in general could better support self-directed learning.
Issue Date:2015-11-12
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Catherine Schmidt Jones
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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