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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24952

Title: What can Human Factors Tell Us about Designing for Technological Affordances in Teacher Education?
Authors: MacKinnon, Kimberley
Woodruff, Earl
Keywords: Human factors
Technology integration
Teacher education
Online research mentorship
Issue Date: 16-Jul-2009
Publisher: International Conference on e-Learning (ICEL)
Citation: MacKinnon, K. & Woodruff, E. (2009). What can Human Factors tell us about designing for technological affordances in teacher education? Published in the proceedings of the 4th Annual International Conference on E-learning (ICEL) (pp. 346-353), Toronto: ICEL 2009.
Abstract: This paper will discuss the results of a human factors analysis that was conducted as part of a three-year study involving implementation of online learning in a teacher education context. The human factors analysis was based on a modified approach to Cognitive Work Analysis (MacKinnon, 2009) originally proposed by others in the engineering sciences (Rasmussen, Pejtersen, & Goodstein, 1994; Vicente, 2003; 1999). This research expands on the notion of technological “affordances” which suggests that there is an interactional relationship between people and tools (Gibson, 1986; Norman, 1988). Vicente (2003) calls this interaction a “Human-Tech” relationship, and argues that social variables - which he calls “constraints” - play an important role in determining the degree to which technology can help individuals carry out goals and priorities under contextually-variable conditions. The researchers will make a case throughout this paper for a view of technology integration that takes into account measures of affordances and constraints. The researchers suggest that one cannot really understand effective use of technology for learning without thinking about affordances, and affordances cannot really be measured without thinking about constraints associated with the learning context. Essentially, the point the researcher is making is that constraints help to define - and even shape - what technological affordances ought to look like. Therefore, the researcher begins to answer the important - and arguably unexplored - question of how the complexities of varying teaching and learning contexts ought to be used to inform design. Findings from the human factors analysis was used to support a design study involving the use of online technology in the context of a teacher education program. This presentation reports on findings from two research questions: 1) What does a Human-Tech approach to technology integration, implemented through the use of a modified technology design tool called Cognitive Work Analysis, reveal about the system constraints of a two-year graduate level teacher education program? and, 2) What are the technological design implications of a Human-Tech approach to technology integration for supporting student research in the context of a two-year graduate level teacher education program (the student research became the primary focus of the design study)? In this case, the human factors analysis lead to the design of an open online research support forum.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24952
Appears in Collections:Faculty (CTL)

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