A qualitative study on learning and teaching with learning paths in a learning management system
C. Desmet, M. Valcke, T. Schellens, B. De Wever, & R. Vanderlinde
This article presents the findings of a qualitative study (carried out between 2011 and 2013) about the adoption and implementation of learning paths within a Learning Management System (LMS). Sixteen secondary school biology teachers of the GO! Network in Flanders (an urbanized region in Belgium) were involved in the study and questioned via semi-structured interviews. Two research questions are addressed: (1) what are the perceived conditions at school and at teacher level affecting the use of learning paths? (2) how are these conditions related to the expected outcomes? Research results show teachers are satisfied with learning paths as an educational tool, but reflect mixed feelings as to the impact on student learning outcomes. Clear barriers are identified at the school and teacher level, thwarting the implementation of learning paths in secondary education. The availability of a reliable and accessible ICT infrastructure, the quality of technical and pedagogical support, teacher professional development and the mastery of teacher Information and Communication Technology competencies, among others, were found to be essential.