University of Limerick
Purcell_2013_exploration.pdf (2.48 MB)

An exploration of the adaptation of the dimensions of learning framework to promote thinking skills in a 21st century adult learning environment through the development of digital media narrative. A case study

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posted on 2022-09-22, 14:18 authored by Vivienne Purcell
The worlds of education and learning in the 21st century are being shaped by rapidly changing environments of digital medias and new technologies which require new learning and communication skills. The aim of this exploratory and descriptive study is to examine and foster the 21st century thinking skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity (4Cs) through the creation of digital narrative against the backdrop of the Dimensions of Learning framework. Based on research into the cognitive process, the framework proposes that five dimensions of “thinking” (learning) are inherent in the learning process and should be considered in curriculum design, teaching and assessment:  Dimension 1: Positive attitudes and perceptions about learning.  Dimension 2: Thinking used to acquire and integrate knowledge.  Dimension 3: Thinking used to extend and refine knowledge.  Dimension 4: Thinking involved in using knowledge meaningfully.  Dimension 5: Productive habits of mind. Each dimension links to and supports the other dimensions. Learner centered instruction in a constructivist manner is promoted in which the learner takes responsibility for their own learning. The methodological approach to the research was multimodal. Adult learners on a VTOS programme participated in the research process. A pre survey was conducted to explore Adult Learner’s attitudes and perceptions to IT, digital media and learning. The creation of digital narrative fostered an opportunity to apply the Dimensions of Learning framework. A post research e-survey enabled an evaluative review of the process to reflect on the application of this framework in the adult learning environment. The research findings indicate that it is eminently feasible to introduce the strategies of the Dimensions of Learning framework to an adult learning environment to support learning. On analysis of the empirical evidence and digital narrative, thinking skills were demonstrated by the learners to varying degrees. However, it cannot be deduced that this is as a direct result of strategies introduced to the learners as part of the Dimensions of Learning framework. It may be that the learners have developed the thinking skills based on their own life experiences and as part of lifelong learning.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Lane, Catriona





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