University of Limerick
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Can the learning of a topic in craft theory be improved for carpentry and joinery apprentices by using a tool of digital media as a learning resource?

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posted on 2022-09-22, 08:11 authored by David Loftus
Developments in information and communication technology (ICT) have had a major impact on all areas of human development. Governments have recognised the enormous significance of knowledge society developments on the educational sector, their economy and society in general. In Ireland the government have introduced initiatives in ICT which have delivered ICT hardware and software, access to the internet in schools and provided ICT training for teachers in the integration of ICT in teaching and learning. It is within this context that an investigation into whether a tool of digital media works effectively as an assistive learning resource for Carpentry and Joinery apprentices. By means of a case study approach carried out in an Institute of Technology which caters for Carpentry and Joinery apprentices, staff and students were surveyed on whether a software learning resource improved their teaching and learning experience. The research was based on both qualitative and quantitative data and made use of a wide range of data sources of questionnaires, interviews and a focus group. A review of current literature indicates that ICT has not had the impact that was expected since its introduction into education. Some of its failings have been due to government policy, school policy, access to enough reliable equipment, support structures and the teacher`s resistance to ICT. It was found that there is a need for a sound pedagogical approach before any implementation of ICT. There must be a balance between technology and solid educational theory and instructional design must be at a level which satisfies the different learning styles of the learner. The findings indicated that the learning resource was effective for the students and had enhanced their learning and overall learning experience. On the other hand staff were not as positive about the learning resource with just over half the staff agreeing that the learning resource would enhance the students learning experience. By using the learning resource the students became more self-directed and self-paced with their learning. The software individualised the learning and thus served both weaker and better-able students equally well. The conclusion drawn from this research is that the requirement for additional training on both the basics of ICT and the different pedagogical approaches were seen as a major requirement by staff to improve the overall learning experience of the students. The educational requirements of apprentice carpentry and joinery students needs to be closely monitored in order to ensure each individual has the necessary skills to remain competitive, as they may need to up-skill in order to secure quality employment in the future.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Doyle, Gerard





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