virtual learning

ICT Landscape review: a Concept Map

One outcome of this project, derived on the basis of an experimental methodology, a remotely authored digital domain map, loosely represents the prevailing ICT CPD Landscape. This mapping method was used to ascertain the value of mapping to conceptualise complex domains such as ICT CPD. The map was intended to capture and aggregate perceptions of the landscape held by representatives of the following groups: researchers and providers of, experts and teachers in and leaders receiving ICT CPD. As such the map is invariably subjective.

The map has three branches: Climate focusing on socio-cultural and technological as well as policy factors at local, national and international levels that impact on ICT CPD Provision; Supply plotting providers; and Demand mapping stakeholders, influential groups of professionals, both formally and informally constituted. It has to be noted, though, that these sub-domains are increasingly overlapping.

On the Demand side, this study investigated the opinions of 60 practitioners, 20% of whom were reluctant to use digital technologies in classrooms. 40 informants were ICT CPD leaders in schools. 30 providers were chosen to represent all the key categories identified in the domain map on the Supply side.

The use of digital concept maps was found to provide an effective means of collaborative conceptualising of a complex domain across a distributed group of experts and other informants. Researchers may wish to consider the use of concept mapping for data the collection of perceptual data

The research team also reflected on further research involving the development of the collaborative domain map. At the start the ICT CPD Landscape in England was known to be fluid, subject to frequent change, fragmented and open to different interpretations. As has already been noted, several factors contribute to the fact that the map does not offer a definitive, lasting representation of the landscape but, rather, it represents the time-bound consensus on perceptions amongst those who contributed to its construction and engaged with its development. By implication, greater accuracy, detail and currency of the map could be achieved by engaging a wider range of informants and by keeping it under review in light of ongoing changes, such as the untimely demise of Becta.