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Lost in the Funhouse, is Anyone in Control?

Lost in the Funhouse, is Anyone in Control?
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Author(s): Steve McRobb (De Montfort University, UK), Pat Jefferies (University of Bedfordshire, UK) and Bernd Carsten Stahl (De Montfort University, UK)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 17
Source title: Handbook of Research on Digital Information Technologies: Innovations, Methods, and Ethical Issues
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Thomas Hansson (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-970-0.ch028

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Abstract

In this chapter, a framework which models at a high level the interactions between technology, pedagogy and ethics is applied to the interpretation of a case study. The case study describes a student excluded from his course as a result of administrative error. Since his studies are, in part, mediated through a Virtual Learning Environment, the exclusion takes on additional impacts not anticipated by the human actors, and proves surprisingly difficult to undo even once the error is acknowledged. This reveals problematic aspects of the interaction between the domains. Conflicts between the aims and interests of the various stakeholders, combined with misunderstandings of the way that the technology operates, provide obvious surface causes of the problem. However, analysis reveals that the deeper cause lies in the fact that the life world of education has been colonised by a system that replaces human communication, and thus inevitably presents ethical problems.

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