Phenomenological Exploration of Mediation Models of Transformative Learning (WICS, SCM) in Online For-Profit Universities
Learning Tools and Human Factors Contributing to Transformative Learning in Graduate E- Learning Environments
Empirical studies indicate that transformative learning (defined as: centrality of experience, critical reflection, and rational discourse) is significant to the learning process. This case study explores (via online surveys, virtual interviews, and document reviews) “how and why” theoretical mediation models, such as Sternberg’s theory of Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized (WICS) and Feuerstein’s theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability (SCM), facilitate the development of transformative learning skills. Research also suggests that ambient intelligence (Aml) together with trained, experienced, and effective faculty may foster transformative learning and deepen the relationship between chair, committee members, faculty members, and peers. The qualitative study explores “how and why” peer mentors, facilitator, and formative assessment tools (embedded in the E-learning platform, such as Knowledge Checks) promote online graduate students attempt of becoming critical thinkers and thus reaching their individual zone of proximal development (ZOPD) via critical reflection. Moreover, during our in-depth interviews we will ask “how and why” is the specific nature of this relationship (peers/facilitator/student) - which lead to transformative learning (centrality of experience, critical reflection, and rational discourse) - critical in achieving their educational targets? For the purpose of this study, we will listen to the voices of School of Advanced Studies (SAS) doctoral faculty/students – as they share the social phenomenon. For example, “how and why” have decisions leading to the creation of becoming ‘a transformative learner’ be deepened, encouraged, facilitated by peers or faculty in the ‘new’ classroom? Or, “how and why” one’s initial experiences in the ‘new’ UOPX/SAS classroom, such as a specific perceived positive elements of the new E-platform, enhanced reflective, critical thinking? Relying on multiple sources of evidence, with data converging in triangulating fashion and theoretical propositions guiding data collection and analysis, insights gained from this “in-depth” exploration may explain some of the needs for proper mediation and attitudes toward supporting technology of online doctoral students. Consequently, insights gained from an empirical inquiry into the phenomenon of transformative learning within the ‘new’ online SAS doctorial classroom, may help online colleges and universities identify strategies that can address these specific needs. Generalization based on this case study may support the notion that effective mediation and effective (aml) technology are both equally needed in aiding online SAS graduate students striving for the acquisition of ethical leadership skills within their online graduate journey.
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