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Preparing students for learning with next-generation digital learning environments (NGDLEs)

Wednesday 3 July: Conference day one, 3:00pm – 3:30pm parallel session



Room 6 – 303-B05 Sem



Dr Joyce Hwee Ling Koh
University of Otago, New Zealand

Dr Rebecca Yen Pei Kan
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore



LMSs are the standard information technology infrastructure of every higher education institution (García-Peñalv & Alier Forment, 2014). Next-generation LMSs are being designed as next generation digital learning environments (NGDLEs) that are interoperable systems capable of supporting personalization, collaboration, and flexible learning (Brown, Dehoney, & Millichap, 2015). Yet, there appears to be a pedagogical gap between LMS capabilities and use. Even though current LMSs are already equipped with interactive tools such as blogs, wikis, and discussion forums, faculty and students largely use LMSs as content repositories and learning administration systems rather than for interactive learning (Lonn & Teasley, 2009).



With an average usage period of eight years (Dahlstrom et al., 2014), there is no doubt that NGDLE upgrades are within the LMS infrastructural plans of many higher education institutions. To fully optimize infrastructural investments in NGDLEs, there is a need to better understand students’ LMS learning practices as well as the gaps with respect to NGDLEs. Even though LMSs have been widely used in higher education institutions since 2002, it appears that use has largely functioned as a learning management rather than a learning system (Becker et al., 2017). A more deliberate strategy than hardware improvement may be needed to actualize the kinds of learning that NGDLEs are built to support.  Otherwise, investments in NGDLEs may not fully optimized. 


Intended outcome

This session aims to generate discussion about the preparation of students for learning with NGDLEs. Where available, it will exemplify the attributes of NGDLEs as articulated in Brown et al. (2015), and discuss common trends reported by lecturers and students from the recent NMC horizon report (Becker et al., 2017), as well as the authors’ research data from 367 visual and performing arts undergraduates in Singapore regarding their use and expected uses of the LMS. These are used to stimulate debate about students’ conceptions of LMS use, the potential challenges of NGDLEs, as well as strategies for overcoming these challenges.  



Becker, S. A., Cummins, M., Davis, A., Freeman, A., Hall, C. G., & Ananthanarayanan, V. (2017). NMC horizon report: 2017 Higher Education Edition. Retrieved from:
Brown, M., Dehoney, J. and Millichap, N. (2015). The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment: A Report on Research. Louiville, CO:EDUCAUSE.
Dahlstrom, E., Brooks, D. C., & Bichsel, J. (2014). The current ecosystem of learning management systems in higher education: Student, faculty, and IT perspectives. Retrieved from
García-Peñalvo, F.J. and Alier Forment, M., 2014. Learning management system: evolving from silos to structures. Interactive Learning Environments, 22(2), pp. 143-145.
Lonn, S. and Teasley, S.D., 2009. Saving time or innovating practice: Investigating perceptions and uses of Learning Management Systems. Computers & Education53(3), pp.686-694.


Presentation topic

Tertiary – Technologies

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