The Final Oral Examination For the Degree of
MASTER OF ARTS
(Science & Technology Studies)
Sharon Doucet, B.A.
REDISTRIBUTING THE TEACHER: AN ANALYSIS OF TECHNOLOGY ENABLED TEACHING IN MEDICAL EDUCATION
Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 9.00 am
ABSTRACT: Educational technologies (ETs) are increasingly used in undergraduate medical education to train the next generation of doctors. However, once introduced to a learning environment, ETs can have intended and unintended consequences. Current research in medical education frequently renders these ETs as simple tools to be used by teachers, and ignores their unintended effects on the learning environment. This thesis employs actor-network theory (ANT) to chart the distribution of teaching from human to ETs to determine: 1) In what ways are the properties or roles of the teacher distributed across advanced learning technologies (ALTs) in medical education? 2) In what way is this distribution acknowledged among teachers within medical education discourses? Discourse analysis methods were used to analyze a selection of twenty-five medical education research and practice articles drawn from the PubMed database (2007-present). The distribution of teaching to ETs, specifically ALTs, in these articles is extended through time and space, teaching context, and content, and modifies human teaching. Acknowledgement of this distribution was evident in faculty members’ or teachers’ concerns of being displaced or overshadowed by ALTs. Human teachers and nonhuman ET teachers ought to be considered partners. Once introduced, the nonhuman ETs become socially embedded and their participation requires continued attention and critique. Finally, when examining the effectiveness of ETs’ role in a learning environment, scholars should consider the ways in which their inclusion was deliberate, transparent, and accepted by other actors within the network.
Prof Stephen Petrina (Supervisor) (Curriculum & Pedagogy / STS
Prof Robert Brain (Chair) (History / STS)
Prof Barry Mason (Cellular & Physiological Sciences / Medical Education)