Tensions and turning points: exploring teacher decision-making in a complex eLearning environment

Exploring teacher decision-making in a complex eLearning environment


  • Scott Bradey




activity theory, university teaching, blended learning, technology integration


Understanding how university teachers experience and respond to imperatives to integrate digital technologies into their curricula and teaching practice is essential for addressing the gap between the potential of such technologies to articulate with institutional objectives and their uptake by university teachers. This article reports on a study in a regional Australian university focused on capturing the complex ways that individual and contextual factors can interact to support or impede the integration of technology into teaching practice. The lens of cultural-historical activity theory is used to describe and interpret the complex activity of designing and teaching a blended-mode course from the perspective of an experienced lecturer. An analytical focus on emergent tensions and the identification of turning points as markers of critical encounters requiring the lecturer to make decisions and take action provides an insight into potential transformations in their thinking and practice.