Choosing a theoretical framework


The theoretical framework (TF) I initially planned to use for my research was the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). TAM seemed to be an appropriate choice because it afforded a focus on the learner and their behaviour with regard to their learning experience (Davis, 1989).   However, as I dug in further it TAM did not really align with what I am trying to ascertain with my research which is how might the opportunity to practice high-risk technical tasks in simulated virtual environments impact learner competency.  

After perusal of the different models, I have decided to apply Activity Theory as my learning framework.  My research will focus on technical task training in simulated learning environments, which is activity-based learning.  I hope to investigate how design in a virtual environment can lead learners to increased levels of competency and as this framework outlines in order to design for activities, one must examine not just the activity itself but the intentionality behind engaging in the activity,  the kinds of individuals who are interacting in said activity, the context in which the activity transpires and goals for the learner. (Jonassen & Rohrer-Murphy, 1999)  



Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319–339. Retrieved from

Jonassen, D., & Rohrer-Murphy, L. (1999). Activity theory as a framework for designing constructivist learning environments. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47(1), 61-79 Retrieved from

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